Southerly winds blast sailors
SOUTHERLY winds buffeted the boats at the Richmond River Sailing and Rowing Club's fourth championship event of the season on Sunday.
A southerly wind speed during the race ranged from just below 20 knots to above 25 knots and thinned the fleet somewhat, but there were big rewards for those who dared.
After working (into the wind) from a start line off Kerr St to a buoy off Mobbs Bay, the next two legs provided some real speed.
Boats were propelled to top speeds with every gust, catamarans throwing plumes of spray from leeward hulls and monohulls planing with bows in the air.
These are the sort of moments which racing sailors love, pure speed, riding each gust as far as they will take them.
Often the sailors who can keep their boats this fast for as long as possible will benefit in terms of a finishing place.
After sailing downwind to the bottom mark, the fleet then have to put in the hard work and 'climb the mountain', making ground against the wind to the top mark before scooting away again.
Due to the nearly constant wind pressure, the tendons in their arms and hands rarely get a rest as they will their sinews to keep the sheets on and keep their tillers pointed in the right direction.
Certainly most of the sailors are feeling their forearms for many days after such a race.
Despite the challenges, there were very few capsizes during the race, an achievement for all involved, and a testament to the all round sailing ability of the fleet.
On November 2 and 3 the club will hold its annual regatta and the adjacent car park will be closed to the public (as it is each year) to make room for boats to assemble.
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Gennakers - 1. 5 Buckeroos - Vince Selleck 2. Casper - Duncan Dey 3. Mr Bond - Michael Wiley/Tara Goodey
Monohulls - 1. Black Pearl - Trent Morgan 2. Retro - Graham Hodgins 3. Abedare - Dave Scott
Catamarans - 1. 2 Foot Extra - Jonathan Horsley/Ian Michie 2. Shore Thing - Colin Woodbry 3. Ozpray - Phill Robbins
Trailer Sailors - 1. Spudgun - Matt Cartwright/John Kulos 2. Shades of Grey - Andrew McInnes/Todd Goldsmith 3. Serenity - Ian Bowles