Lake Jindabyne Sailing Club hosted sailors from Canberra Yacht Club at the inaugural Snowy Mountains Regatta from 28th February to 2nd March. Thirty one boats competed in five races over the weekend in a variety of conditions.
The invitation race was held on the Friday evening on the regular Lake Jindabyne Sailing Club course. Phil Yeomans from Yachting NSW officiated as chief race officer for the regatta, ably assisted by Ross Lawley and John Byrne.
They started the invitation race from the LJSC start boat festooned with an impressive array of new signalling flags. The three divisions completed a three lap port rounding course consisting of a triangle, a windward/leeward sausage and another triangle.
The division one catamarans set off first and used the far off Mountain mark on the triangle laps. The trailerable yachts and Flying fifteens followed. Division three’s monohulls and dinghies including seven lasers completed the fleet.
The race was completed in a eight to ten knot light breeze. Alex Machin and Barry Dennis on the Hobie 20 led the cats around the course for a well-earned win. Ian Brokenshire skippered his Castle 650 to a win against john Tracey’s flying Fifteen who enjoyed the race so much he joined the cats out at the far off mountain mark. Martin Linsley started the weekend well for the Tasars with a win in Division three. The evening was capped off with a great dinner at the club prepared by Kim Neville. Nick Kirshner welcomed the visitors with his recital of 'The Man from Snowy River' and his daughter Maddie recited her own poem.
After a great breakfast at the Sailing Club, race one of the regatta was set out on the main lake using the club’s Mountain mark as the start line buoy. The cool breeze across the lake forced the sailors to don their wetsuits for the race. The Division one cats set off first into a medium strength Easterly breeze on the first windward leg of the first triangle lap. All the boats sailing around the lake made a spectacular sight. After all the boats had started, the start boat moved to set the finish line at the top mark. After all boats had finished, it moved back to the start for race two. Lake Jindabyne teased the sailors during race two with many changes in wind direction and strength. This race took nearly twice as long as race one to complete. The sailors then returned to the clubhouse for a well-earned break.
With storm clouds gathering overhead the race committee set a short race on the inside course close to the clubhouse. The divisions were started in reverse order with the Division three Lasers, Tasars and Contenders etc showing the way to the first mark. Once all the boats had started the start boat suffered a breakdown and had to get a tow from the CYC mark boat to get to the finish line before the racers got there. Meanwhile the weather struck again with a rain storm soaking the sailors while the wind started to drop. The sailors just made it to the finish in the dying breeze and all were pleased to reach the beach and find a towel.
Lake Jindabyne looked like a mirror on Sunday morning, though the cloud had cleared and the day was sunny and warm. The race committee delayed the start as long as it could and led the boats out to the Mountain mark to start the race in the building Easterly breeze. The cats set off on the first of four laps to have the breeze all but disappear when they reached the top mark. After starting all three divisions and moving to the top mark, the start boat returned to the bottom mark to complete the course shortened to one lap while the boats crawled around the course. All the sailors looking for that elusive little gust to move them past their rivals. Some did just that while others were drifting in no breeze.
The regatta was finished with a presentation of trophies and many lucky draw prizes from local sponsors Perisher Blue, The Station Resort, Rydges Horizons Resort, Thredbo, The Discovery Park, Snowy Mountain Sports, Woolworths Jindabyne, Guthega Alpine Inn, Lantern Thredbo Apartments, Larry Adler, Wilderness Sports and Kosciuszko Automotive.
Division one was won by CYC Hobie 18 sailor Robert Redfern followed by Alex Machin and Stephen Molloy from LJSC.
Matt Own won the battle of the VX1 sports boats in Division two from Fred Kasparek and Graeme Giles’ Flying Fifteen. The biggest division, number three, with fifteen entrants was won by Rick Longbottom on his Tasar with Leo O’Keefe’s Impulse splitting the Tasars and Chris Thompson in third place. The biggest single class was led by Steve Osborne from LJSC on his bright red standard rig Laser from Graeme Bradbury and Martin Van Weel.