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Red shirts prevail at Sail Port Stephens

by Lisa Ratcliff on 13 Apr 2014
Beau Geste, Sail Port Stephens, DAY 3, Sunday 13 April 2014. Jon Reid Saltwater Images http://www.saltwaterimages.com.au
Sail Port Stephens 2014 - The red shirts have prevailed at the NSW IRC Championship staged over three days under the Pantaenius Sail Port Stephens banner.

Karl Kwok’s mighty TP52 Team Beau Geste, sailing for the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, overcame Tony Kirby’s Ker 46 Patrice from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia in IRC division 1 results by four points. Third was Steven Proud’s Kernan 44 Swish from Middle Harbour Yacht Club.

Kwok’s boat captain Gavin Brady and a few of the older heads are breaking in a new young Kiwi team and the whiz kids, resplendent in red, showed plenty of potential.

At this evening’s trophy presentation, 24 year-old helmsman Will Tiller described what it was like driving a TP52 at 24 knots of boat speed, the equivalent of 44kph, when the ground’s moving and rising and the wind’s propelling the boat headlong. 'It feels manageable as long as everything’s under control. Today was a bit awkward with the big swell, but it still felt good.'

Brady says the biggest lesson the young guys learnt during the state title was seamanship; preserving the boat and thinking ahead, particularly in today’s 3-4 metre swell. 'Whether it’s the America’s Cup or Sail Port Stephens you can’t go airborne and break the boat. Then you don’t finish the race. Good seamanship is essential, and often underestimated.'

A natural phenomenon Brady hadn’t encountered in all his years of international competition occurred offshore today when sharks swam downwind with the boat and crossed the TP5’s bow. 'I’ve never seen so many sharks…maybe 10…they definitely weren’t dolphins.'

Team Beau Geste is heading to Newcastle for the Audi IRC Australian Championship where there will be more competition, more boat-on-boat racing and more pressure admits Tiller.

Kirby and his 'new look' Patrice crew are also looking forward to the rematch. 'We had our best race against Beau Geste in the light stuff, one mistake and we were there. At Newcastle there will be other bigger boats and they won’t be able to sail their own race quite as much,' he said smiling.

In division 2 Roger Hickman’s red-shirted Wild Rose crew battled on with a torn mainsail for the final two windward/leeward races to put a regatta-winning eight point margin between the Farr 43 and Paul Clitheroe’s Beneteau 45 Balance, which snuck into second place on corrected time ahead of Andy Kearnan’s Summit 35 L’Altra Donna.

'It was a fantastic, well organised weekend and we loved racing against Paul, the consummate competitor and L’Altra Donna, a very exciting rival,' said Hickman, the new IRC state champion.



On the handbrake that is heading for the bin (he promises) Hickman had this to say, 'We finished the first race nursing our torn main then in between races we hand stitched and patched it then three-quarters of the way up the first beat in the next race it blew again. We are pretty resilient. We never say die.'

Aboard for only her second regatta and first notable win was young Sam Scott from the Sunshine Coast, daughter of Andrew Scott who has put to sea with Hickman for the past 12 years. Though wet and cold as they tied up this afternoon the 18 year-old was beaming from ear-to-ear and according to reports proved herself a star, as well as helping to bring the average age of the crew down.



Wild Rose is not far off its 30th birthday celebrations and though the crew will always take the victory, the boat’s age and historical value does take some of the pressure off being all-conquering says the skipper. 'Whether we win or lose we have fun, and the old girl’s history is always present.'

In the MC38 fleet Leslie Green’s Ginger crew managed to turn their fortunes around over six races to out-gun their classmates. Two bullets in today’s three windward/leewards were enough to put Ginger onto the podium ahead of John Bacon’s Dark Star, second on a countback, and offset yesterday’s very public sandbar grounding that cost them race two of the series and earned them maximum points, and jibes.




Those lucky enough to be part of the Pantaenius NSW IRC Championship have enjoyed the perfect going-over in a wide variety of conditions prior to Thursday’s commencement of the Audi IRC Australian Championship at Newcastle.

Friday was light, hot and sloppy offshore, Saturday was a heavy inshore day on flat water with rain squalls then sunshine and today, Sunday, April 13, the fleet encountered 15 knots gusting over 20 from the south west and big seas offshore on a grey, wet and very mild autumn day.

Principal Race Officer Denis Thompson was delighted he and the race committee managed to complete the schedule and offer fair racing each day in very mixed conditions.

Owners opting to contest both the Port Stephens Trophy and Pantaenius Commodore’s Cup cruising series will be
back tomorrow for the second half of the annual regatta that began in 2008 and has steadily flourished ever since.
Sail Port Stephens is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.





Provisional Results

Updated:  13/04/2014  14:12:14

Series Results [IRC Div1] up to Race 6
Place Ties Sail No Boat Name Skipper From Sers Score Race 6 Race 5 Race 4 Race 3 Race 2 Race 1
1   IVB1997 TEAM BEAU GESTE Karl Kwok RHKYC 7.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 2.0
2   360 PATRICE Tony Kirby CYCA 11.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 1.0
3   226 SWISH Steven Proud MHYC 21.0 3.0 3.0 3.0 4.0 3.0 5.0T
4   10101 H/H EQUINOX II Anthony Dunn CYCA 23.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 3.0 5.0 3.0
5   11011 ANGER MANAGEMENT Phil Arnall NCYC 35.0 7.0S 7.0C 5.0 7.0S 4.0 5.0T
6   5200 COUGAR 11 Anthony Lyall RYCT 42.0 7.0S 7.0C 7.0C 7.0S 7.0C 7.0C

(Ties: S=Score R=Race B= Bettered. Penalties: A=ARB B=BFD C=DNC D=DNE E=ESP F=DNF G=RDG I=DPI L=Late Entrant M=DGM N=ENP O=OCS P=Protest Q=DSQ R=RET S=DNS T=TLE U=DUT V=AVG X=EXC Z=ZFP Y=SCP #=NoData [x.y]=Discarded)



Provisional Results

Updated:  13/04/2014  14:12:14

Series Results [IRC Div2] up to Race 6
Place Ties Sail No Boat Name Skipper From Sers Score Race 6 Race 5 Race 4 Race 3 Race 2 Race 1
1   4343 WILD ROSE Roger Hickman CYCA 9.0 1.0 2.0 1.0 2.0 2.0 1.0
2   7771 BALANCE Paul Clitheroe CYCA 17.0 2.0 1.0 2.0 1.0 8.0 3.0
3   6935 L'ALTRA DONNA Andy Kearnan CYCA 20.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 3.0 3.0 2.0
4   8009 OCC. COARSE LANG ONE Robert Alder RPAYC 28.0 3.0 6.0 5.0 4.0 6.0 4.0
5   33345 BLACK SHEEP Derek & Martin Shepp WYC 30.0 7.0 3.0 3.0 6.0 4.0 7.0
6   35135 CROWDED HAUS Graeme Neuhaus DSC 35.5 5.0 8.0 6.5 5.0 5.0 6.0
7   5845 BOTANY ACCESS COCOMO Justin Brownbill MHYC 41.0 6.0 5.0 8.0 7.0 10.0 5.0
8   16129 WAILEA Neil Padden MHYC 53.0 12.0S 7.0 9.0 10.0 7.0 8.0
9   M136 SPIRIT Ian Bower LMYC 56.0 12.0S 12.0F 12.0C 9.0 1.0 10.0
10   36111 OUTLANDISH Chris Heraghty RPAYC/RM 56.5 12.0S 12.0F 6.5 8.0 9.0 9.0
11   11010 TOMATO Nigel Smyth MHYC 72.0 12.0S 12.0C 12.0C 12.0S 12.0C 12.0C

(Ties: S=Score R=Race B= Bettered. Penalties: A=ARB B=BFD C=DNC D=DNE E=ESP F=DNF G=RDG I=DPI L=Late Entrant M=DGM N=ENP O=OCS P=Protest Q=DSQ R=RET S=DNS T=TLE U=DUT V=AVG X=EXC Z=ZFP Y=SCP #=NoData [x.y]=Discarded)
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