Please select your home edition
Edition
SailX 728x90

Festival of Sails - Black Betty’s success

by Danielle McKay on 27 Jan 2014
Festival of Sails 2014 Guido Brandt
Festival of Sails 2014 - Just days ago West Australian boat Black Betty was largely unknown outside her home state. Today the 42-footer is deemed a major player on the grand prix circuit after the crew from across the country took out the elite racing series at the Festival of Sails.

Black Betty clinched the Optimum Time Racing Series Division one IRC win and Victorian IRC Championship in her maiden racing appearance outside of home waters.

Adding to the glory for owners Gary McNally and Brian McMasters is their defeat of two of Australia’s newest yachts competing in debut regattas under the helm of two of the best skippers on the east coast; Tony Kirby’s Ker 46 Patrice and Matt Allen’s Carkeek 60 Ichi Ban.

Black Betty finished top of the table with 16.5 points, followed by Patrice on 19 points and Ichi Ban with 20 points. Just half a point separated Black Betty and Patrice heading in to the final romp of the eight-race series.

The pressure on the skippers and their crews heated up literally as they were forced to wait an hour and a half between today’s two races in scorching heat when the race officials hoisted the postponement flag while the predominately northerly breeze flicked a crazy 180 degrees.


Racing finally got underway at about one o'clock, sneaking in just before the cut-off time came into play. But those shifty winds would still cause havoc. 'You were really at the mercy of the gods,' Kirby lamented. McNally and McMasters’ crew held firm to finish third in that final race, three vital points ahead of Kirby.

It’s a major shot across the bow to the country’s IRC competitors and one heck of a way to announce the black-hulled GP42’s arrival on the national scene.

The team is planning to carry on their success at events including the Audi IRC Australian Championship in April and Audi Hamilton Island Race Week in August.

'I guess we wouldn’t have travelled thousands of miles to compete if we weren’t confident,' McNally said, as the team trucked the yacht 3,500 kilometres across the Nullarbor Plain from Perth to Geelong for the Festival of Sails.

'We worked hard to optimise her for the racing here and it paid off. We built larger sails and tweaked her for windward leeward racing. That meant we got rid of our code zero for the rating, which hurt us in the passage race, but it paid dividends in the long run.

'We’re usually at the pointy end of the fleet at home and now this is proof that we can race and win against the best anywhere.'


Kirby and Allen remained upbeat despite not claiming a win. 'I’m confident I’ve got a winning racer here,' Kirby said.
Allen has long upheld the belief that it takes months, if not a year to get the best out of a new boat.

Division two Racing Series

The Optimum Time Racing Series Division two and Victorian IRC and AMS Championships result was dominated by a familiar boat disguised with a new identity.

South Australian Andrew Corletto bought Darryl Hodgkinson’s all-conquering Beneteau First 45 Victoire last year and has been racing under the new title Shining Sea with similar success.

Today the boat and crew were crowned divisional winners and Victorian IRC and AMS Champions.

Fresh from finishing third in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race division three, Corletto sailed to an emphatic win at Geelong, more than 10 points clear of Bruce McCracken’s Ikon and Philip Dash’s Justadash which finished second and third respectively, both with 22 points.

Corletto has only had the yacht under his charge for seven months, but with several crewmembers from his Sydney
38, which won the Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia’s Yacht of the Year, they were always going to be competitive.

'I bought this boat because of her sailing pedigree, but that does bring a certain amount of pressure and expectation with it,’’ Corletto said.

'Fortunately we raced really well, and the boat just knows what to do. I notice how quick she takes off upwind; she just sails right into the slot and has great speed.'

Corletto also had the expert help of two Olympians, Chris Tillett and Greg Young. 'You can’t underestimate their experience and expertise.'

Division three Racing Series

Well-known Victorian sailor David Ellis dictated the Optimum Time Racing Series Division three results, claiming wins in six of eight races to finish first on eight points with his Archambault A31 Penfold Audi Sport. It’s Ellis’ third win at the Festival of Sails, having won twice with his former boat Surprise.

Ellis fished seven points clear of Jason Close’s Beneteau First 35 White Noise in second place, with Martin Vaughan’s
Sydney 36cr Wild Side completing the top three, with 26.5 points.

'You have to take the good with the bad, and one of the things about racing here is that you’re never out of it until you cross the finish line. You just have to stay optimistic, keep your eyes out of the boat and find the breeze,' Ellis said.

'We’re lucky to have some fantastic young guys here from Hobart who’ve come to sail with us after a 470 campaign in Europe. Alec Bailey and Doug Shepard were a great addition to our team.'

Event website: click here

T Clewring J-classKilwell - 5Pacific Sailing School 660x82 1

Related Articles

America's Cup - Arbitration Panel Hearing over Kiwi Qualifier for July
ACEA CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. In a yet to be published interview in Sail-World, America’s Cup Events Authority CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. This is the first official indication that the three person Arbitration Panel had even been formed, however Sail-World’s sources indicated that it had been empanelled since last January, possibly earlier.
Posted on 27 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
The importance of being Alive
Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, the team have lined up for a lot of things, won plenty and nabbed a record, as well. She’s presently in a yard in the Philippines having a minor refit in readiness for the Australian season. It will commence with the upcoming Brisbane to Keppel and then head sharply into this year’s Hobart.
Posted on 10 May
Hoisted on their own petard
Now it was not that long ago that we wondered if there were some genuinely Shakespearean elements beginning to appear... Now it was not that long ago that we wondered if there were some genuinely Shakespearean elements beginning to appear in World Sailing’s premier event, the Sailing World Cup. In that time, a flurry of material has espoused all manner of joyous points including travel grants and prize money. That’s terrific and the hope is that somehow this will overcome the tyranny of distance for Melbourne
Posted on 9 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May