Botany Bay Marathon Race

February 15th, 2017

Four Wetas turned out at Kurnell Catamaran Club for possibly one of the best races we've had on Botany Bay with a 12-15 knot Southerly blowing, little traffic, few wind obstructions and mostly flat water.

Ian took an early lead from the reaching start from Kurnell (4 on the map) to Yarra Bay but gybed a bit early to lay the mark which allowed the chasing boats to catch up and Peter rounded first closely followed by Ian and Geoff with Paul not far behind.

After a short beat to clear Yarra Bay we then had a long reach past the airport runway to the Novotel Hotel at New Brighton which separated the fleet, as most weren't exactly sure where the mark was. Geoff had fitted additional outboard hiking straps for the event and was revelling in the improvement that sitting on the float allowed him and this helped him to get to the Novotel mark second ahead of Ian.

Peter was still ahead but Ian had caught up and they diced up the long beat up and into the Georges river where it paid to hug the shore to keep out of the tide and in the flatter water. Hugging the shore allowed Paul to get past Geoff who had gone out a bit too far and he extended this lead into the river.

The leaders were far ahead, and Peter led Ian to the Captain Cook Bridge. Peter probably had a slightly better run through on the way in but Ian had the better run on the way back out so the gap actually remained the same. Spinnakers were set near George's River Sailing Club for a nice reach to the outer Towra mark then it was a drag race back to the finish line. Boat speeds were very similar and at the finish Peter beat Ian by a minute and a half.

Meanwhile Paul had an easy route under the bridge - barely stopping - and reached down to the Botany Bay YC mark led by a Nacra 14 who seemed to know the way.

As they tacked out of the Georges river, Paul was following the same Nacra which had gone towards the shore and noting the water colour, he was about to tack when he ran aground on a sandbank - but after yanking up the daggerboard, got going again and eventually passed the Nacra as they went under the bridge.

He traded places with it as they found the Towra mark together and then headed back to Kurnell CC to the finish. Noting that he was going lower than the Nacra and two Lasers which were ahead, Paul tacked, but after taking back, found he was reaching to the mark in a gusty area near the shore. Meanwhile Geoff who hadn't tacked, took advantage of the lift and was able to catch up with a storming finish and arrive less than two minutes after Paul crossed the line.

All agreed that it was probably one of the best Weta events they had done with ideal conditions for the boat. Peter finished in a time of 1hr 56 mins, allowing him to take second place on handicap and Ian third. Paul was 10th and Geoff 11th. Full results

By Weta Class Australia

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