The forecast was terrible for the second and final leg of the B14 NSW States at Illawarra Yacht Club on the 14th March 2021.
There was a gale warning, with southerlies of 25 gusting 30 knots predicted.
Four skiffs braved the elements, 15 degrees and rain, following a day of 28 degrees and brilliant sunshine.
The club was keen to provide racing if possible, both for the B14s and for the regular Sunday local sailors in Trailables and other craft, and had a boat on the lake taking readings, and of course was monitoring the wind as it moved up the coast. As race time approached, the rescue boat was only measuring 14 knots on the lake, although it looked a hell of a lot worse. Racing was declared ON, so the B14s started getting ready to go on the water. The locals, on the other hand, got out of their wetsuits and went home!!
While 4 boats rigged up, only 3 hit the water as Yellowbone had a kite halyard mishap which could not be rectified.
Glenn Cardwell and Audrey Scheu in Bandit dominated the day, winning all three races, two by a long margin. The Nude gave them a run for their money in the third, but Bandit won out comfortably. Nathan Reynolds and Darren Morgan in Usain Boat had a good first race, finishing 2nd. But in Race 2 they collided with Richie Reynolds (no relation!) and Lissa McMillan in The Nude at the first top mark, breaking The Nude’s tiller extension. Nathan and Darren capsized during the penalty turn and struggled to upright the boat. Although the wind remained about 16-18 knots most of the day, with a few 20 to 25 knot gusts, the lake was very lumpy in the southerly, and the sea state made sailing challenging. Happily the lake water was very warm!
Although Bandit won the day, The Nude took out the States 2021 (for the 11th time), having notched up 3 wins at Woollahra in leg 1, whilst Bandit had recorded 3 fifths on the Harbour. The State Titles Trophy has had to be modified, with another layer added to fit more shields.
At the AGM before racing, Glenn Cardwell took over the role of NSW President from Lissa, who has held the role for 21 years. Minutes of the NSW AGM are here.
We are very grateful to Illawarra Yacht Club for putting on racing for just our small fleet on a pretty ugly day on the water! Thanks to Bob our Race Officer, as well as Ann, Norm, Dante, and the others on the start and rescue boats.