by Di Pearson
The Port Hacking Race is the third last race of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Ocean Pointscore Series (OPS) which commenced on 10 September 2011 and consists of 10 races.
Defending champion About Time is poised to win the OPS again - Port Hacking Race 2011-12
Sydney yachtsman Julian Farren-Price has provisionally taken out the Port Hacking Race which was sailed in light south-westerly breezes today.
Defending champion Farren-Price, and his ever-reliable Cookson 12, About Time, are all but home and hosed to win the 10 race series, only needing one more good result to retain the title they won last season.
Back at the CYCA this afternoon, Farren-Price was laughing about the fact that last time he contested this race, in November, he did so in heavy fog and missed seeing the mark, which cost him dearly. 'I had to retire – so today was quite a different result,' the jeweller said.
About Time beat AFR Midnight Rambler overall, with St Jude, Noel Cornish’s Sydney 47, third overall.
'We were out to get revenge on Ed (Psaltis – AFR Midnight Rambler), because he beat me by 12 seconds the last time we raced,' said Farren-Price, admitting today’s 30 nautical mile race was like being on the slow boat to China.
'It was a long light race. We worked all the way to Port Hacking in a sou’ wester, with the breeze slowly going left. We pulled up the spinnaker at Port Hacking and had a lovely ride back. The most excitement was a bit of a pile-up leaving South Head in very light breeze,' he said, adding: the most breeze we saw was 8-12 knots.
St. Jude’s third overall under IRC, translates to second overall, as AFR Midnight Rambler, a Ker 40, is a casual entry in IRC, entered in the PHS pointscore instead. St. Jude’s result keeps her in the running for a podium place come the end of the Series. She is third behind Ray Entwistle’s Jake, which despite not racing today, maintains second overall.
Cornish will have to pull a couple of rabbits out of the hat to get close to About Time and overcome Jake.
In the PHS class, Colin and Denise Wilson’s Never A Dull Moment came up with the goods today with their MKL49, from St Jude and Michael Cranitch’s Farr 40, Enigma.
Jim Cooney’s Brindabella was the first yacht home at 16.13.11 hours today, followed at 16.23.02 by the new AFR Midnight Rambler, owned by Ed Psaltis, Bob Thomas and Michael Bencsik.
By 16.40hrs, eight yachts had crossed the Rushcutters Bay finish line and three were in the Harbour. Sean Barrett’s Outlandish was the last yacht home after rounding the Port Hacking mark, south of Sydney, at 15.00hrs. The little Jutson 31 was still on the race course at 1730hrs.
While the 17 boat fleet got away on time at 10.00am off Point Piper, Principal Race Officer, Robyn Morton, predicted a slow race. 'I’ll be surprised if the bulk of the fleet makes it home in the time limit,' she said from the CYCA start vessel at 11.00am this morning, adding that crossword puzzles, knitting and banter with other crew members would help her while away the long day.
'There was just enough breeze to get the fleet across the start line and it took around half an hour before most were at the Heads,' she said of the weak 4.6 knot westerly breeze,' she said.
The Bureau of Meteorology predicted south to south-westerly winds of 5-10 knots, tending south to south-easterly during the day and relatively flat seas.
The penultimate race of the 10-race Ocean Point Score is the Sydney Newcastle Racing starting at 9.00am on February 18.
For full race results and provisional Ocean Pointscore Series standings click here.