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Jervoise Bay Winter Race

8 Sabres traveled to Jervoise Bay SC for one of their winter series races on Sunday 25 June. 

The setting was beautiful, an open expanse of calm water, with a large grassed rigging area. Most of the contestants were catamarans, apart from the Sabres from PDSC and EFYC and a lone International Canoe (I last saw one of those 60 years ago!).

The first race took place in about 8 knots, but with calm water and steady in direction. Due to the late arrival of 2 Sabres the fleet was somewhat depleted. The first leg to the windward mark was close, with Gavin West, an ex-local sailor in the lead after the wing mark. He was gradually overhauled by Peter Johnston and at the leeward gate, most of the fleet chose to go left, led by Peter, while Gavin and Bill Gilham, went left. This proved correct and Gavin finished well ahead of Peter in second, followed by Bill.

For the second race, 3 more Sabres joined us. The wind had shifted south easterly,  giving a strong port tack bias. Most of the fleet started on the leeward end and tacked unto port, while Peter Johnston found a gap in the middle and tacked early. He and Pete Coop were level, until there was a 10 degree header, which put Peter around the windward mark first. Then the wind died and boats behind crept over the leaders. Gavin got to the wing mark first, Peter in 5th place.

The long downwind leg to the gate saw Gavin move ahead with 4 boats vying for places behind. At the gybe mark Gavin was first, followed closely by Peter and Pete. The beat to the finish saw places change as pressure and shifts helped, though Gavin held the lead. At the finish, Gavin narrowly lead across the finish line, followed by Peter, then Pete and Ian James.

As the wind died, racing was abandoned with Gavin leading with 2 firsts, followed by Peter with 2 seconds.

It was interesting to sail in an ocean setting, with Sabres from PDSC and EFYC. Jervious Bay certainly is an exceptionally attractive place to sail. It is said to be protected from the SWly sea breeze in summer, but who knows? Catamarans love the strong winds, but how would it be for Sabres?  I wonder.

Don't forget the next Winter Series races at EFYC on Saturday 15 July at 2 pm..  Come and end join us and experience the different sailing conditions in Blackwall Reach, they will  challenge your sailing knowledge.

Peter Johnston

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