In Race 8 of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Winter Series the big winter chill and rain did not dampen the spirits of the 90 competitors, with the southerly breeze allowing a full course to be sailed.
Brindabella recovered well from losing their spinnaker to win Division
CYCA Past Commodore David Kellett was at the helm of Jim Cooney’s Brindabella, in Cooney’s absence and came away with the win in Division A1, despite losing a spinnaker mid-race.
'We had a nice breeze for most of the race. On the first beat, we hooked into a good breeze and got away, then on the beat back from Quarantine we saw the breeze changing on the eastern side. We managed to get into the breeze, catch up and overtake Vanguard and Quest.
'The boys did really well recovering from losing the kite – they just put another one up and the boat kept rolling along. The breeze did get lighter as the day went on but we had enough of a lead that it didn’t slow us down too much,' Kellett added. Vanguard (Dick Cawse) finished second with Quest (Bob Steel) third.
Today’s result brings Brindabella into third place in the overall series pointscore behind H/H Equinox II (Anthony Dunn) and Vanguard with two more races left in the series and one more drop, that allows the boats to discard their two highest scores of the series, to be applied.
Race Officer Denis Thompson sent the fleet on course B which caught some on the wrong side of the start line. 'After this morning’s downpour, it stopped raining about 30 minutes before the start and a nice little southerly kicked in of 5-12 knots. It was only in the last third of the race that the rain came down and killed the breeze.
'The breeze then flicked to the south east, lightened and continued going east with the last 30 or 40 boats having to beat back to the finish, whilst those that had finished earlier were able to reach to the finish.' Temperatures hovered between 12-14°C as the Bureau of Meteorology issued a weather warning for localised heavy rain falling on much of the NSW coast today and tomorrow. Some parts of Sydney had received half their average monthly rainfall in the last 24 hours.
Matt Wilkinson and his crew onboard the Masrm 920 Out of Sight were short staffed today but managed to come away with their second win in as many weeks and hold onto a three point lead in the Division G overall series pointscore.
'We were a bit short-staffed today – a few people pulled their hamstrings,' Wilkinson joked. 'We had a great race and we managed to miss the rain. Everything went really well – we were the last boat to start in our division today and we were able to see the shifts in the breeze and pick the right course to avoid the holes.
'The breeze was a bit up and down but we managed to keep up our boat speed and round up our fellow competitors. We only managed to catch Marigot Bay on the last reach as we headed home. Our long standing rival Outlandish (Sean Barrett’s Jutson 31) started three minutes ahead of us and we managed to round them up early on. They were short-staffed too!,' Wilkinson added. Marigot Bay (Merryl Semple’s Peterson 30 Sp) finished second behind Out of Sight with Velocity (Brian Carrick’s Beneteau First 31.7) third.
Tim Ryan’s J109 Vamos match raced with Robert Skol’s Scarlett O’Hara for the entire race and emerged the victor in Division D. 'I really enjoyed the race today – things went pretty perfectly in terms of crew work. This is the first series that we’ve done semi-seriously and we were on the right side of most of the shifts.
'We chased Scarlett O’Hara all day and managed to get them on the last leg at the bottom mark and hold them off at the finish,' Ryan added. Two minutes separated Vamos and Scarlett O’Hara with Akela (Alan Mather) third. Vamos sits in second place in the Division D overall series pointscore behind Tomato (Nigel Smyth) with L’Altra Donna (Andy Kearnan) third.
The gods must have been smiling on Ian Creak’s Beneteau 47.7 Pennant Hills Ford – they managed to finish the race despite a one metre tear in their headsail and win Division C. 'I spent the last work thinking 'I hope we make it over the finish line before the sail goes'. We did what we do best in light airs and are happy with the result. Our navigator made all the right calls today and we went round the marks in the right direction. We battled with Reve and Into the Mystic throughout the course.
'Today gave us the opportunity to get a bit of wet weather practice in before the upcoming Sydney Gold Coast yacht race. It will be my 20th race north and I’m keen on improving our results from last year,' Creak added. Reve (Kevin Whelan’s Beneteau 45) finished second to Pennant Hills Ford with Into the Mystic (Arthur Psaltis and Jon Ross’ Hanse 430e) third. Reve is on equal points with Cyrene 3 (Michael Selby) in the overall series pointscore but Cyrene 3 leads on countback, with Kym Butler’s One for the Road one point behind in third.
Brian Carrick’s Beneteau First 31.7 Velocity that placed third in Division G was also the lucky winner of the Noakes Group Lift & Stand package. Noakes Group provides a lift and stand package each week of the CYCA Winter Series to one lucky competitor, drawn at random from all divisional placegetters.
Other winners today include St Hilliers Quest (Tim Casey) Division A2; More Witchcraft (John Cameron) Division B; Crusader (Jonathon Green) Division E; Perfect Match (Juliet Pegler) Division F; Sea Rug Hoo Ha (Peter Howes) Division H; Europa (David Mason) Division J1, InCahoots (Patrick and Roberta Easton) Division J2; Stormy Petrel (Kevin O’Shea) Division K and Utopia (John Messenger) Sydney 38 Division.
The CYCA Winter Series pointscore continues next week with Race 9, the penultimate race of the series scheduled to start at 1125hours. Current divisional leaders are: H/H Equinox II (Anthony Dunn) Division A1; Kerisma (Grant Dawson and Brett Lawson) Division A2; Assassin (Clare Crawford) Division B; Cyrene 3 (Michael Selby) Division C; Tomato (Nigel Smyth) Division D; Krakatoa (Don Young) Division E; Perfect Match (Juliet Pegler) Division F; Out of Sight (Matt Wilkinson) Division G; Sea Rug Hoo Ha (Peter Howes) Division H; Valkyrie (Christian Nicks) Division J1; L’Attitude (Robert Hunt, Jon Short and Miles Bastick) Division J2; Stormy Petrel (Kevin O’Shea) Division K and Utopia (John Messenger) Sydney 38 Division.
For full CYCA Winter Series results log on to CYCA website