Combined Clubs Harbour Series Day 2 - Mem scores Group 1 PHS double

Mem had better luck yesterday that in the previous harbour series race two when her genoa ripped out of the sail track - Combined Clubs Harbour Series Day 2
Rob Cruse
The Combined Clubs Harbour Series second day of racing got underway on Hobart's River Derwent yesterday, Saturday 27th October 2012.

The J35 Mem will be remembered as the yacht owned by then Sydney-based yachtsman John Quinn from which he was tossed overboard when a huge sea engulfed the boat in the Tasman Sea during the 1993 Sydney Hobart Race.

Quinn courageously dog-paddled for five hours before being sighted by an alerted tanker, then picked up by another yacht and finally taken to Eden.

Quinn sold Mem and she now lives a more sedate late racing on the River Derwent. Quinn returned to ocean racing despite his ordeal but has now retired from the sport and lives off Hobart.

Now owned by Paul Bouthard, Mem scored a Group 1 PHS double, albeit by seconds on corrected time, on day two of the Combined Clubs Harbour Series on the Derwent yesterday.

Apart from the near invincibility of Invincible under both AMS and IRC rating categories, the two wins by Paul Bouthard’s J35 under PHS handicaps was the stand-out performance in the handicap divisions.

In the Farr 40s, Wired had two wins, Telford Auto Group taking out the third windward/leeward race.

Bellerive Yacht Club conducted yesterday’s racing , starting all groups from mid-river, with the Farr 40s, Group 1 and 2 racing windward/leeward courses across the river and sending Groups 4 and 6 around a series of harbour marks.

Racing started in a cool 10-12 knot SW breeze which freshened to 18-21 knots before easing to as little as 5-6 knots and becoming shifty mid-afternoon. 'It was a difficult day for race officials and competitors,' was the comment from BYC sailing secretary Chris Sheehan.

Mem won the first race PHS category of race one by 35 seconds on corrected time from Tony Harman’s Masquerade by 35 seconds, third place going to Sally Rattle’s Archie. In race two Mem won from Don Calvert’s evergreen Intrigue by 23 seconds. Invincible, skippered by Darren Clark, was 44 seconds back in third place.

Invincible and Intrigue each won a race under IRC ratings. In the first race, Archie placed second with Martela (Tony Williams) third. Intrigue took line and IRC honours in the second race, winning from Invincible and the consistent Martela.

Invincible was just that under AMS scoring, winning the first race on corrected time from Wild West (Michael Denney) and Archie, the second race from Intrigue and Archie.

Silicon Ship (Clark Wyatt) had the best scoring day in Group 2, with a first and a second over the windward/leeward course. Just ten seconds separated Silicon Ship and runner-up Just in Time (Mick Sheehan) on corrected time in race one, with Jigsaw (Neil Snare) a close third.

Nat Morgan’s Hot August Night had an outright win in race two, taking PHS honours from Silicon Ship and Just in Time.

The Farr 40s again turned on close racing in the three windward/leewards, with Wired (Stephen Boyes) scoring two wins, the third going to Hughie Lewis’ Tilford Auto Group.

Wired clearly outsailed the fleet in race one, crossing the finish line ahead of Voodoo Chile (Lloyd Clark) and Tilford Auto Group. In race two, it was again Wired winning from Voodoo Chile, third place going to War Games (Wayne Banks-Smith). In the third race of the day, Tilford Auto Group broke away to win from Wired and War Games.

The rather benign conditions in which the Hobart Farr 40 fleet sailed yesterday were in marked contrast their likely interstate opponents for the inaugural Tasmanian championship experienced in the Queensland championships on Brisbane’s Moreton Bay yesterday.

With winds reaching 30 knots, former world champion Farr 40 Transfusion, skippered by Guido Belgiorno-Nettis, capsized to windward trying to set its big kite in one race. Aboard Lang Walker’s Kokomo, Olympic gold medallist Malcolm Page suffered rope burns to his neck and a badly bruised him when he became entangled with the mainsheet in a gybe.

The third Sydney boat, Estate Master (Martin Hill) broached on the finish line of race one, catching its spinnaker and mainsail on the committee boat. The mainsail was ripped, putting Estate Master out of race two, with Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron race officials abandoning the third race,

Back on the Derwent, Robin White’s Young 940 Rocket, Xcite, scored an outright win in Group 4, taking first place on PHS corrected time from Justin Barr’s Rumbeat and Chicas (John Lewis). Under AMS, Rumbeat won from Xcite and Prion (Rod Viney).

Group 6 produced the closest fleet finish of the day, with Y-Yacht (Wilkinson Frame) getting the gun by just nine seconds from Innovator (Ian Smith). On corrected time, however, the margin was much larger and again in favour of Y-Yacht from Innovator and Malcolm Cooper’s Kaiulani.

Next weekend is the Audi Showdown with the Saturday event being a Combined Clubs Long Race expected to attract a big fleet. The regatta will start with a twilight race on Friday while on Sunday the keelboats will contest a long harbour race. The Farr 40s will race windward/leeward courses, as will the SB20s and other sports boats.

Robin Whites Young 940 Rocket, Xcite, won Group 4 race on the Derwent - Combined Clubs Harbour Series Day 2
Rob Cruse