by Di Pearson
Julian Farren-Price has won the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Ocean Pointscore Series (OPS) under both IRC and PHS categories, following more top results with his Cookson 12, About Time in the big-breeze Lion Island Race today.
About Time (Julian Farren-Price)
About Time was beaten overall today by the new Ker 40, AFR Midnight Rambler (Ed Psaltis), and the Beneteau 45, Balance (Paul Clitheroe). As both are casual entries About Time’s place in the IRC pointscore is not affected.
Ray Entwistle’s J111 Jake, was second overall in the IRC series, with Noel Cornish’s Sydney 47, St. Jude, third overall. St Jude also finished second to About Time in the PHS pointscore, after the two kept each other honest throughout both pointscores. John Griffin’s Bennie and the Jets, a Beneteau 40, was third overall. All results are provisional pending any protests.
Vamp (Garry Linacre/David Fuller), Quetzalcoatl (Antony Sweetapple) and Balance were the top three finishers in the race under PHS today.
Having won the IRC title for the second season in succession and taking PHS overall as well, Farren-Price was naturally ecstatic: 'It’s fantastic – and a big finish to the series,' he said this afternoon at the CYCA.
'We had a fantastic ride to Pittwater – there were a few spectacular Chinese gybes – we did one too,' he said. 'Jake flew past us going to the Island - she almost lifted out of the water - we could see her keel. St Jude and Balance were behind us, but they were flying too; I was surprised at how quick Balance was downwind,' he added.
Farren Price said it was blowing around 13-14 knots, but once they were around Lion Island, it freshened to 21-23 knots, and up to 28 at once stage.
'We were doing pretty good speeds – we hit 16, and AFR Rambler’s crew said they were doing 23 knots at one stage. I think it’s the most breeze we’ve had all series.'
However, the Sydney jeweller admitted it was not a bed of roses once the fleet rounded Lion Island, north of Sydney. 'It was hard work in a sloppy seaway. It was hard to keep the boat straight. Of course Balance overtook us – and well done to Paul – he sailed a great race,' he said..
Of winning both pointscores, which he has done in the past, Farren-Price said: 'Obviously I’m delighted. I’ve got a great bunch of guys on board; nothing fazes them and they’re very competitive. St Jude was great competition for us today, as it has been throughout the series.'
Signing off, About Time’s owner said: 'We’ll see if we can do it again next season.'
Ray Entwistle was equally enthusiastic of his second place overall under IRC. 'For a 36 foot boat, we are absolutely thrilled with our second in IRC. I’d like to thank the CYCA and combined clubs for a great series.'
Entwistle said conditions meant sailing the course both ways close to the coast. 'It was best to stay out of the tide,' he commented.
Like the rest, he most enjoyed the quick kite ride to Lion Island. 'We peaked at 19.1 knots – it was incredible – and we had a little broach too. When the wind died down at one stage, one of the crew said it felt like we’d stopped. I looked at the instruments and we were doing nine and a half knots!'
Like Farren-Price, Entwistle will be back for the next OPS, but with a different boat. 'We’re selling the boat and going down a size to a J70 for a short time, then we’ll get another J111 – they’re just too good,' he said, before adding: 'I want to congratulate both Julian and Noel (Cornish) on their great results – all the best to them.'
Jim Cooney’s Jutson 80, Brindabella, took line honours at 14.34.58 hours and was followed over the line by Vamp, AFR Midnight Rambler and Merlin.
The final of the 10-race CYCA annual series started at 10.00am this morning at Point Piper, 'In a nice 13-14 knot southerly,' according to Principal Race Officer, Robyn Morton. 'On a dull and rainy day, the spinnakers brought the only bit of brightness,' she said.
Flying down the Harbour, Brindabella led for a short while, but did not set a kite. By Clifton Gardens, AFR Midnight Rambler had overhauled her, with About Time just astern.
'It was a quick ride up to Lion Island, we had a report from Noel’s boat (St. Jude) that they had rounded the Island at midday, but of course, sailing to windward on the return leg slowed them down a bit,' Morton commented from the finish line before adding, 'The southerly was up and down and reached 20 knots on the Harbour.'
Full race results and provisional Ocean Pointscore Series standings here