by Bernie Kaaks
The final day of the Cockburn Sound Regatta was a coming of age for Michael Giles and his crew on board the glamour Sydney 47, Endorfin. Since arriving in the West some twelve months ago, Endorfin has shown steady improvement as the crew came to terms with the yacht, but in this regatta, faced the challenge of meeting three Marten 49’s including the highly credentialed Optimus Prime, sailed by Trevor Taylor.
Endorfin came of age in this regatta, winning division 1 on both performance handicap and IRC
From the outset, Endorfin showed intent. In the first windward and return race, she recorded victory in both the IRC and performance handicap results for division 1, and sailed consistently throughout for an IRC win in the final race, in the process winning the regatta for division 1 on both handicap systems.
The last race was not without its share of drama. A fading easterly breeze forced race officer Trevor Milton to delay the start for some thirty minutes, when a light south westerly arrived. With just two points separating Endorfin and Optimus Prime on the aggregate scores, a good start was essential and the two protagonists both got away well. Optimus Prime had taken line honours in every race of the series to date, and as expected drew away, but her error riddled day began when she began to sail to the wrong mark, covering extra distance as a result, which reduced the lead to a couple of boat lengths. A spinnaker problem followed, taking Optimus Prime well beyond the leeward mark, and suddenly Endorfin led the fleet.
Optimus Prime recovered to regain the lead, but with Endorfin enjoying a better handicap, finished out of the placings.
And just when they thought it couldn’t get any worse, Optimus Prime’s starter motor failed before she reached her mooring and the boat had to be towed to the moorings by a club rescue boat.
Cockburn Sound Regatta has recovered to become one of the leading events on the WA sailing calendar. Reaching its zenith in the 60’s and 70’s, it once attracted more than 100 entries, many of them off the beach yachts, before dying out to become a 'members only' regatta with barely 15 boats competing. Solid support from the Kwinana Industries Council (a conglomerate representing the major industrial companies in the area, with a common aim of preserving Cockburn Sound for future generations) and the City of Rockingham has brought with it sub sponsorship from chandlers, sail makers and local businesses. There was a genuine buzz about this year’s regatta that suggests that numbers next year will be up – again – for the third successive year.
John Holder's Plus 16 was crowned overall regatta champion and also placed first in the Jib and Main fleet.
Laurie and Maddie Flynne had to work hard in their Beneteau 34.7 Dynamic, to finish the day with an IRC first and second. - Cockburn Sound Regatta
Spinnaker troubles on Charlotte and Optimus Prime scoots away for a comfortable win. - Cockburn Sound Regatta
On the third windward leg, Optimus Prime came from behind to pass Charlotte to leeward. - Cockburn Sound Regatta
Optimus Prime trailed Charlotte in the early stages of the afternoon race - Cockburn Sound Regatta
Cockburn Sound Regatta