The final day of the Sail Port Stephens Commodore Cup Cruising series was sailed yesterday and under the daily adjusted handicaps the podium places in both divisions were wide open.
2013 Sail Port Stephens Commodores Cup
Principal Race Officer Denis Thompson was expecting a light westerly wind across Port Stephens, but a light southerly change had come in. The big cruising fleet headed west to explore the bays inside Port Stephens on what was very much a reaching course.
In those conditions waterline length is the key to speed and so the fleet quickly began sorting itself into length from largest to smallest.
At the top of the course the 18.5m German Frers Margaret Rintoul V, with two of the three owners Graham Mobuckson and Graham Morton on board, was already 15 boat lengths ahead of the two IRC modified Farr 40´s leading the rest of the fleet with Matthew Fensom´s Long Time Dead, just ahead of with John McNamara´s IOTA. Just to the north of them in more pressure was Corinne and Rob Francis´ Sydney 41, The Banshee.
Sailing: Sail Port Stephens 2013, Nelson Bay (Aus), Commodore’s Cup, 17/4/2013. Toy Story and Colortile
Day One line honours winner Tom Wood´s Farr 36 Od, Toy Story was back in fifth place just ahead of Robert Alders Cookson 12 Occasional Coarse Language and Warren and Kristy Buchan´s Colortile, a Sayer 44.9.
The Banshee was punching above her weight as was Austmark and the Sydney 39 Cr, Huntress, skippered by Philip Grove.
Kerinda - Sail Port Stephens 2013 - Commodores Cup
In Division 2 first is Len Payne’s Kerinda, the Lidgard 10.6, and then is Next Light, the X 35 skippered by Mark Rutherford, and the third one is a Tow Truck. They gapped the rest of Division 2. Tow Truck, the Beneteau 34.7, had a very classy hoist at the top mark - just very good sailors.
In Division 1 results on the final day of the Commodores Cup, The Banshee was the Handicap winner followed by Huntress and Margaret Rintoul V. Overall in the series the Division 1 winner was Huntress, second was Margaret Rintoul V followed in third by Colortile.
Division 2 the Greg Kowalski´s Jeanneau 39i Bandeleni won on handicap from Lu Lu Belle, a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 37 skippered by Peter Lewis, a close second. In third was Murray Thompson´s Jeanneau 44ds Accountability.
In Division 2, the overall winner was Malcolm Edwards’ Grand Soleil 38' Azzura, followed by Allsail Dancing Star, the Bavaria Cruiser 40s skippered by Russel Waddy and John Sprague’s Bavaria 40 Inception in third.
The best known cruising boat in the Commodore Cup fleet is of course Margaret Rintoul V. owned by three Middle Harbour sailors, all Grahams Morton, Mobuckson and Wilson. They are very strong supporters of the series.
Sailing: Sail Port Stephens 2013, Nelson Bay (Aus), Commodore’s Cup, 17/4/2013.
Graham Mobuckson was keen to talk about Sail Port Stephens and the value of the event: ‘Today was a great day on the water. Obviously waterline length did matter an awful lot today and 10 knots of breeze helped too. It was a really good sail. Remember in the same race last year at the same time we were sitting 200 meters from the line going backwards. Actually though our favourite Commodores Cup race is the Three Islands race, it’s a very pretty course and we can stretch our legs.'
Mobuckson explained just why the boat is so committed to Sail Port Stephens: ‘This is our fifth Sail Port Stephens. For us it’s a regatta that suits how we want to run our boat.'
Sailing: Sail Port Stephens 2013, Nelson Bay (Aus), Commodore’s Cup, 17/4/2013. Division 2 fleet
‘We have done three or four Hammos. Five of these. We won’t go to Hobart. She has been out to Lord Howe a few times. We do Harbour races. We race every Wednesday pretty much. She is in survey and she does a little charter work too.
‘As a boat and as owners we are very supportive of this regatta. Its location close to Sydney makes the logistics easy. We can get a lot more people on the program and it doesn’t cost us silly amounts of money and the kids and the wives can all come up and have a good time. There is plenty to do, it's a family affair. If families don’t want to sail they can get involved elsewhere. It is a good regatta. We really enjoy it and we will back.‘
PRO Denis Thompson summed up: ’Close racing and a beautiful day on the water. All in all, three excellent days of sailing.'
2013 Sail Port Stephens Commodores Cup Cruising day 3, hosted by Corlette Point Sailing Club.
‘The Commodores Cup is very much a family cruising regatta in which more and more racing boats are sailing with family and friends, lots of kids and it’s proving a very popular program.
‘Now the same boats with plenty of crew changes will be set for the IRC and Performance Racing Division and Cruising series in the Port Stephens Trophy Series starting on Friday.’
013 Sail Port Stephens Commodores Cup Cruising day 3, hosted by Corlette Point Sailing Club.
2013 Sail Port Stephens Off the beach junior series day 3, hosted by Corlette Point Sailing Club.
For more news, photos and results go to www.sailportstehens.com.au