Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clewring AC72

Port Hacking-Bird Island Race - Big boat clean up

by Di Pearson on 8 Dec 2013
Wild Oats XI took line honours after re-stepping its new mast - Port Hacking-Bird Island Race © Rolex/Daniel Forster http://www.regattanews.com
Race 5 of the CYCA’s BWPS, started off Point Piper at 10.00am on Saturday in a weakening westerly. It was a big boat clean up in the Port Hacking-Bird Island Race overnight, with the Bob Oatley’s Wild Oats XI skippered by Mark Richards taking line honours at 20.50.41hrs last evening to create a record and finish second overall, while Wild Thing’s (Grant Wharington) second on line, nearly one hour behind Oats, was enough to hand it overall victory, while the new Patrice was third overall.

After crossing the finish line of the newly established Blue Water Pointscore 118 nautical mile race in a handy eight hours 51mins 41secs, Richards and crew kept sailing to complete their 24 hour non-stop ocean passage, a requirement of the upcoming Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. Both races are hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia.

The Wild Oats XI crew would have been on tenterhooks, having only two days earlier re-stepped their new lightweight carbon fibre mast after a section was fractured. It gave the crew only Friday to get comfortable with the boat and rig. However, a race and extra miles later, Mark Richards was confident aboard the yacht this morning.

'We’ve still got a few bits and pieces to do,' he acknowledged this morning, adding: 'Don’t forget, we still have our other mast in great condition – so we’ve got time to decide between now and Boxing Day if we want to change it.'

Wild Oats shot off from the Point Piper start on Sydney Harbour yesterday and led the fleet out of the Harbour in a transitioning breeze. Richards avoided the transition, which pulled most of the fleet up in its tracks as the light westerly drizzled to nothing before the north-easterly filled in. Wild Thing stalled on the western side of the Harbour off Manly, with Sam Haynes’ Rogers 46, Celestial, overtaking it.

'Yesterday was a good achievement,' Richards said this morning. 'We’ve just got to get our confidence back,' he conceded.

'Conditions were beautiful - the boat was perfect upwind and the speed exceptional – we were averaging 8-12 knots in 12-16 knots of breeze. It all felt great. We took a few miles out of Wild Thing upwind, but they are very slippery downwind. If we get nor’ easters going to Hobart, they’ll do very well.'

Queenslander Grant Wharington was thrilled with Wild Thing’s overall win and the promise to come. 'We’re pretty excited. We’ve got a shorter rig, which is why we rate lower, which gives us time on the other super maxis once the handicaps are applied,' he explained.


Wharington has added a shorter, heavier keel and a smaller rudder to the yacht. 'Doing that has got rid of drag, so we’re faster downwind,' he said.

'Half the race was downhill – to Port Hacking and on the way back from Bird Island and we were doing 15 to16 knots in a 14 knot nor-easter. Ricko (Richards) rang to congratulate us, which was pretty nice of him.

'Wish we hadn’t got caught in the transition on the Harbour though – and then a strop broke offshore. Both cost us, but that’s yacht racing.'

Both Richards and Wharington, veterans of the Rolex Sydney Hobart, are looking forward to the big race and to the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge on Tuesday, starting at 12.30pm off Vaucluse.

'We’re out of the water tomorrow to give the hull a good clean and we might get our rating down further before the Hobart. We’re really looking forward to Big Boat and the Hobart. We just need to stay in touch with the other super maxis going upwind, then if we get any downwind, we’ll be in good shape,' Wharington predicted.

Richards said: 'We’re really excited about the Big Boat and Rolex Sydney Hobart, '(Perpetual) LOYAL is the most impressive and powerful boat around, so we’ll have to sail a faultless race to beat them. They’ll have to do the same. All the big boats have their strong points…'

In only his third event, Tony Kirby has sailed his new Ker 46, Patrice, to third overall, coming fresh from winning the Sydney Short Offshore Championship last weekend. The 46 footer beat the bigger boats and its contemporaries overall after finishing sixth on line in good time, firming its Hobart chances somewhat.

Matt Allen debuted his brand new Carkeek 60, Ichi Ban, in the Port Hacking Bird Island Race and finished third on line and fifth overall, racing with a mix of regular and new crew members. Victoire, the Cookson 50 Darryl Hodgkinson purchased this year, was fourth overall.

Roger Hickman’s Farr 43, Wild Rose, continues to lead the BWPS after finishing the race seventh overall. His worst result to-date, it has been used as a drop and leaves him with an 11-point advantage over Phil Molony’s A40, Papillon and 14 points clear of third placed Victoire. The Rolex Sydney Hobart will decide the outcome of the BWPS.

Race 5 was the penultimate race of the Series, with the Rolex Sydney Hobart to decide the outcome. It was also the first of three in the reinstated Southern Cross Cup, first held in 1967 and last conducted in 2001, held every odd year.

The second event of the Cup is the CYCA Trophy – Passage Series, to be held over the weekend of 14-15 December, and culminates with the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. The 2013 teams are:

Australia: Ichi Ban, Wild Oats XI and Audi Sunshine Coast
CYCA Blue: Black Sheep, Brannew and Southern Excellence II
CYCA Gold: Balance, Celestial and Midnight Rambler
CYCA White: Patrice, Victoire and Wild Rose

After Race 1, Australia leads with 10 points from CYCA White with 11, and CYCA Blue and Gold on 30 points Full Results

InSunSport - NZSouthern Spars - 100T Clewring - Generic

Related Articles

America’s Cup World Series – Sir Ben jumps into the lead in Portsmouth
Hot, sunny conditions and thousands of fans lining the Portsmouth seafront was the backdrop to crowd-pleasing action. The home team, Land Rover BAR, led by skipper Sir Ben Ainslie, recovered from a poor first race result to win the second two contests and complete the day at the top of the leaderboard, much to the delight of the tens of thousands of cheering fans lining the shorefront.
Posted today at 6:30 pm
LV America's Cup World Series 2016 – Poised to pounce for Super Sunday
Oracle Team USA showed determination and fightback in claiming two second place finishes from the first two races Unfortunately, in the third race, the team was pushed right to the back of the pack and couldn't recover. The results leave the team on equal points for third place with SoftBank Team Japan, just three points behind the leaders, Land Rover BAR and Groupama Team France.
Posted today at 6:12 pm
America’s Cup World Series 2016 – More action images by Ingrid Abery
Photographer Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images Photographer Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images
Posted today at 6:05 pm
America’s Cup World Series 2016 – Some action images by Ingrid Abery
Photographer Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images Photographer Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images
Posted today at 5:53 pm
Bumper action on Day 1 of Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series
Feedback from teams put this down to a tight start line, tidal influence and the constantly shifting breeze to the right Feedback from all of the teams put this down to a tight start line, tidal influence and the constantly shifting breeze to the right resulting in 'bumper car' action that kept spectators on their toes, wondering what was going to happen next.
Posted today at 5:18 pm
ORC World Championship 2016 – Final race action shots by Max Ranchi
Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from final race Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from final race
Posted today at 4:27 pm
Governor's Cup – Tough fight on Day 3
Racing began at noon with lighter winds and warmer weather with temperatures in the high 80’s. 2016 Governor's Cup - Racing began at noon with lighter winds and warmer weather with temperatures in the high 80’s. As the day went on, there were big swells. There was a warning that life guards were tracking a ten foot Great White Shark in the vicinity of the weather mark. However, it was not seen again throughout the day.
Posted today at 5:34 am
Teams gather for Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup
Sunday sees the start of racing at the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, where eight teams will be competing 2016 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Sunday sees the start of racing at the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, where eight teams will be competing in this the 13th edition of the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial championship for three boat teams with Corinthian crews.
Posted today at 5:02 am
Transat Québec Saint-Malo - Gonzalo Botin (Tales II) takes Class40 win
Transat Québec Saint-Malo - Gonzalo Botin (Tales II) takes the Class40 win in Saint-Malo While it started on July 10 resembling a friendly Sunday regatta on the St. Lawrence River, the fleet racing in close contact, this ninth edition of the Transat Québec Saint-Malo presented in collaboration with the City of Lévis is drawing to a more dramatic close today as competition in the lead-up to the finish line remains fierce after many of the racers spent the night in the English Channel
Posted today at 4:33 am
Island courses shake up Day 3 of Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek 2016
After a short delay this morning fleet headed out to a start-line off Lone Island for the third day of racing 2016 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek - After a short delay this morning when the PRO kept the fleet onshore, the AP was down at 09:45 and the fleet headed out to a start-line off Lone Island for the third day of racing at the 2016 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek.
Posted today at 1:10 am