ALL SET: A good turnout for the Nick Peate Memorial Race at the Richmond River Sailing and Rowing Club.
ALL SET: A good turnout for the Nick Peate Memorial Race at the Richmond River Sailing and Rowing Club. Trent Morgan

Stunning blue for sailors on the river

THE Richmond River Sailing and Rowing Club weekend round was highlighted by the annual Nick Peate Memorial Race.

This up-river marathon race is named to honour the memory of an accomplished young sailor and former member of the club.

High tide and a clear sky meant the colour of the Richmond River was a stunning blue last Sunday.

The wind was blowing with enough puff from the North to ensure that the bulk of the fleet would race as far Wardell.

The club were honoured to have Nick Peate's Mum, Janice, say a few words of encouragement to the fleet at the race briefing.

Her parting advice of "sail for fun” resonated deeply through the assembled sailors.

In the catamaran and trailer sailor divisions the lead changed many times throughout.

This was mostly due to differing strengths of wind on different parts of the river, some boats favouring stronger breeze, others not.

Despite capsizing before the start, John McDonell in his NACRA 4.5 catamaran won the day on handicap.

Graeme Fleming and his crew in their Spider 550 Inci Winci won the trailer sailor division by a mere forty five seconds over Kynan Wall's Electric Blue.

One trailer sailor was reported to have run aground on some rocks up river hurtling the crew into the cabin.

They recovered and finished the race.

In the monohull division Graham Hams (first place) in his NS14 and Mark Harper in his Devoti Zero were very close the whole way.

Unfortunately for Mark, he missed the mark at Pimlico Island, not realising he had to round it until he saw Graham doing it.

In the gennaker division, Brendan and Tom McKeown in their Formula 15 Toxic lead from start to finish, also taking handicap honours.

Despite a capsize by a NACRA 5.8, several capsizes by a Formula 15 and this correspondent falling out the back of his boat mid-race, all had a great time.