sail-world.com -- Sydney Wollongong Ocean Pointscore Race - About Time victorious
Sydney Wollongong Ocean Pointscore Race - About Time victorious
Sat, 22 Mar 2014
Continuing on from his fourth consecutive Ocean Pointscore Series win last weekend, Julian Farren-Price and his ever reliable Cookson 12 About Time have once again delivered an impressive performance to win the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Sydney Wollongong race and secured the win in the Autumn Ocean Pointscore Series.
The 42 nautical mile race, which had not been conducted since 2001, was re-introduced this season as part of the Autumn Ocean Pointscore Series by the Sailing Committee after receiving feedback from competitors.
'It’s a fabulous way to end the season – given the race we’ve had today and what we’ve been able to achieve throughout the series,' Farren-Price said this evening. 'The race was one of the more pleasant sails I’ve had this season.
'We put the spinnaker up at South Head and carried it all the way to the finish line. We continued our season rivalry with Midnight Rambler but the conditions favoured us more today. They had to run much deeper than we did with their spinnaker set-up.'
Midnight Rambler , the Ker 40 owner by Ed Psaltis, Bob Thomas and Michael Bencsik, finished third to About Time overall with The Philosophers’ Club (Peter Sorensen’s Sydney 36CR) splitting the two. About Time also secured the ORCi division win from Midnight Rambler and Black Sheep (Derek and Martin Sheppard’s Beneteau First 40).
'We played the shifts well and got a great exit out of the Harbour. We stuck to the eastern shoreline in the Harbour and maintained a more inshore course, as there appeared to be more breeze,' Bencsik said.
'We gybed in around Bondi and got one knot of current behind us which helped push us down the coastline. We had a beautiful spinnaker run getting 13-14 knots of boat speed and saw a top wind speed of 18 knots.
'We covered our angles to keep About Time and Never a Dull Moment behind us. All credit to Julian (Farren-Price) he hung in there with us – we couldn’t get the distance on him,' Bencsik added.
Racing got underway for the fleet of 13 from the start line at Point Piper at 10:00am in an eight - ten knot north easterly breeze on calm seas. Southern Excellence II, Andrew Wenham’s Volvo 70, was the first boat out of the Heads and once she turned right to head for Wollongong in the more north easterly breeze, she never looked back.
'We had a good start and got away from the rest of the fleet pretty early and out a few miles on them,' Wenham said
'It was a lovely sail with the breeze behind us. It was a great hit-out in preparation for the Gosford Lord Howe Island Yacht race in just over two weeks’ time. My boat manager David Burt did a great job in setting the boat up and the crew work was excellent.'
Naturally, Southern Excellence was the first boat to cross the finish line at 14:33:59, with an elapsed time of 4hrs, 33 mins and 59 seconds; but narrowly missed creating a new race record by 23 mins and 49 seconds.
Brindabella, when she was owned George Snow, set the race record of 4hrs, 10mins and 10secs in 2000.
Midnight Rambler, the Ker 40 owner by Ed Psaltis, Bob Thomas and Michael Bencsik, finished second on line some 50 mins behind Southern Excellence II.
Bencsik and the Midnight Rambler crew will also sail in the upcoming Gosford Lord Howe Island race before heading to Auckland to compete in the Auckland Fiji race. 'Today was great training run for us.'
Stephen Trevillion’s Jarkan 12.5 Online secured the PHS win from About Time and Black Sheep. The Sydney Wollongong race was the final race in the Autumn Ocean Pointscore and About Time secured the IRC and ORCi series win, whilst Les Goodridge’s X-50 Wax Lyrical won the PHS division.
Gordon Bradbury, the Lord Mayor of Wollongong City, presented the trophies to all race place getters at the prizegiving this evening.
All crews were enjoying the hospitality of the Wollongong Yacht Club who had put on a seafood BBQ. 'It’s a wonderful sight to see all these boats rafted up – Never A Dull, Midnight Rambler, Chancellor and Quetzalcoatl,' Farren-Price added. 'It’s been a great race and we’d love to come back next year.'
The non-pointscore Wollongong to Sydney return race will commence at 10am, tomorrow, Sunday 23 March with the Bureau of Meteorology predicting a southerly breeze of 15-20 knots.