The Port Macquarie Sailing Club held the fourth race of the Spring series on Sunday.
It started in a light easterly breeze that soon changed into a very gusty north-wester that came and went for the rest of the afternoon.
The strong run-out tide gave very flat water as it was running with the strong wind, but made upriver progress hard work.
The catamaran division saw fast sailing in the squally breeze with Frank O’Rourke on Dino finishing ahead of Rowan Nosworthy on Return and Rob Barwick on Drift.
Dave Winter on Spica withdrew with a broken forestay, and Tony Kuhn on Stella pulled out after constantly being out of control in the strong gusts.
Dino also won on handicap with Return and Drift again filling the minor placings.
Paul Robertson and Martina Holt in Flembouyant were leading the monohull fleet until pulling out to help to help the safety boat with the decimation in the fleet.
Stuart Symons and Jane Cooper in Jupiter were the only monohulls to finish.
Tony Walker in Deep Purple pulled out with a broken main halyard.
Cameron Marshall and Caleb Bohlsen in Lowboys 2 broke off their tiller extension, Terry Howard in Ratz tired out, and Phil Lillehagen and newcomer Taylor McMurtrie in Elmo capsized at the bottom mark and after ending up down past the ferry, couldn’t continue in the strong breeze.
There were red faces aplenty in the safety boats, when Ron Apps in the tinny ran out of fuel down past the ferry after assisting Elmo.
Paul Robertson, after retiring from the race to assist, hurriedly launched the IRB and assisted several boats before finally going to tow the tinny back.
Things worsened when the IRB also ran out of fuel on the way back with the tinny.
Next Sunday is the first round of the sprint series with racing starting at midday, a BBQ after the first 2 races, then 3 more races.
Paul Robertson is rostered on duty.