The first days racing was run in a light 5-7 knots SE breeze making for some challenging racing where mistakes could be costly.
In the first race I started a bit down the line to keep away from the argy bargy by the starting boat. With two boats OCS this was probably a good thing. By the top mark a Tasar had a good lead and I was behind a Northie and a 470. In the light winds the spinnaker was not always filling, so getting past boats was not so easy. There was some great entertainment provided by the flashes of inland thunderstorms running up the Great Dividing Range. By the end of the race I had crept upto 2nd place just behind the leading Taser.
The second race was in the similar, but in the lead was a Northie (NS14). By the bottom mark I had taken the lead, but the very light conditions it was hard to capitalize and build a big lead. By the finish I had a couple of minutes lead, but not enough to stop me falling down the leader board after handicap adjustments, especially against Contenders that, in my option, have a very generous handicap (Yachting Victoria yardsticks are being used).
Being the lead boat did have a big advantage, a big black storm cloud hit the sailing area shortly after finishing. I had just made to shore when it hit, lots of wind, rain and lighting catching the tail end of the fleet. Most boats made it back safely, though a couple of Sharpies needed to be recovered. They are not the lightest of boats and recovery involved dragging over a distance over sand, must remember a hernia belt for next year!
The forecast was for strong SW winds. Observations of 30+ knots (average, with 40+ gusts) were being recorded on a local island just out to sea. In the shelter of the land the wind was less and sailable, if not rather entertaining. The offshore wind was a nice 15 knots at the start, shifty 10 knots at the top mark and 20 knots at the bottom mark with some big gusts causing occasional bouts of bottom mark carnage.
In both races I made good starts only to lose it in big gusts going to the bottom mark (once in each race), sadly this meant my results were down the pack.
A big thanks has to be said to Batemans Bay Sailing Club for putting on the regatta, and a well done to the race officers getting all 4 races completed in challenging conditions.
Sailing report: http://bbsc.org.au/Beyond_Bank_Regatta_2015