Pipe Opener Series - Double victory for Wild West

Wild West (3733) and Archie (A35) duelling at the start of the Cock of the Huon - Pipe Opener 2012
Rob Cruse
Pipe Opener Series final race got underway today in the D’Entrecasteaux Channel and well known Hobart yachtsman Michael Denney celebrated his appointment as sailing manager of the Derwent Sailing Squadron with a double victory in his yacht Wild West.

Wild West, a Mount Gay 30 design modified by local naval architect Fred Barrett and built by Denney, excelled on the spinnaker run before a light south-westerly breeze to win Group 1 of the race from Port Huon to Huon Island.

The race completed the 44th annual Pipe Opener, the traditional start of the yacht racing season in southern Tasmania, involving Friday’s night race from Hobart down the D’Entrecasteaux Channel, Saturday’s Cock of the Huon and today’s final race back from Port Huon.

Denney joined the Derwent Sailing Squadron staff only last week, bringing with him considerable expertise in race management as well as a long career of yacht racing as skipper of his own boat and crewing in ocean races, including aboard Archie in its 2007 Melbourne to Hobart race victory.

Wild West also was part of the winning Derwent Sailing Squadron team, along L’etoile (Mark Dawson) and Grizzly Adams (Joel Bultman) contested by seven teams from various clubs. Runners-up were the teams of Pisces, Moonshadow and Steelin’ Time and Archie, Sirocco and Take Five.

'This was probably my last chance this season to sail Wild West in a DSS yacht race this season because of the big program ahead, but I hope to compete in races with other clubs over the summer,' Denney said after the final race today.

In the final race, Wild West won Group 1 from the Archambault 36 Archie (Scott Brain), both representing the DSS, with third place going to the consistent Mumm 30 Cleopatra, skippered by Scott Sharp from the Huon Yacht Club.

Femme Fatale (Geoff Sharp) won Group 2 from Wings Three (Peter Haros0 and Insatiable (Patrick Hyman). The Adams 8, Grizzly Adams, skippered by Joel Bultman from the DSS, followed up on her Cock of Huon win on Saturday by taking out Group 3 from Take 5 (Ian Gannon) and Steelin’ Time, skippered by new owner Allen Warren from Geilston Bay Boat Club.

Overall results of the three race Pipe Opener Series saw Group 1 won by the Huon Yacht Club’s Cleopatra from the two DSS boat, Archie and Wild West.

Three DSS boat filled the top three placings overall in Group 2 with Insatiable (Patrick Hyman) winning from Wings Three and l’Etoile while in Group 3 overall first place went to Grizzly Adams (DSS) from Take 5 (DSS) and Myfanwy (Kettering Yacht Club).

The overall AMS winner of the Piper Opener was Archie from Wings Three and Insatiable.

The AMS overall winner of the Series was the Archambault 36, Archie, skippered by Scott Brain from Wings III (Peter Haros) and Insatiable.

A fleet of 35 yachts set sail in the Friday night race and while several returned to Hobart, most continued to race over the weekend, with the Cock of the Huon race also attracting a number of one-off entries, including a trimaran and a Quick Clinker 31, a narrow-hulled, schooner-rigged boat designed by Richard Boult, which won an international prize for yacht design in 2007.

Huon Yacht Club at Shipwrights Point - Pipe Opener 2012
Rob Cruse

Richard Boult-designed Canny Clinker 32, entered by Franklin Marine - Pipe Opener 2012
Rob Cruse

Michael Denney, new sailing secretary of the Derwent Sailing Squadon and skipper of Wild West - Pipe Opener 2012
Rob Cruse
http://www.sail-world.com/102261