Despite the forecasted strong winds, the ever present smoke haze, and intermittent highway closures, the Big River Sailing Club’s Bridge to Breakers Regatta was another success, attracting a fleet of 44 boats from as far as Melbourne and north of Brisbane.
What many consider as the premier sailing event on the Clarence River, the regatta has a strong following of repeat visitors and is well supported by other North Coast clubs.
The long course race on the Saturday was a test of endurance on the windward work to Iluka, and a test of focus on the equally demanding downwind run home. There were some aborted starts, a few breakages, and capsizes too many to count, however, all of that only adds flavor to the post-race post-mortems which sailors love to indulge in.
The morning race on the Sunday started in relatively benign conditions, but by race end the sea breeze had again kicked in, and it was looking like the previous day all over again. A third and final race capped off the series, after which competitors were content to take some respite before making their journeys home.
The catamaran divisions (Div 1 and 2) were won by Chris Hallet and Frank O’Rouke respectively. Laser 4.7 sailor Kate Yoemans proved unbeatable in the slower monohulls (Div 4) and Baz Bradford was the fastest of the Formula 15’s (Div 3) The RS100 class also held its inaugural NSW State Championships in conjunction with the event. Congratulations to Richmond River stalwart Bill Heuchmer who took out the championship ahead of David Williamson
(Melbourne) and Duncan Dey (Richmond River). Full regatta results are available on the Club’s website.