Brisk southerly opens Cockburn Sound Regatta

The Sonar was designed for sailors with disabilities. Colin Harrison sailed it well. - Cockburn Sound Regatta
Bernie Kaaks
A 25-knot blustery southerly greeted the fleet for the passage race from Fremantle to Rockingham for the annual Cockburn Sound Regatta today. A tiny start boat sent competitors on their way despite rolling fiercely in the normally placid waters of Cockburn Sound. Winds up to 30 knots challenged the fleet but all arrived safely with minimal breakages reported.

Garth Curran’s Walk on the Wild Side was blind sided at the Division 1 start, pushing up the Marten 49 Sue Sea to ensure clean access to the line, but failing to notice Sue Sea’s sister ship Optimus Prime coming from beneath her, resulting in a frantic last minute luff and a late start. Despite the inauspicious beginning however, Walk on the Wild Side recovered well to claim first place on both IRC and performance handicap.

In the job and main division, the catamaran Whip It maintained excellent boat speed and although its inability to point as high as the mono’s in its division, finished first and also won on handicap. With reaching and running legs over the next few days, this little rocket ship will be hard to beat.

Gary Martin’s beautifully restored 1929 metre boat Acrospire was always going to be the headline act for the newly Created classic Division. The yacht is a real head turner wherever she goes, and surprised many commentators when she won last month’s Fremantle Harbour Classic, a thirty boat pursuit race run within the confines of Fremantle Harbour.

Acrospire did not disappoint, crossing the line some four minutes ahead of Peter Joiner’s Sir Henry Merkin, and winning the Classic Division on handicap.

The Longboat (Ole Otness) narrowly won the Premier Cruising Division ahead of Kim Jamieson’s Intension.

Division 2 has an interesting mix of entries, ranging from Mirko Moeller’s Leonie, which unfortunately retired from today’s feeder race, down to Colin Harrison’s Sonar, Noel Robins. The Sonar is a purpose designed boat to be sailed by people with disabilities, and it is great to see Paralympian gold medallist Harrison, joined by a crew who also have disabilities, enjoying their sport as much as any of the able bodied sailors in the regatta.

Dieter Strauss won the division result today with Unhinged, ahead of the S97 Mistress Quickly, which might have enjoyed a better results had she made it to the start on time.

The feeder race does not count for overall points, so racing begins in earnest on Thursday morning.





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