by Bob Ross
The 37th Lincoln Week Regatta second day of racing was held today, Tuesday 21st February, on the waters of Boston Bay and will run until Thursday 23rd February 2012. From a brilliant start, Darryl Hodginson’s Beneteau First 45 Victoire scored her second win of the regatta.
Victoire clears away from the fleet in port tack soon after the start - Lexus Lincoln Week Regatta 2012
She found a gap in the starboard stack of boats heading for the favoured pin end of the line to tack quickly onto port and sail into disturbance- free clear air.
From there over the 38 nautical mile course, which took the fleet outside Boston Bay south to Taylor Island and back, she saved her IRC handicap time on the biggest boats in the fleet, Scarlet Runner and Secret Men’s business and her similar sized rivals.
Victoire, from Sydney’s Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, won by 1min 41sec on corrected time from another Beneteau First 45, Reverie (Alan Woodward) from Sandringaham Yacht Club, Melbourne.
Provisionally third is yet another 45-footer from the French boat builder, an older-design Beneteau 45f5, Lucette, skippered by Chris Pratt from the Royal South Australian Yacht Squadron.
But that placing is pending a protest by fourth-placed Secret Men’s Business 3.5, Geoff Boettcher’s Reichel/Pugh 51 from the Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia.
Lucette has counter-protested SMB3.5 over an incident when the yachts touched in the pre-start manoeuvring. The protest has been referred to mediation before a full hearing by the protest panel.
Rob Date’s Reichel/Pugh 52 from Sandringham Yacht Club is provisionally fifth after again finishing first, by 2min 13sec, from Secret Men’s Business 3.5.
The race was sailed in ideal conditions with a 14-18 knot south-east breeze that varied little in direction. The wind was not quite strong enough for the lightweights Scarlet Runner and Secret Men’s business to lift out of the water and plane and so suited the heavier 45s.
At the head of the fleet, Secret Men’s Business 3.5, after again boldly claiming the pin end at the start, jumped clear of Scarlet Runner, which chose a more conservative start two-thirds of the way up the line.
SMB 3.5 led Scarlet Runner on the short windward brat to Southern Entrance Beacon by five boat lengths and on the two-sail reach out of Boston Bay to Donnington Rock.
SMB 3.5 continued to lead on the long windward beat to Taylor Island and most of the run back. But Scarlet Runner slipped inside around Donnington Rock to lead from there, on the run, reach and short windward legs to the finish off Port Lincoln Yacht Club.
Scarlet Runner’s skipper Rob Date said: 'We just gradually pegged them back on the beat to Taylor Island and downhill just got inside them before Donnington.
He said that after Scarlet Runner gybed inside Secret Men’s, with a lead of 200 metres on the reach into Boston Bay, she tried to set a Code Zero reaching sail. But it failed to unfurl and had to be dropped.
'So they got right up to us again,' he said. But once we got the spinnaker up again, we stretched out.
'We couldn’t sail any better but the conditions, 12 to 15 knots with gusts to 17, suited the Beneteau's better than it suited us.'
Victoire’s skipper Darryl Hodgkinson: 'We got a cracker of a start. Reverie did have a little problem with a sail change. We were always ahead of them but they are quick.
'The wind was in a nice range for us because 52s can’t generally plane. They’ve got to have a little bit more wind.
'That’s our good range. If it gets up a little bit more they will plane away.'
Lincoln Week Regatta website