WINDY RACING: Sailing in the middle of the fleet in strong breezes, yachts Bella crewed by Mark Pierce Julie Ferguson Norm Hunt) and Abedare with Dave Scott.
WINDY RACING: Sailing in the middle of the fleet in strong breezes, yachts Bella crewed by Mark Pierce Julie Ferguson Norm Hunt) and Abedare with Dave Scott. Jane Morgan

Two catamarans capsize in tough conditions at Ballina

CAPSIZING catamarans in brisk southerly breezes made for some exciting racing on Sunday's sailing round held at the Richmond River Sailing and Rowing Club in Ballina.

A low outgoing tide made negotiating the narrow passage between Ballina boat harbour and the sand island challenging and careful manoeuvring was required by all 32 skippers throughout the day to avoid collisions.

One capsized catamaran almost drifted onto the wharf near Fawcett Park, and another capsized catamaran actually drifted through the narrow entrance of Ballina boat harbour, but both were unscathed and once righted continued to race

Some spectacular downwind runs were achieved with the aid of a stronger than predicted Southerly, especially for the boats with spinnakers.

 

In the gennaker fleet, a close tussle had ensued between current Australian Formula 15 champion Barry Bradford in 'Trade Secret' and Tom and Brendan McKeown in 'Toxic'.

This lasted for a couple of windward returns before Toxic capsized with her spinnaker up.

In the catamaran division it was a day out for the two NACRA 5.8s, 'Finely Tuned' and '2Footextra', the strong wind and reaching legs suited for speed, aiding these powerful catamarans.

'Finely Tuned' with Chris Hallet and recent learn to sail graduate Seamus Coakley lead for most of the race, with 2Footextra (Jonathan Horsley/Martine Borrack) overtaking later in the race and taking the win.

In the monohulls, Trent and Daisy Morgan in 'Graeme Garden' traded the lead with club stalwart Graham Hams (Alter Ego) in their NS14s, over the four lap course.

'Graeme Garden' crossed the line first but Des Mayblom in his Impulse 'Olde Golde' took the day after personal handicaps had been applied.

RL24 'Spudgun' (Matt Cartwright and John Kulas) kept up with the faster Spider 550 'Shades of Grey' (Andrew McInnes/Todd Goldsmith) early on and yet again took another win, this time sporting a flashy new spinnaker.

On November 2 and 3 the club regatta and a celebration for the 50th anniversary of the clubhouse will be held with all members and visitors welcome.

Note the car park closed to the public for the weekend.

Round Sunday 27 October.

Gennakers - 1. Secret - Barry Bradford/Anna Hugenholtz 2. Casper - Duncan Dey 3. Hooray - Garry Scott

Monohulls - 1. Olde Golde - Des Mayblom 2. Retro - Graham Hodgins 3. Graeme Garden - Trent and Daisy Morgan

Catamarans - 1. Finely Tuned - Chris Hallet/Seamus Coakley 2. 2 Foot Extra - Jonathan Horsley/Martine Borrack 3. N52 - Drew Green

Trailer Sailors - 1. Spudgun - Matt Cartwright/John Kulas 2. Shades of Grey - Andrew McInnes/Todd Goldsmith 3. Treasure Isle - Paul Morris


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