Butterflies add to explosion of colour on Richmond River
A KALEIDOSCOPE of butterflies added to the colour and movement of the crisscrossing sailing boats on the Richmond River at Ballina on Sunday.
The number and variety of coloured sails on the water could have been compared to the beauty of the butterflies that journeyed across the river before the start of the Richmond River Sailing and Rowing Club’s race.
The large fleet started out from the RSL, pushing upwind against a light south-east wind to round a mark off Mobbs Bay.
The catamarans and monohulls continued to a mark closer to the river mouth before heading back to a mark near the start.
The gennakers and trailer sailors did ‘hot dogs’ between the Mobbs Bay and start buoys.
Current RS100 Australian champion Duncan Dey ‘jumped ship’, back into his beloved NS14 (monohull) class to race with his son Daniel.
Unfortunately Duncan was so used to doing the gennaker course that when he reached the windward mark in first place he started following the path set for the gennakers.
A very sporting call over the width of the river from the second placed monohull alerted him to his mistake, after which he regained the lead and won comfortably.
The catamarans had a terrific tussle. Club commodore Phill Robbins in Ozspray and Geoff Benson in Neo chased each other over the course for an hour and a half and in the end Benson won by only four seconds.
Barry Bradford and Anna Hugenholtz in Trade Secret found a ‘magical jib’ which apparently felt terrific, letting them point high and with speed, resulting in them blitzing the field of gennakers by five minutes.
One of the spectacles of the day was when Ian Bowles and Sarah Callinan in the trailer sailor Serenity set a massive blue spinnaker for the light air which resembled a huge blue snifter.
Monohulls: 1. Aphrodite, Duncan Dey/Daniel Dey Gomelsky; 2. Bluey, Kate Yeomans 3. Graeme Garden, Trent and Daisy Morgan
Trailer sailors: 1. Spudgun, Matt Cartwright/Charlie Pearce; 2. Run Rabbit Run, Colin Hinwood/Phil Causley/Dave Noble; 3. Treasure Island, Paul Morris/Rod Smith
Catamarans: 1. Neo, Geoff Benson; 2. Ozspray, Phill Robbins; 3. Shore Thing, Col Woodbry
Gennakers: 1. Trade Secret, Barry Bradford/Anna Hugenholtz; 2. Second Wind, Michael Wiley/Tara Goodey; 3. Shachi, Bill Heuchmer