by Yachting WA
The annual Carpet Choice North Coast series started in November 2012. Hillarys Yacht Club has recaptured the mantle of top north coast sailing club with an emphatic series win over rivals Ocean Reef in the annual yachting mini-series. Ocean Reef’s two year grip on the champion club title, now in its sixth year, came to a decisive 344 to 457 points conclusion following a 10 race in-shore series.
HYC’s Holly Molly & Pandora gained an early advantage over Ocean Reef’s Sapphire in the final race - North Coast Series 2012-13
Going into the final two windward-leeward races with a 75 point advantage, Hillarys’ Division 1 and 2 fleets dominated the 19 boat combined fleet in idyllic 10kt to 15kt southerlies off Mullaloo beach. Hillarys Division 2 yachts put up the day’s strongest performance taking five of the top six placings in races nine and ten led by John Bird’s Perle, Division 2 series champion Volante skippered by Kevin Meta, and Keith and Deborah Fisk’s Blue Chip. Alan Peacham’s Offshore, and the diminutive Dolken with Ken Treen at the tiller which won race two by just four seconds from Volante, kept the lights on for Ocean Reef.
The more tightly contested Division 1 fleet was dominated by Hillarys’ Deckchairs Overboard helmed by Neil Harrison which captured both first placings in the final two races, followed by the Riley-Fox owned Hard Evidence with a second and third. Although suffering from mixed performances, the Ocean Reef Division 1 fleet put up a determined fight with Ken Gardner’s Safarri taking off third place in race 1 and Chris Linck’s Missing Link picking up second place in race two.
Hillarys also sailed home with Division 1 and 2 Champion yacht trophies led by Hard Evidence ahead of Deckchairs Overboard by just five points which in turn had a three point margin on Missing Linck.
Division 2 yacht Volante literally fell over the line with a 1.5 point advantage to Ocean Reef’s Pegasus skippered by Geoff James while compatriot and namesake Geoff James’ Solitaire took third place with a 5.5 point deficit.
Trailing after the first four races in November and December, the Hillarys Division 1 and 2 fleets rebounded in January and February with top five placings in races six to eight. Although the final result highlighted Hillarys’ overall ascendancy, the performance handicapping system ensured razor-thin results with between four and 41 seconds separating the top three boats in the final two races for both divisions.
The series was run over an 800m windward/leeward course with a leeward gate. Up to 25 yachts ranging from 6m to 12m took part in the series in a variety of weather and wind conditions.