The water was cool but the heat was on as the 2018/2019 sailing season got underway at Lake Keepit on Sunday.
Beautiful weather and a light south-westerly breeze greeted the fleet of eight for the first heat of a tri-race series that makes up the Spring Cup.
The start was won by Rodger Ford in his Hartley 16 (a trailer-sailer) closely followed by veteran laser sailor John Sumner and youngster Tim Caslick also in a laser.
The long windward beat to the quarry buoy allowed skippers to opt for the shore line or stay out in the middle of the lake. Sumner, Kevin Overton (laser) and Dave Aylwin (Marie Cat) turned in front followed closely by the rest of the fleet.
The next two sides of the triangular course were with the wind from behind on a reach and then a run directly with the wind to the downwind buoy.
There were several minor changes in positions, Sumner and Aylwin jostling for the lead before Aylwin showed the speed of his catamaran and forged ahead.
Behind the lead boats the largest yacht in the fleet, an RL 26 crewed by Keith Garrett and skippered by Michel Juchau showed very good downwind speed to alarm many laser skippers as they overtook them.
The course was completed three times with a two-legged windward return thrown in.
Heading into the final windward leg, Aylwin led the fleet from Sumner with Overton, Tim Corben and Caslick close behind, but after brushing the last bouy, Sumner had to complete a penalty 360 degree turn.
Overton was then hit by severe gusts of wind after choosing the middle of the lake course and Corben managed to pass both of them to cross second with Aylwin taking line honours. Overton recovered to finish third with Sumner fourth.
On corrected-time, which is based on the handicap rating of the individual class of boat, Rodger Ford and crewman Rob Maslin in their Harley 16 were awarded the win.
Corben was second and Caslick third.
It was a busy weekend for the Lake Keepit Sailing Club with the instructors course for keelboats being completed by four club members. Australian Sailing representative, Carl Webster, conducted the course and his expertise was greatly appreciated.
The club hopes off the back of that to soon offer ‘learn to sail a keelboat’ courses as another option to their ‘learn to sail a dinghy’ sessions.
They will also, during the coming school holidays, conduct a ‘learn to sail dinghies/learn to sail dinghies faster’ three day course for adults and youngsters.
The course will be delivered over six sessions on October 10, 11 and 12.
Lunch, boats and life jackets will be provided.
For more information contact 0497 026 233 or the club.
1st – Rodger Ford, crew Rob Maslin (Harley 16)
2nd -Tim Corben (laser dinghy)
3rd – Tim Caslick (laser radial)
4th – Kevin Overton (laser)
5th - John Sumner (laser)
6th - Robert Kelly (laser)
7th – Michael Juchau, crew Keith Garrett (RL 26)
8th – David Aylwin (Marie cat with “cat” rig)
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