by Bob Ross
Lexus Lincoln Week, 23rd to 26th February, is organised by the Port Lincoln Yacht Club.
Secret Men’s speeds quickly into clear air - Lexus Lincoln Week
Geoff Boettcher’s Reichel/Pugh 51 Secret Men’s Business 3.5 from the Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia had a convincing IRC division win in the 38n mile long race of the Lexus Lincoln Week regatta today.
Her first win in the regatta gave SMB3.5 a three point lead on the scoreboard over the Alan Woodward’s Beneteau First 45 Reverie, from Royal Brighton Yacht Club, Melbourne.
Fourth overall on progressive points is another Melbourne yacht, Calm, a Farr TP52 skippered by Jason Van Der Slot, which placed third in today’s race, to be on ten points overall. Scarlet Runner, Rob Date’s Reichel/Pugh 52 from Sandringham YC, Melbourne, is fourth on ten points.
Secret Men’s Business 3.5 won today’s race by the big corrected time margin of 9min 11sec. Calm was third, another 3min 21sec behind.
The race was sailed over a 38n mile course that took the fleet out of Boston Bay to Taylor Island before returning to finish off the Port Lincoln Yacht Club.
It was sailed in an ideal breeze, a steady east-sou’easter of 12 to 16 knots, with a few gusts to 25.
With a steadier wind direction and few passing lanes, it became a drag race with the emphasis on boat speed rather than tactics.
Secret Men’s Business gained a controlling lead over Scarlet Runner from an extremely risky start.
On the short windward beat to the first rounding mark, the Southern Entrance Beacon, SMB3.5 held Scarlet Runner to leeward of her all the way out to the port tack layline and beyond.
That meant when they both tacked for the mark, SMB3.5 slowed Scarlet Runner all the way into it with disturbed air from her sails and again on the one-leg lay to Donnington Rock at the entrance to Boston Bay.
From Donnington, the fleet tacked over to lay Taylor Island on one leg, with sheets slightly sprung. The return leg to Donnington was two shy for spinnakers so again a close fetch. Spinnakers went up at Donnington the run and reach back down Boston Bay to Number Four Beacon rounding mark before a final short two legs back to the finish off the Port Lincoln Yacht Club.
Secret Men’s Business 3.5 gradually increased her on all legs to finish four and a-half minutes ahead of Scarlet Runner, a result which surprised Geoff Boettcher who went with the general belief that Scarlet Runner was the slightly faster boat downwind.
'We expected Scarlet Runner to walk away from us today, with cracked sheets,' said.
'We were quite surprised we beat him to Taylor Island. We thought he is going to catch up any moment but we pulled away gently all day from him.
'Even under kite we beat him, so we really had a great day.'
Boettcher agreed that his start was risky. 'That was close; there was only a fly’s knacker in it. There was nowhere to go and we were going pretty fast.'
Secret Men’s muscles in on the approach to the start - Lexus Lincoln Week
Rob Date agreed that the start was critical. 'Secret Men’s smacked us at the start. 'We discussed it beforehand; the boat that was first to the Southern Beacon mark was going to probably win the race.
'They held us out to beyond the layline before tacking back to the mark. They gassed us going into the mark and gassed us again going out to Donnington Rock.
'They were probably gutsier than us going around Taylor Island with its outlying reefs and rocks and so cut the corners. Calm was even gutsier than that. Calm got right up on us; they cut in over the shoals.'
Secret Men’s also won the performance handicap division. The Roeboat, Philip Roe’s Dufour 34 from Port Lincoln YC, won the cruising division’s long race; Peter Murfett’s Ross 650 Wild Child won the trailables division.
Full results www.plyc.com.au