by Mike Sabey
Club Marine Series - The Forty knot gale that lashed Port Phillip on Saturday, decimated the small Club Marine Series fleet brave enough to venture out and also washed a man over board off the fifty footer leading the Division Zero race.
Shogun climbs a nasty wave off Sandringham - Club Marine Series
Rob Hanna’s TP 52 Shogun (RYCV) which was leading in heat one by almost a mile, was scorching down wind under spinnaker in white knuckle conditions doing twenty four knots when near disaster struck!
With out warning, a rouge wave across the deck washed their main sheet hand Ben Morrison-Jack out under the safety rails and overboard.
Rob said after finishing, 'Despite it blowing 30 knots at the time, I crashed tacked the boat so that we wouldn’t end up a mile or so down the course from Ben.
'We were able to get back to him and safely get him aboard within 15 minutes. He was OK and obviously cold and wet, so we sailed out the race to finish second on handicap, but as the winds were forecast to increase further we decided to not start in heat two.'
Phil Simpfendorfer’s Veloce (SYC) sailed more conservatively, to win boat heats so giving it a hat trick of wins on the trot, that has lifted the boat in to fourth in the standings on forty points, behind Alan Whiteley’s TP52 series leader Cougar II (SYC on 20.5 pts).
Bruce McCraken’s Beneteau 45 Ikon (Hobsons Bay YC) sailed a conservative gear-saving race to finish fourth and continues to hold the division one pole position (on 11 pts), despite Grant Botica Adams 10 Executive Decision (RYCV 20.5 pts) taking the honors in Saturday’s heat. From the division’s 15 starters there were six retirements including Ninety Seven, which suffered a badly ripped main sail.
Smaller Boat Divisions races postponed
Sandringham Yacht Club that conducted Saturday’s heats, wisely decided to postpone the smaller Division two and three boat heats.
Division Two series still wide open
With possibly only two races left in the Series, David Ellis’s new division two Archambault A31 speedster Penfold Audi Sports (RYCV) on 5 pts holds a narrow lead over Terry Hall’s Absolut (Sandringham YC) on 8 pts.
Young Lion heads leader board in Division Three
Michael Manson’s Sandringham YC based 8.9m Young Lion will carry its big series lead of two firsts and third (5 pts) over Brendan Kruger’s 10.35m Wavelength (SYC) on 15 pts in to the penultimate Keep Cancer at Bay fund raising race on March 5th.
The next Club Marine Series race day will be sailed on Saturday 5th March, to be conducted by Sandringham Yacht Club with Division Zero starting at 1155 and all other divisions at 1355 hours.
2011Club Marine Series at a glance
5 March 1155 and 1355 Hours – conducted by Keep Cancer at Bay
9 April 1155 and 1355 Hours – conducted by Hobsons Bay Yacht Club
Club Marine Insurance is the naming rights sponsor for the Series which was first staged in 1992. Club Marine is a long term supporter and active participant in the great Australian marine lifestyle, that includes recreational boating and racing.
As the country’s largest provider of pleasure craft insurance, it is also proud that it’s been protecting the insurance needs of Australian boaters for more than 40 years.
More Info: www.clubmarineseries.com.au www.yachtingvictoria.com.au