Cockburn Sound Regatta 2012 - Competition gets serious

Peter Hickson's Beneteau First 35 has a comfortable lead in the Division 1 IRC fleet. - Cockburn Sound Regatta
Bernie Kaaks
The Cockburn Sound Regatta 2012 gets even serious with a slew of incidents taking place everywhere, including a collision of two boats that resulted to their disqualification from the race.

Perhaps the 40 degree heat was partly responsible, but whatever the cause there were some sensations on the waters Cockburn Sound yesterday. One yacht warily ventured into the prestart area for the fleet ahead of him, resulting in a collapsed mast. A little while later, a little Noelex 25 tangled with the largest yacht in the fleet at a leeward mark rounding, resulting in solid contact and an evening in the protest room, where both yachts were disqualified.

Mark Robins' Shaw 650 Shaw Thing was first and fastest in the second last race of the series. - Cockburn Sound Regatta
Bernie Kaaks

In a separate incident, a windward/leeward keep clear argument also wound up in the protest room. For a regatta with the motto 'serious sailors having serious fun', two protests hearings arising from one day’s racing is unprecedented.

Jay Lawry's H28 Karoleeya is well place in a closely bunched Classic fleet. - Cockburn Sound Regatta
Bernie Kaaks

Unswayed by the drama, Peter Hickson’s Beneteau First 35 Mulberry continued on its winning way and now has four wins and a second from five races. With one to go, and a clear four point buffer over Graeme Monkhouse’s J122 Lithium, Mulberry seems a certain winner of the Division 1 IRC trophy.

Mistress Quickly is looking for a podium finish - Cockburn Sound Regatta
Bernie Kaaks

Division 2 included a catamaran, Greg Hill’s Firefly 850 Whip It. The mix is every handicapper’s worst nightmare, with radical differences in performance in different breeze strengths. Take nothing away from the performance of Hill and his crew though.

Paralympic champion Graeme Martin narrowly leads the jib and main fleet with Sand Crabs Disco - Cockburn Sound Regatta
Bernie Kaaks

After an indifferent fifth in the first race, conducted in very light air and shortened, he has stayed a step ahead of the handicapper to record four straight wins to lead the division from the ever consistent S97, Nigel Kingdon’s Mistress Quickly. Colin Harrison’s crew, all sailors with disabilities, have performed strongly in their little Sonar to hold down third place.

Only 2.5 points separates the first three yachts in the newly formed Classic Division, which is still led by Gary Martin’s International 9 metre, Acrospire, just half a point clear of Jay Lawry’s H28 Karoleeya.

Veteran skipper John Holder has been very consistent in the Jib and Main fleet. - Cockburn Sound Regatta
Bernie Kaaks

Despite a DSQ in her scoreline, John Percy’s Bonanza holds down second place in Division 3 just behind Ally Mounsey’s Austral 24, Lokman. The last race will be needed to sort out the leaderboard.

As might be expected, the strongest contest is in the largest division in the regatta – the Jib and Main fleet. Enormously popular with many regular racers who have taken the opportunity to leave their spinnakers at home and sail with a few mates, this division is booming. Last year’s overall winner, Neil Harrison’s Deckchairs Overboard, is just half a point off the lead behind Paralympic champion Graeme Martin in the GibSea 42, Sand Crabs Disco, but John Holder’s Plus 16 has been very consistent and is only a couple of points behind Deckchairs Overboard.

John Percy's Bonanza holding down second place in division 3 but has a DSQ in his scoreline. - Cockburn Sound Regatta
Bernie Kaaks

The forecast for the final day suggests that with breezes up to 12 to 14 knots, all the top placed yachts will have a good opportunity to consolidate their position on the points table.

Greg Hill's Firefly 850 has shown some impressive busts of speed to lead division 2. - Cockburn Sound Regatta
Bernie Kaaks

Full results are available at Sports Page under the Cruising Yacht Club tab.