Heavy wind conditions fail to stall Navy sailing club's win

Published on LEUT Debra Holland (author), LCDR Bill Welling (photographer)

Location(s): Jervis Bay, NSW

A team from Creswell Sailing Club in yacht 'Friendship of Leeuwin' take a breath during a down-wind leg of the Jervis Bay Cruising Yacht Club Spring Series in Jervis Bay. 
(From left) Warrant Officer Brendon Blank, Chief Petty Officer Richard (Blue) Timms, Sub Lieutenant (SBLT) Michael Mulquiney and SBLT Ross Gordon. (photo: LCDR Bill Welling)
A team from Creswell Sailing Club in yacht 'Friendship of Leeuwin' take a breath during a down-wind leg of the Jervis Bay Cruising Yacht Club Spring Series in Jervis Bay. (From left) Warrant Officer Brendon Blank, Chief Petty Officer Richard (Blue) Timms, Sub Lieutenant (SBLT) Michael Mulquiney and SBLT Ross Gordon.

Creswell Sailing Club has ended the month on a high by taking out top place in the Jervis Bay Cruising Yacht Club Spring Series.

The series was competed over five races between September and November this year.

Friendship of Leeuwin, one of the Navy's Swarbrick S111 yachts, competed in four of the races earning three firsts and a fifth placing.

The final race on 16 November was in heavy conditions with the wind over 20 knots for most of the race and gusts reaching as high as 38 knots at times.

President of Creswell Sailing Club, Lieutenant Commander Bill Welling, said their win was a bonus in such difficult conditions.

Sub Lieutenant Ross Gordon on the helm of Navy's Swarbrick S111 yacht 'Friendship of Leeuwin' as the Creswell Sailing Club team complete the final race of the Jervis Bay Cruising Yacht Club Spring Series. (From left) Sub Lieutenant (SBLT) Michael Mulquiney, SBLT Ross Gordon and Mr Wayne Pryor.

Sub Lieutenant Ross Gordon on the helm of Navy's Swarbrick S111 yacht 'Friendship of Leeuwin' as the Creswell Sailing Club team complete the final race of the Jervis Bay Cruising Yacht Club Spring Series. (From left) Sub Lieutenant (SBLT) Michael Mulquiney, SBLT Ross Gordon and Mr Wayne Pryor.



"Our key aim was to sail a tight race without any incident or gear breakage. Many boats appeared to be carrying too much sail for the conditions and one boat had to retire due to equipment breakage," he said.

Although Friendship missed one race in the series, leading to a 14th placing, the racing rules allowed the team to drop their worst result from their overall total.
 
"This gave us a win for the series with a total of eight points, which was three points clear of our nearest rival Manly Too, a Bavaria 44 yacht," Lieutenant Commander Welling said.
 
Creswell Sailing Club is a regular competitor in the Jervis Bay Cruising Yacht Club's racing season and and when there are sufficient crews, the club brings out both Friendship and Alexander of Creswell to the starting line for the Sunday morning races.
 
"The Club is having a very good season, coming third in the Jervis Bay Sailing Club Challenge and are well placed in the 'Around the Bay' series, winning two of the four races on top of our taking out the Spring Series.
 
"We now have our sights set on a good effort throughout the Summer Series and hopefully some more silverware to collect on presentation night," Lieutenant Commander Welling said.
 
Creswell Sailing Club is throwing out the welcome mat to all serving Defence members in the Shoalhaven to join them for a sail. Racing occurs every second weekend, generally on a Sunday.