by John Curnow
The 2012 Vicsail Beneteau Cup was a massive success, drawing around a record-breaking 300 sailors to compete in one of the most popular sailing event off the coast of Sydney on Friday. The 2012 Beneteau Cup Regatta marks the 21st time Vicsail organized this prestigious event.
Beneteau Cup 2012
Easterlies of 9-13 knots some clouds and good old sunshine were the order of the day for the 2012 rendition of the Vicsail Beneteau Cup on the majestic Sydney Harbour. Importantly, this is the 21st time that Vicsail have run this super popular and successful event.
Then again, nothing would ever get in the way of one of these events being the joyous occasions that they are. Vicsail are masters of preparing and running these, so when the welcome drinks got underway at 1130hrs with a brief chat from Race Management and hosts concluded well before the 1300hrs gun, you could already feel that yet another classic day was underway.
Not that it is all about partying or racing, but rather the enjoyment of ownership into the phenomenon that is Beneteau. So after the racing and back at the renowned CYCA in Rushcutters Bay the tune once again turned back to socialising, trophies, food, music and laughter. Last time I checked, that made for classic yachting at its very best.
The PRO was Roger Wragby, who together with his team got in two races for everyone. A short race first up, taking about one hour, saw the entire fleet head up to the Sow and Pigs and then back, with start boat anchored in Elizabeth Bay. It was a chance for those with kites to use them. All got the mode switched over to sailing and so a longer race was conducted next, with the 46 starters getting away, firstly with IRC and Spinnaker fleets and then Non-spinnaker A and B heading off in start two.
Robert Sturch is the Beneteau Brand Manager for Vicsail and is always very closely associated with the running of these events. He said of the day, 'Always great to have a huge turnout for these kinds of events. We got the participants on to a celebratory drink at 1130hrs, with the small briefing going well and plenty of humour utilised where appropriate and applicable. Out on the course, we ensured a short race got everyone thinking about strings and rags, then a longer one later on in the afternoon had the serious racers fully inspired, before sending them all back into the CYCA for the prize giving and party.'
'Well done to both Howard Piggott and Daryl Hodgkinson for their great efforts on the day and throughout the year', Robert finished with.
Lunchtime Legend needed to re-read the Sailing Instructions as they retired after Finish from Race One, having gone around the wrong course. In Race Two however, they were fully on the money and keen to make amends and ultimately walked away with the IRC win for that race.
Race one was taken out by Gerry Hatton’s Bushranger, but on aggregate, the day belonged to CYCA Commodore, Howard Piggot and Flying Cloud, who with a second and third on the day were one point clear of Victoire and then another point astern was Bushranger.
It was to be a great weekend for Howard and the crew, who then took out the inaugural Beneteau First 40 National Championship, after their IRC win at Friday’s Beneteau Cup. Taking the Beneteau Cup for their marvelous campaign during the year was Daryl Hodgkinson’s Victoire, and he certainly looked pretty happy about it too!
Elsewhere there were more winners, with Frits Mare’s Ocean Road taking out the Spinnaker Division. Yandoo and Honeysuckle got the minor places, but Mike Roper’s Ropabull clearly had the most interesting time out there, going from Zero to Hero with a last in Race One and a win in Race Two. Must have strapped themselves to a Lamborghini Bull to pull that off…
Champagne on Ice and Breakthrough had a win each in Non-Spinnaker A, but the overall prize went to Arthur Lane’s Ikonkoni ahead of the aforementioned pair. Nev Witty’s Golden Cowrie nearly pulled off the Zero to Hero trick to make it a real theme throughout the fleets, but had to settle for a second in Race Two.
One More - No More and Elusive Spirit had a win each in Non-Spinnaker B, with Ian Guanaria and the crew using their first and third to take the overall win from Tahoe Blue and Nightingale.
Speaking with Vicsail’s Founder, Brendan Hunt, afterwards, he commented, 'You know we really love these events and it is also chance for all of our great clients and friends to see that we do sail the boats we sell and are as passionate about the brands as they are.'
'We have had a great week overall, with Mr. First, Eric Ingouf, coming out to present to a rapturous audience, then the Beneteau Cup and ultimately the inaugural First 40 National Championship. Vive la France and Vive la différence!'
Brendan went on to add, 'What a day of fun and joy and what a day of great yacht racing. The weather was perfect. The fun abounded and the dancing lasted well into the night.'
'The 2012 Regatta was widely resounded as the ‘best ever’. Over 300 sailors took a Friday off work to enjoy Sydney Harbour at its best. Held from the CYCA, there were two races with four divisions from the hotly contested IRC through to the fun, but equally hard fought Non-Spinnaker Divisions.'
'The quality of boats and racing was outstanding. Bob Swan had sailed his First 305 down from Gosford in 20 knot headwinds the day before, announcing it was an event that he would never miss.'
'Alastair and the Champagne on Ice team from Port Stephens made the most of their weekend in Sydney, too.'
You know, Vicsail have imported some 950 Beneteau yachts into Australia, so it’s not surprising that this event was a total sell out and it is also not so amazing that it is one of the must do event for all Beneteau owners.
In a major recognition of its importance, the Commodore for 2012 Edition of the Beneteau Cup was the ‘Father of the Firsts’ and doyen of Beneteau design and direction, Mr. Eric Ingouf. Eric left Sydney today with his head held high and blown away with the positive vibe of the local ‘family’ of Beneteau owners.
'The prestigious Beneteau Cup was awarded to Darryl Hodgkinson and Victoire. A popular choice, as Victoire has led the battle for silverware in almost all the important races and series over the past year throughout Australia.'
'A day of such complexity is a major event. Cheryl Stanton, the Marketing and Events Coordinator led the charge, with Beneteau stalwart and devotee, Helen Taylor cracking the whip. With nearly 50 boats and such a loyal crowd of participants, this regatta goes from strength to strength.'
'It is a big congratulations from me to all the Vicsail Team, who I know in turn acknowledge and share this goodwill with all the owners. Our charity for the regatta is Humpty Dumpty and we raised money to purchase much needed equipment for a children's hospital, so the Vicsail Beneteau Cup is both fun and incredibly rewarding. My sincere thanks to all of the 2012 Beneteau Cup participants', said Brendan in closing.
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