Crews brave front for charity

Optimum(Jackson Porter) in the lee of Cow’s Rocks off Hillarys. Right: Chris Kelly and his allgirl crew on Kraken X heading back to the safety of the marina. Pictures: John Bird
Optimum(Jackson Porter) in the lee of Cow’s Rocks off Hillarys. Right: Chris Kelly and his allgirl crew on Kraken X heading back to the safety of the marina. Pictures: John Bird

Before the start of the event there were 35 boats registered, the largest contingent in WA and the third largest in Australia.

Anxious skippers and crews kept a close watch on the Bureau of Meteorology website, which showed a band of rain heading towards the club.

Just at race time, the cold front hit with strong winds gusting to 35 knots, accompanied by driving rain.

Two-metre waves on a 3m swell |created a sea that would challenge even the best of the Sydney to Hobart crews.

Five yachts ” a diminutive Optimist, Optimum, sailed by Jackson Porter; a Contender, Beak (Adam Brett); and three keel boats, Blue Chip (Keith Fisk), Sublime (John Newman) and Kraken X (Chris Kelly) ” ventured out to the race area only to be turned back by safety support RIBs once the race had been called off. Kelly and his all-female crew on Kraken X stayed out there a little longer, no doubt practising for conditions that may be experienced in the Fremantle to Albany race next April as part of the Anzac Day events.

Better weather conditions are hoped for on October 5 when yachts and power boats will be out for the parade and opening of the 2014-15 season.