With competition tight at the top of the leader board in the overall series pointscore, the ninth straight day of rain in Sydney did not deter the 106 competitors in Race nine, the penultimate race of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Winter Series.
Dick Cawse’s Vanguard has taken the series lead in Division A1.
It could be a case of third time lucky for Novocastrian Kym Butler and his Archambault 40 One For the Road as he holds onto a one point lead in Division C, having finished second in today’s race. Butler and his crew make the journey to the start line each week from Newcastle and it appears this dedication could pay off and bring him a divisional win in his third season of competing in the CYCA Winter Series.
'Today’s conditions really suited us – the breeze was in the 10 knots range. I was happy to have Cyrene three and Reve behind us,' Butler added. 'Great crew work as always – the crew tells me that I’m lucky to be on board sometimes! I’m very keen to come back next week and see how it all pans out.'
Quattro (Jason Daisley’s Oceanis 43) won Division C today with Pennant Hills Ford (Ian Creak Beneteau 47.7) third. One For the Road leads the overall pointscore from Cyrene 3 (Michael Selby) with Reve (Kevin Whelan) a further four points behind.
Dick Cawse’s third place in Division A1 today rocketed Vanguard into the overall lead in the series pointscore by two points from H/H Equinox II (Anthony Dunn) with Brindabella (Jim Cooney) just half a point behind in third.
'It was a lovely sailing breeze seven-nine knots that varied a little from south south west to south west. The breeze got a bit soft as we were going across to Cannae Point and then at Manly but we had a nice little reach and spinnaker run and managed to not get rained on,' Cawse said. Upshot (Wayne Keavy) came away with the win from Duende (Damian Parkes) and Vanguard.
Adrian Van Bellen loves his J122 Jackpot and the CYCA Winter Series.
Adrian Van Bellen loves his J122 Jackpot and the CYCA Winter Series. Van Bellen was a late starter in this series and he has secured three first places and one second in as many weeks in Division B and today was no exception.
'It was a fantastic sail – we were fortunate to have a good start and got the breeze throughout the course. The J122 is a really slippery boat and today’s conditions suited her to a tee. This boat is a big step up from our Compass 28 and we’ve spent a lot of time learning how to sail her,' Van Bellen said
'Ray (Entwistle) who we purchased the boat from and Ian Short have been great providing us with lots of tips and teaching about all the inner workings of the boat. We’ve managed to sort out a good crew and it feels like it’s all coming together. We’ve had a great run – almost too good to be true but I’m thoroughly enjoying myself.'
CYCA Commodore Howard Piggott and his Beneteau First 40 Flying Cloud finished second to Jackpot today. 'It was an enjoyable race – we had an interesting start and some great competition around the course. We had Jackpot in our sights the entire race and we managed to catch Rum Jungle on the last work.
'The Winter Series is part of our crew training in preparation for the Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race in a few weeks. It’s a good result for us,' Commodore Piggott added.
Race Officer Robyn Morton got the Sydney 38s away in three-five knots of breeze that was just west of south and just five minutes later when the rest of the fleet started the breeze had built to seven knots and moved to the south west.
Erring on the side of caution given the rain showers that were predicted for the afternoon and with signs that the breeze was abating, Morton elected to shorten to course. No sooner had the call been made, the breeze freshened to 12 knots.
Greg Mason and Barb Maunsell’s Davidson 37 Cruiser Sinewave grabbed the win in Division F from Mortgage Choice Rumba (Robert Carr, Stephanie Cook and Kerry Burke) and Defiance (Nicole Shrimpton); with Mortgage Choice Rumba holding onto a two point lead in the overall series pointscore.
'It was another typical day on water for this Winter Series,' Greg Mason said. 'It’s been a difficult but great series – we haven’t had the steady westerlies this season and we’ve had to sail quite hard just to get around the course. There was breeze under the clouds today but when the rain came in, the breeze dropped off.
'The incoming tide at the start of the race cause some questions for competitors. Our decision to go up the middle of the course was a good one as the incoming tide wasn’t as significant and we made some gains up to the top mark.
'We got some good lifts around Sow and Pigs and managed to pick the right shifts. There were no mistakes today and we were well ahead of Rumba (who we measure our performance against) so that was pleasing,' Mason added.
Its a family affair aboard Noakes Blue.
It was a family affair for Erin McKnight and the team on Noakes Blue as she took Division H honours – Erin was at the helm, her father was calling tactics and husband Shaun was on bow; relegating Sean Langman on Noakes Red into third place in Division H. The rivalry between the three Noakes modernised Thunderbirds is intense with Noakes White (that is usually skippered by Sean Langman’s son Pete) holding onto third place in the series pointscore by three points with Noakes Blue in fourth position (on countback) from Noakes Red.
'There’s some strong competition amongst the Noakes boats,' Erin McKnight said. 'I was getting nervous trying to hold off Sean (Noakes Red) the whole way up the beat. I was determined to sail the race in front of me rather than the race behind - the boys kept a look out though - Everything just came together.'
Both Erin and Shaun sailed onboard Langman’s Maluka of Kermandie in last year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart and had the honour of being the last boat into Constitution Dock on New Year’s Eve.
Derek and Martin Sheppard’s Beneteau 45 Black Sheep that was second in Division A2 was the lucky winner of the Noakes Group Lift and 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 NSC Mahligai (Murray Owens and Jenny Kings) Division A2; Bling (Jack Goluzd) Division D; Devil’s Lair (Barry Crook) Division E; Outlandish (Sean Barrett) Division G; Valkyrie (Christian Nicks) Division J1; L’Attitude (Robert Hunt, Jon Short and Miles Bastick) Division J2; Stormy Petrel (Kevin O’Shea) Division K and The Goat (Bruce Foye) Sydney 38 Division.
The CYCA Winter Series pointscore draws to a close next week with Race 10 scheduled to start at 1125hours. Current divisional leaders are: Vanguard (Dick Cawse) Division A1; Kerisma (Grant Dawson and Brett Lawson) Division A2; Assassin (Clare Crawford) Division B; One For the Road (Kym Butler) Division C; Tomato (Nigel Smyth) Division D; Devils Lair (Barry Crooks) Division E; Mortgage Choice Rumba (Burke, Carr, Cook) Division F; Out of Sight (Matt Wilkinson) Division G; Broulee (Karen Hawkett and Brett Pearce) 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 The Goat (Bruce Foye) Sydney 38 Division.
The CYCA Winter Series will conclude with the Closing Ladies Day race for the Chris Lee trophy on 14 July.