The 33rd Club Marine Pittwater to Coffs Race was hosted by the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club. Syd Fischer’s TP52 Ragamuffin, skippered by his grandson Brenton, has cleaned out the trophy cabinet at tonight’s ocean race prize giving by defending their triple handicap crown in IRC, ORCi and PHS adding to their line honours win. In doing so, Ragamuffin etched their name in the history books to be the first boat to accomplish the back to back achievement in the 33 year running of the race.
Syd Fischer’s TP52 Ragamuffin with Syd’s grandson Brenton at the helm the IRC, PHS and ORCi handicap winner once again for the 2014 Pittwater to Coffs Yacht race - photo by Damian Devine
The younger Fischer took out the coveted IRC handicap crown with a corrected time of 31hrs 46mins 31secs to win by a convincing 14 hours from Rob Reynolds DK46 Exile whilst Warwick Sherman’s new Ker Gts43 OCL 2 was a further hour back to take the final podium position.
Brenton Fischer, in his first race as skipper was elated with the win, 'Yeah, an enormous achievement but I can’t take all the credit for it as it was the crew and the boat that did that so on behalf of them it feels great. I have spoken to Syd today and in very few words he said he was very happy with the result.
'The boys sailed the boat really well and the boat performed to its ability. This is something we set out to do so I am really pleased. The wind was certainly on our side and played a huge part in the result, getting us so far ahead of the fleet. To win back to back titles and line honours doesn’t happen that often, so it’s a great result all round and we’re all pleased.'
On the prospect of defending the title in 2015, Fischer said, 'it may be too early to tell but I really don’t see why not. We had a great race and it’s been a lot of fun. I would like to say thank you to the organisers the Royal Prince Alfred and Coffs yacht club’s for putting on such a great event and the hospitality here in Coffs has been fabulous, I’ve really enjoyed myself. I’m loving this sport right now.'
2012 IRC winner Exile was engaged in a mini match race with the Farr 45 Pretty Woman and within shouting distance through much of yesterday and the night crossing the line in the early hours of this morning within four minutes of one another around 3:22am with Pretty Woman claiming bragging rights to complete the podium spots for line honours some 15 hours after Ragamuffin had crossed to take monohull line honours.
The PHS division announcement was put on hold as there were still boats at sea at the time of the presentation with the Hanse 385 Out of Sight skippered by Mark Gorbatov still in contention for a podium spot at the time of writing.
In ORCi, Ragamuffin took the spoils in a corrected time of 31hrs 58mins 41secs with the Hudson/Lockley/Murphy Farr45 Pretty Woman 14 hours back in second whilst Roy Leslie’s Elan 37 Koko was third.
IRC Division One was a carbon copy of the overall IRC result whilst in IRC Division two, it was Koko first with Dennis Cooper’s Sydney 36CR Amante second and race debutant Andrew Butler’s Dufour 36, Astral in third.
Morticia leaving Barrenjoey on their way to victory in the multihull division - photo by Damian Devine
The band new multihull division measured under the Offshore multihull rule (OMR) was won by Shaun Carroll’s Seacart 30 Morticia in a corrected time of 19hrs 33mins 19secs followed by Darren Drew’s Grainger 9.5 cat Indian Chief with multihull record maker and breaker Sean Langman’s Orma 60 Team Australia in third.
All divisional winners were presented with tremendous handmade trophies made by local Coffs resident Graham Patterson.
In the shorthanded division there can only be one winner with the retirement of Bruce McKay’s Sayer 12 Wasabi yesterday. That division will be won by the Queenslander Laurence Pidgeon’s Jutson 39 Sweetheart who is due in later tonight.
The attention now turns to the start of the four Solitary Island races tomorrow and Monday to round out the regatta and the Australian Performance Handicap (PHS) Championships.