Land Rover Winter Series opens with Great Veterans Race

Archina competing in the 2013 Great Veterans Race.
The 2014 Land Rover Winter Series - conducted by the Cruising Yacht of Australia, gets underway this Sunday 27 April from 11am, with the traditional Great Veterans and Ladies Day races.

The Great Veteran’s Race, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s annual tribute to those classic Sydney Hobart Yacht race yachts that sailed south in the 1940s, 50s, 60s and 70s, and early 80’s, is a non-spinnaker race.

Archina, one of the eight yachts to compete in the first Sydney Hobart yacht race in 1945 alongside Rani and Kathleen Gillett, will be the oldest ‘Veteran’ yacht competing for the historic Windward trophy. Archina was forced to retire from the first Hobart race after gale weather tossed up extremely rough conditions that knocked the crew around significantly, even though the yacht was undamaged.

Archina was built in 1933 to a design by Cecil Boden and commissioned by the Newman family. She is planked with Kauri timbers, predominantly single length stern to stern with a beech deck, Oregon spars and teak bright work above and below deck.

The yacht was substantially restored in 1993-94 by then owner John Firth Smith and was campaigned in the 50th anniversary Sydney Hobart yacht race, where she finished 13th in the 30 plus year Veteran division. Archina is currently owned by Sydney venture capitalists Joseph Skrzynski and Bill Ferris and is moored in Rose Bay.

Over the past two years, with the cooperation of the Australian National Maritime Museum, Kathleen Gillett has competed in the Great Veterans race but due to other commitments is unable to compete.

Last year’s winner David Salter’s Mister Christian, that was the late Peter Kurts’ first offshore racing yacht, designed and built by Ron Swanson, will compete once again.

Other entrants include: 92 year old John Walker with his Peterson 34 Impeccable – the only owner- yacht combination to have competed in 25 Sydney Hobart races together; and Maris, the Tasman Seabird owned by Tiare Tomaszewski, who is the grand-daughterof the yacht’s original owner, Jack Earl, and children of Jack’s daughter Maris, for whom the boat was named.

Amongst the fleet of 16 are other famous yachts such as Gusto (Phillip Denison), Malveena (John Westacott), Mercedes IV (Peter Stronach) and Syonara (Greg Maughan)

Ladies Day is always colourful and sailed in high spirits. - Land Rover Winter Series - Veterans Race - 2014

The Great Veteran’s Race is sailed in conjunction with the opening race of the Land Rover Winter Series, the non-pointscore Ladies Day race for the Jill McLay trophy.

Over 40 ladies will take to the helm across four divisions: two spinnaker and two non-spinnaker, commencing at 11.30am.
This year, the CYCA Sailing Committee has introduced a new initiative - the Ladies Pointscore Series, which encompasses both Ladies Day races. The winner will be the yacht that is best placed after the two races.

The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting south to south westerly winds of 15-20 knots turning south easterly of 10-15 knots in the late afternoon. Conditions will be partly cloudy day with isolated showers.

The Land Rover Winter Series pointscore starts on Sunday 4 May with ten races for nine spinnaker, three non-spinnaker and a one design division (for Sydney 38s should sufficient entries be received). The pointscore series will consist of ten races, with up to three drops allowed, if all ten races are completed. The opening and closing Ladies Day events on 27 April and 13 July do not count towards a yacht’s overall series pointscore.

On top of the highly sought after exclusive Land Rover Winter Series merchandise awarded as prizes, every Sunday during the 2014 series Land Rover will provide the opportunity for one of the divisional winners to test drive a Range Rover Evoque for a week.

Additionally the Noakes Group will provide a Lift and Stand Package for one lucky divisional winner each week.

Block entries for the season will be accepted up until Thursday 25 May with casual entries being accepted throughout the season.