The final pre-Christmas Combined Clubs harbour racing series on the Derwent blew 25 to 30 knots and the temperature reached 32 degrees - and that's a heatwave in Hobart. A powerful, hot and smokey northerly wind sent the fleet ‘smoken’ down the Derwent today.
Serica and Balios duelling to the finish of the Group 4 race of the Hobart Combined Clubs race on the Derwent - Combined Clubs harbour racing series 2012
The temperature in Hobart peaked at 33 degrees, the north to north-westerly wind averaged 25 knots, gusting to more than 30 knots and more as it funnelled down the river below the Tasman Bridge.
The wooden mast of the 77 year old Derwent class yacht Gnome broke under the pressure, but Derek Adams and his crew quickly recovered the broken rig and sails and were towed ashore by the Bellerive Yacht Club patrol boat.
The gusty wind saw some spectacular broaches under spinnaker, including the Farr 40 War Games, skippered by Wayne Banks-Smith, and the sports boat Ellusive (Roly Huddlestone). Ellusive was forced to retire after a mid-river broach as she planed downwind.
The strong breeze contributed to some last day changes in the final pointscores for the Combined Clubs pre-Christmas harbour series.
In Group 6 for smaller cruiser/racers, Wilkinson Frame’s powerful Beneteau 46, Y-Nacht, revelled in the strong breeze to win the final race and take the series from Kaiulani (Malcolm Cooper) and Kindred Spirit (Alastair Douglas).
After sharing the lead going into today’s final race, Kaiulani placed eighth on corrected time and Don’t Bugg Me (Peter Bugg) finished 11th to drop to fourth place overall. Y-Nacht finished with a net 14 points, Kaiulani 18 points and Kindred Spirit 19 points.
Chicas under pressure off Kangaroo Bluff on the River Derwent - Combined Clubs harbour racing series 2012
In Group 4, John Lewis’ S111, Chicas, placed third in the final race to finish with 11.5 points, with the SB20 Balios (Peter Langford) battling the strong breeze to finish fourth today and take second overall on 13 points. Third overall was Rumbeat (Justin Barr) which recovered well from a torn headsail.
Final race winner in Group 4 was Kevin Jacobson’s Eliza from the classic yacht Serica (Charles Peacock).
The Farr 40 and Group 1 series results were predictable and unchanged after today’s racing, with the Farr 40s sailing three races and Group 2 two windward/leeward races.
Stephen Boyes’ Wired did not win a race today but won the pre-Christmas series comfortably with a net 16 points after discarding two of today’s results, a fifth and a DNC.
Voodoo Chile, with Lloyd Clark on the helm, won all three races today, the closest being race two in which she beat War Games (Wayne Banks-Smith) by 17 seconds.
Group 1 ended with three different winners of each of the three handicap categories after two final windward/leeward races today.
The J35 Mem, skippered by Paul Boutchard, finished with a second and a fourth to win the PHS category with a net 15 points, ahead of Don Calvert’s Castro 40, Intrigue, on 22 points and Darren Clark’s Farr 1104, Invincible, on 28 points. Intrigue had a first and a second today.
Under AMS scoring, Invincible maintained her dominance with a first and a second today, taking the series with a net 12 points. Intrigue placed second overall on 19 points, also recording a final day first and second place for 19 points while Sally Rattle’s Archie took third place with 29 points.
Intrigue, which took line honours in both Group 1 races, notched up a first and a second on IRC corrected time to win that category with a net 12 points. Invincible finished on 14.5 points and Martela (Tony Williams) third on 19.5 points. Martela did not race today as she is of to Sydney for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race.
In Group 2, Rousabout (Graham Inglis) won both final races today on line and handicap, but overall placed third on 26 points.
Nat Morgan’s Hot August Night placed third and fourth to win the series with 22.5 points by .5 point from Clark Wyatt’s Silicon Ship which had two second places to finish with a net 23 points.
The Combined Clubs post-Christmas harbour series will start on Saturday, 12 January 2013.