Ten sailing boats faced the starting line at Lake Keepit Sailing Club late last month amid challenging and changing weather conditions.

Conditions for sailing were excellent with a keen south-easterly breeze. 

Two catamarans, a corsair and seven laser dinghies set off with Mick Bradfield winning the contested start. 

The wind promised excellent sailing conditions and the fleet was quite bunched at the first mark. 

The two catamarans hit the front on the two following reaches and had a private battle. 

Meanwhile, the laser fleet was still close together with Bradfield increasing his lead.

As the race progressed, the wind began gusting strongly and varying direction until it was a strong steady easterly. This increase caused a few changes in positions as sailors struggled to keep control.
After two triangles and two windard returns, the catamarans were still close together but Michael Juchau (Quirindi), in his 20-footer, crossed the line with the fastest time, closely followed by David Aylward from Manilla.

Next to cross the finish line was Bradfield who was not headed and sailed strongly throughout. 

Kevin Overton, of Tamworth, was getting closer to Bradfield but suffered a capsize on the last jibe of the day and unfortunately lost a few placings.

Lake Keepit Sailing Club Commodore Tim Corben said the organisation has a long history at the location.

“The club has been around since a group of sailors got together in the early 1960s,” Mr Corben said. “By the end of the decade our unique club house was built by the members on the shore of Lake Keepit. 

“It has a great history and serves the Gunnedah, Tamworth and Manilla areas for those of us addicted to taming wind and water conditions around a set course of buoys in 
sailing craft.”

Mr Corben said preparation for the club’s annual Keepit Kool Regatta are well on the way with organisers anticipating an “explosion of entry numbers” this year.

Full results from the April sailing event: Fastest time – Michael Juchau (Quirindi), Gemini 20 Cat. First to start – Mick Bradfield (Breeza), laser. Corrected times: Mick Bradfield, 1, John Sumner, Gunnedah, laser radial, 2, Tim Corben, Barraba, laser radial, 3.

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