by Di Pearson
Today, Shane Guanaria has kept triple Ocean Point score Series (OPS) winner, About Time’s enviable reputation intact, taking line honours and provisionally winning overall the Lion Island Race, hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia .
Triple OPS winner About Time is in fine form again
This was the 2013-2014 OPS opener in which Guanaria skippered the Cookson 12 on behalf of her owner, Julian Farren-Price, who is overseas. About Time, which won the last three OPS’ successively, finished the race at 16.15.35, followed 25 seconds later by Enigma (Michael Cranitch’s Farr 40 One Design), with Tim Cox’s Minerva another five seconds behind in third.
Balance finished third overall provisionally.
Overall, About Timebeat the Minerva, a DK43, by 17 minutes on corrected time, with Paul Clitheroe’s Beneteau 45, Balance, third, another three minutes behind.
However, there are protests pending in relation to a turning mark, including one from About Time. A number of boats went to the same mark as the provisional winner, but others went to a mark further away. The protests are due to be heard on Thursday.
Being declared provisional winner at 18.30 this evening, Guanaria was pleased he was able to keep Farren-Price’s yacht at the top of the board, where it usually resides.
'I’ve sailed with Jules a few times over the years, but not in the last couple of years, so I was chuffed we took the double,' he said this evening.
Guanaria, who usually sails a Beneteau with his father Ian, and dabbles in the Sydney 38 One Design class, said today’s race was an exciting one, as is evidenced by the finish times.
Minerva crossed swords with About Time all day.
'Minerva led us going around Lion Island, but we caught her on the way back and swapped the lead a couple of times – we had a great race with them and Enigma.'
Getting off the start line at Point Piper well, in what Principal Race Officer Robyn Morton, said was 'a south/south-easterly of about 10 knots,' Guanaria said his crew were working out what they would do when they turned left at North Head for the Island off Pittwater.
'We were first to re-set our kite and elected to stay inshore, which was the right thing to do,' the yachtsman said. 'Faster boats went offshore, but they got caught in the current. We crossed Swish (Steven Proud’s Kernan 44) by about a mile off Barrenjoey Head, that’s how much difference it made.'
According to Guanaria, winds were at 10-15 knots from 130 to 140 degrees. 'It was a pretty comfortable seaway, but it got messy at the headlands,' he maintained.
'Coming back from the Island was pretty straightforward in 8-10 knots. The wind had swung further towards the south – it was quite shifty, but we only had to tack once – off Long Reef.'
Twenty seven boats contested the Lion Island Race, and along with About Time’s crew, were privy to a large pod of dolphins and a few seals along the way. 'We saw heaps of them,' Guanaria said.
Today’s race was also the first race of the Combined Pointscore Series, made up of three each of OPS and Grant Thornton Short Ocean Pointscore Series (SOPS) races. It was set in motion to provide both series’ competitors with the opportunity of a variety of ocean and windward/leeward racing.
The next race in the nine-race OPS is the Botany Bay Race starting at 10.00am on Saturday October 12.
For full results