Club Pre-Christmas Harbour Series day 3 - Farr 40s dominate

Miss Conduct found just enough breeze to carry a kite in Group 4 - Combined Club Harbour Series 2011
Rob Cruse
Combined Club Pre-Christmas Harbour Series, hosted by Bellerive Yacht Club, was held on the River Derwent. On an afternoon of constant rain and light winds that swung up to 50 degrees, Farr 40s today dominated the Group 1 PHS results on day three.

Craig Clifford made his first appearance in the Series with his Farr 40 POW, beating his one-design opponents and taking first place on PHS corrected time in the first race for Group 1. Stephen Boyes’ Wired took the honours in the second race of the afternoon with POW runner-up.

Despite the wind not getting above 10 knots, Bellerive Yacht Club’s sailing manager Chris Sheehan managed to get in two windward/leeward races for Groups 1 and 2 and the International Dragon class, and one scheduled harbour race for Group 4, 5 and 6.

However, some of the tailenders were still drifting over the line as, across the river, Jessica Watson and her young crew were completing their ‘dry’ (but, in fact, very wet) run over the Sydney Hobart course, later berthing at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania.

A soaked Sheehan arrived back at Bellerive Yacht Club with yachts still finishing in Group 6, with the finish line of Victoria Esplanade. The last yacht crossed the line around 17:30.

Racing did not get under way until 14:15 for Group 1 and then were a short delay in starting Group 2 because of a 50 degree wind shift.

While a win on PHS is a popular victory, the more significant results are under the rating systems of AMS and IRC, with IRC the rating system used to decide the overall winner of next month’s Rolex Sydney Hobart and AMS the principal rating system for the Optus Launceston to Hobart Race.

POW led the fleet home in the first race of the afternoon, taking honours under PHS handicaps from the two Bellerive Yacht Club rivals Tas Paints (Ian Stewart) and Host plus Executive (Jeff Cordell), the Mumm 36s finishing just seconds apart.

Another Farr 40, Stephen Boyes’ Wired proved the faster in the second race for Group 1, also winning the PHS division on corrected time, again with Tas Paints just beating Host Plus Executive for second place.

IRC honours in the first race went to Don Calvert’s Castro 40 Intrigue by just 44 seconds from Sydney Hobart contender Whistler (David Rees) and Auch (Richard Scarr). Race 2 saw Whistler, a MBD 36, placed first on corrected time for Tony Williams IMX 38 Martela, which is also entered for the Rolex Sydney Hobart.

The AMS division again maintained the duel between BYC’s Farr 1104 Invincible, skippered by Harold Clark, and Intrigue, Don Calvert’s Castro 40 from across the Derwent at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania.

Invincible won both races, beating Intrigue by just 2 seconds on corrected time in the first race with Whistler third, and winning the second race from Whistler by 55 seconds, Tas Paints placing second, with Intrigue slipping to fourth place.

While the Farr 40s are racing within Group 1, their scratch results are scored separately with POW and Wired each scoring a win and a second, with War Games (Wayne Banks-Smith) and Tilford Auto Group(Hughie Lewis) each scoring a third place.

After completing five races over three Combined Clubs Harbour Series race days, Rolex Sydney Hobart contender Whistler (David Rees) is on 19 points in the Group 1 PHS category, with Tas Paints (Ian Stewart) on 19 points and Host Plus Executive (Jeff Cordell) on 27 points.

Whistler also heads the IRC category scoreboard with 9.5 point, from Intrigue (Don Calvert) on 10 points and Invincible (Harold Clark) on 13.5 points. Invincible has a commanding lead in the AMS category winning every race so far to be on 5 points. Intrigue is on 13 points, Whistler on 15 points.

In Group 2, Chad Grafton had a good day with his former half tonner Half Hearted, winning the first race and placing second in race two.

In race one Half Hearted took line honours on corrected time won from Wildfire (Team Wildfire) and Dave Willans’ Trouble. In race two, Hot August Night (Nat Morgan) also scored an outright win, taking handicap honours from Half Hearted and Silicon Ship (Clark Wyatt).

After today’s racing in Group 2, Clark Wyatt’s Silicon Ship retains its top place with a seventh and third to be on 17 points. Sharing equal second are Trouble (Dave Willans) and Rousabout (Graham Inglis) on 21 points.

Yachts in Groups 4, 5 and 6 sailed one race around harbour marks, starting from the mid-river committee boat but finishing off the BYC finish box below Victoria Esplanade at Bellerive. For finishing yachts, it proved a trying exercise as the south-easterly breeze disappearing as they sailed past the Bluff.

The Saint (John Lewis) sails slowly past Bellerive on the River Derwent in Group 4, finishing third in the race - Combined Club Harbour Series 2011
Rob Cruse

Group 4 saw an outright win for Peter Haros’ Wings Three from Eliza (Kevin Jacobson) and The Saint (John Lewis) while in Group 5 Grizzly Adams (Joel Bultman) also scored an outright win. Don’t Bug Me (Peter Bugg) placed second, Trick Cyclist (Graeme Harrington) third.

Malcolm Cooper’s 32-year-old Kaiulani took line honours in Group 6, but lost first place on corrected time to Steven Brown’s King Billy, with third place going to Engenue (Nigel Johnston). King Billy’s win has lifted the boat to a clear leader in Combined Clubs Harbour Series Group 6.

In Group 4, three yachts now share first place in the progressive pointscore: Hornet (Neville Georgeson), Wings Three (Peter Haros) and Eliza (Kevin Jacobson)

In Group 5, Don’t Bug Me (Peter Bugg) has split the tie with Rotary (Norm Brundle) with Grizzly Adams (Joel Bultman) also coming into contention in the pointscore.

Miss Conduct found just enough breeze to carry a kite in Group 4 - Combined Club Harbour Series 2011
Rob Cruse