Flinders Islet Race - Wild Rose takes the victory
by Jennifer Crooks on 22 Sep 2013
At the Flinders Islet Race,having come so close to winning the Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race and others in recent times, the crew on the vintage Farr 43, Wild Rose, took the bit between the teeth to score overall victory in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s 92 nautical mile ,finishing at 5.49.18 this morning.
Wild Rose turning right at Sydney Heads. Brett Hemmings/Sailpix© http://www.SailPix.com.au
Hickman and his regular crew were elated with winning the second race of the CYCA’s 2013/2014 Blue Water Pointscore Series and with tiredness replaced by excitement, were celebrating at the Club this morning after what he called 'a pretty tough race.'
Hickman dedicated their win to sailing mate and partner Sally Gordon, who along with Andrew Short, tragically lost their lives in this same race four years ago.
'We dropped roses and some of her ashes at the Island and said a few words for her,' Hickman said.
'I think Sally decided we would win, because while others were getting stuck on approach to the Island, we got a nice little six knot south/south-westerly which took us around the Island. Then a nice night-time seven knot westerly made it easy to reach back to Sydney, although it was soft again when we got inside the Harbour at dawn.'
Wild Rose triumphed over the smallest yacht in the fleet and 1988 Hobart overall winner, Travis Read’s Davidson 34, Illusion. BWPS novice, Back Sheep, the Beneteau 45 owned by Derek and Martin Sheppard, was third overall,
Hickman said Loki’s record of seven hours 48min 44sec set in 2010 was never in doubt after the predicted 15-25 knot south-westerly failed to materialise on Saturday. Instead, the fleet started in a weak five knot south/south-westerly off Point Piper at 10.00am.
'Then an east-sou-easterly got us to Botany Bay, but then the breeze went soft. It was the strong two knot southerly current that kept pushing us along in the right direction. It was sloppy, but at least we had the current with us, the bigger boats had to sail against it.'
'The Blue Water Pointscore is very special – it’s historic – and we’ll keep doing it while it exists,' said Hickman, sharp and fresh from participating in the Dragon Worlds and Cowes Week these past two weeks. He has four BWPS victories to his credit, with Wild Rose and sailing aboard John Storey’s Atara and Matt Allen’s Ichi Ban.
'It was sloppy and light for some of the race, and when it’s like that, the ‘old girl’ is hard to sail,' Hickman said of his 28 year-old boat, originally owned by Bob Oatley. 'Even Luna Sea (James Cameron’s Hick 35) was hanging on to us.'
The going was tough, and at the 16.05pm sked yesterday, the two leading boats, Andrew Wenham’s Southern Excellence (the former Ichi Ban) and Darryl Hodgkinson’s Victoire (the former Jazz) still had two and a half and three and a half nautical miles to make the Islet, which is off Wollongong.
Wenham’s Volvo 70 rounded shortly before 5.00pm, in faster time than yacht owners originally anticipated, having consulted the weather models in the lead-up to the race.
Third placed Black Sheep’s co-owner, Derek Sheppard, was thrilled to make the podium in third place in his first season and first BWPS as a skipper. 'It was great to get this result, it was light, but we stuck in there,' said Sheppard, who co-owns the boat with his brother Martin, who was also aboard for the race.
The amusingly named yacht did not match the brothers’ result this morning, and the Sheppards are hoping this is one of many good results to follow.
'We sneaked our way through a lot of holes. It was very light, but we just tried to keep the boat moving,' Sheppard said.
'We couldn’t be doing this without the CYCA’s help – they’ve done a great job looking after us. It’s quite challenging when you first get into ocean racing as an owner, but they’ve been great in getting us organised and helping with the paperwork and other things,' he ended.
Following Race two of the BWPS, Wild Rose leads Papillon (Phil Molony), with Black Sheep third.
Darryl Hodgkinson’s canting keeled Cookson 50, Victoire, which took line honours in the Flinders Islet Race, leads the charge for the new Line Honours trophy.
Race three of the series is the Bird Island Race on October 11.
IRC results Start : Div1 10:00 Div2 10:00
||Ed Psaltis/ Bencsik/
||Grant Dawson/ Brent
||AUDI SUNSHINE COAST