Greenskin Wine is pleased to annouce its sponsorship of the 2022/2023 Geographe Bay Short Handed Yachting Series.
Geographe Bay is an ideal body of water for sailing and has been the focal point of sailing in the South West for over 50 years.
Geographe Bay Yacht Club commands a superlative vantage point on the long stretch of sand for which Geographe Bay is renowned, and is only a short distance from the town centre.
From the modern Clubhouse, you can take in the whole bay from Capel to Cape Naturaliste, including the famous 1.8 km Busselton Jetty.
For a small yacht club Geographe Bay Yacht Club has the largest short handed sailing fleet in Western Australia. Short Handed sailing can be most simply explained as yachts being:
Short handed sailing tests endurance and skill. There is no specialisation in short handed sailing – you have to be proficient in all tasks.
The Greenskin Wines Short Handed Series comprises 8 races over the 2022/23 with one being an overnight race.
Race one of the Greenskin Wine Geographe Bay Short Handed series was held in idyllic 10knot breezes on Geographe Bay. After many lead changes Abi and Steve Paterson won the day on their Sunfast 3200 Kwilena. A good shakedown for some longer races ahead.
With just the 2 of them (and like many of the sailors in the fleet), they have entered the Fremantle to Exmouth Yacht race in May 2023. A 700 nautical mile yacht race that is a test for all comers, let alone short-handers.
26 November 2022 – Race 2:
Race two of the Greenskin Wines Shorthanded series on Geographe Bay was raced in magnificent conditions over the weekend.
A southerly breeze of between 10 and 15 knots (which is offshore in The Bay) proved for a magnificent day, but tricky sailing conditions with 30-40 degree wind shifts all afternoon.
The course consisted of a start at Geographe Bay Yacht Club near the base of the Busselton Jetty. A short beat to a day buoy, a long reach out to Eagle Bay and then a beat back to Quindalup (Dunsborough Bay Yacht Club), where all competitors stayed the night, and enjoyed Yacht Club hospitality before returning the next morning.
Selkie (Alison Stock) got away to a flying start and was clearly ahead at the day buoy and maintained that lead all the way to Eagle Bay.
The god of wind shifts (we need a name for this mythical deity that can be used in print!!) did not smile upon Selkie, though with Kwliena (Abi Patterson) successfully picking almost every wind shift on the last 5-mile beat to win by 9 seconds. Solistice (Peter Manolas) was a close third.
As the fleet prepares for the Greenskin Geographe Bay Classic, the longest race of the series at 90 nautical miles sailed overnight, both Selkie and Kwilena are sitting on a win and a second after 2 races.
Race 3: What a doozy it was!
Race 3 of the Greenskin Wines Shorthanded series was the Greenskin Geographe Bay Classic, the longest race of the series at 90 nautical miles sailed overnight.
The Race started in Busselton WA and went to Bunbury then out Eagle Bay and back for a Busselton finish. Basically a big triangle of Geographe Bay.
The crews were getting a bit jittery a few hours before the race start at 5pm on the Saturday afternoon as the wind was already 20 knots and forecast to increase to 30 knots overnight. A meeting was held and a decision was taken to bring the turning marker south from Bunbury to just off Dalyellup as a safety precaution, it shortened the race by 10 miles but more importantly, kept the boats tucked deeper into Geographe Bay.
The race started in a 20-knot southerly which quickly built to 25 knots. Not to be deterred all entrants all flew spinnakers and there was some fun to be had and money to be made by sailmakers as a couple of spinnakers started in one piece and came down in several more pieces.
Selkie (Alison Stock) was first around the Dalyellup turning mark at around 8pm followed by Kwilena (Steve a Abi) and Solstice (Pete Manolas).
As the sun set the wind chirped up to 30-35 knots which had everyone shortening sail and trying to settle in for a fairly wet and uncomfortable evening.
Selkie rounded the Eagle Bay Mark around midnight as the wind strength rapidly dropped. Kwilena was around a minute behind and Solstice 5 minutes behind.
The leg to the finish crosses Geographe Bay and Kwilena went to sea and Solistice to the Beach which left Selkie in a conundrum, which one to cover? The decision was made to stick with Kwilena which left Solstice to sneak along the coast and finish off the Busselton Jetty at 3 am 50 seconds in front of Kwilena and 90 seconds in front of Selkie in about 5 knots of wind.
All this over 80 miles; chocolate eclairs to boiled lollies for Selkie and a Steven Bradbury performance by Solstice.
All sailors crammed onboard Kwilena for a few too many Greenskin reds and as the sun rose wearily staggered off to their bunks for a bit of well-earned sleep.
Race 4 & 5:
Races 4 and 5 of the Greenskin Wines Shorthanded series involve a race from Busselton to Bunbury on Saturday Afternoon, a civilised sundowner and meal and a return race Sunday morning.
A change in the fleet for this race with Ken and CJ Wallers’ “Jean Genie” and Karl and Elisha Civils’ “Low Flying Duck” joining Selkie (Alison Stock) for the weekend.
Saturday provided for a glamorous spinnaker run to Bunbury with Jean Genie leading for most the leg but a spinnaker “Non Drop” at the Bunbury entrance mark to the harbour (also known as a spinnaker halyard being jammed at the masthead) meant that Jean Genie finished only just in front of Selkie to claim fastest time but not far enough in front to manage a handicap win which went to Selkie.
At 51 feet and with a level of luxury so far not seen in the short-handed fleet Jean Genie was clearly the preferred venue for a few glasses of assorted Greenskin whites to watch the sunset. The crews then ambled across the road to “The Last Slice” pizza pub in Bunbury. The Last Slice had just been voted the best sports bar in WA and didn’t disappoint. The stories got bigger and more outrageous and the pizzas kept coming.
The race back proved somewhat of a non-event starting in a nice easterly but having the wind die completely and a consensus decision was taken to abandon the race and motor back to Port Geographe and tuck the short-handed vessels into their pens in advance the Greenskin Wines Meelup Bay Race to complete the series.
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