NCYC’s winter series got away to a great start on Sunday with a glorious Autumn day. A light westerly breeze on a large rolling swell allowed NCYC’s race committee to successfully conduct two windward leeward races off Newcastle’s Nobby’s beach.
Following a 15 minute delay, race 1 started with a definite split in the 14 yacht fleet visible. The yachts working the left hand side of the first windward beat looked good early but towards the top mark a little right hand shift caused the fleet to bunch as spinnakers were set. Tony Lobb’s Farr 40 PT73 had a good first run to lead the pack and in doing so stamped a dominance that was going to be unmatched all day. The second upwind leg saw the majority of the fleet work the right hand side of the course with the exception of Peter Hewson’s Sydney 41 Wallop which made some good gains in the left. Bragging rights for the first race of NCYC’s winter series on line honour and IRC went to PT 73 while Beneteau 36.7 Summersalt (Tim Gleeson) snuck in for a win on PHS.
With the breeze shifting to the WSW, NCYC’s race committee varied the course axis and quickly got the day’s second race away in 8 knots of wind knowing that in good winter fashion there was not much puff left in the lungs of the Westerly gradient breeze. Following a start which favoured the pin end boats, the fleet settled to a lighter upwind leg with PT73 rounding the top mark in the lead closely followed by Toy Story and Wallop. Behind the front runner a great tussle was being had between Marta Jean, Novocaine, She’s the Culprit, Yes and Summersalt in the middle of the pack.
As the yachts picked their way downwind into the large rolling swell it became apparent the Race Committee intended to finish racing at the bottom mark before the wind went into shut down. Again, first past the post was PT73 followed by Toy Story and Matt Fensom’s Farr 40 Long Time Dead. IRC went to PT73 while PHS was won by Toy Story.
NCYC’s winter series racing continues next Sunday – Photos by Mic Eggleston