by Di Pearson
Sydney Harbour Regatta, hosted by Middle Harbour Yacht Club, was blessed for the second year running with beautiful conditions, both days boasting winds of 8-10 knots early on and reaching 16-17 knots by late afternoon.
BALANCE - Sydney Harbour Regatta 2013
Grant Wharington and his 100 foot long Wild Thing from Queensland took line honours in the Ocean Passage series, but it was Jack Stening’s Sydney 36, Stormaway from the host club that claimed overall victory with two wins from the two races sailed this weekend.
While victory in the Premier IRC class windward/leeward six-race series seemed to be in the hands of Rob Reynolds and his DK46, Exile, ‘Money Man’ Paul Clitheroe pulled out all stops on the Division 1 offshore course on the Manly Circle today.
Clitheroe’s three wins from three with his Beneteau 45, Balance, left no doubts as to his intentions and the CYCA member’s handy work resulted in a three and a half point win over Exile, and nine points over third placed Obsession, the new MAT 1245 owned by Ray Roberts, who made a successful return to competitive race at the regatta after a break to concentrate on business.
Roberts’ new boat is the first of its kind in Australia and it made its debut at this regatta. It did not take the yachtsman long to get his eye back in, but with years of winning practice in Australia and overseas, it is no surprise.
Phil Dash and his Beneteau 40, Just A Dash, caused a major upset in Division 2, beating the much fancied Peter Sorensen skippered Philosopher’s Club (Sydney 36 CR) in a Middle Harbour Yacht Club stoush for victory in IRC Division 2. Dash came away with a solid six point win, with near sistership Onya, Andrew Hurt, third, making it a treble for MHYC.
SAILING - Sydney Harbour Regatta 2013 - 9-10/03/2013, MIddle Harbour Yacht Club, Sydney photo credit: Andrea Francolini WHISPER - Sydney Harbour Regatta 2013
The 10-race Sydney 38 National title started out in the hands of Bruce Ferguson’s Whisper, and finished up there as well, nothing Mark Griffith and his much touted Old School crew could do changed the end result, the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club pair fighting it out to the finish to end with just a point separating them.
The Goat Syndicate on the Goat, skippered by Bruce Foye, was third, five points adrift of the winner.
Greg ‘Enzo’ Prescott and his 2 Unlimited crew from Tasmania cleaned up at the Sydney Harbour Regatta this weekend, winning every single race and successfully defended the Melges 32 title they won at the event last year.
Prescott, whose crew comprises sailor of note and ex Taswegian, Darren Jones, Oliver Nicholas, Tristram Eldershaw, Julian Salter, John McCullum and Mark Jeffery, all from Tasmania, and the lone NSW crew, James Corrie, left nothing to chance.
The Tasmanians won all six races of the series, which opened with three races yesterday and finished with a further three today on Sydney Harbour. Their most serious challenge came from newcomer to the class, Chris Way from NSW, whose campaigns in Sydney 38 and Farr 40 one-design classes on Easy Tiger helped ease him into the smaller sporty Melges.
One of Tasmania’s leading sailors, Prescott was thrilled with their win. 'This is great for us going into the nationals on Pittwater in four weeks,' he said.
'We haven’t sailed since the East Coast Championship, so we thought we were a bit rusty,' he said from Middle Harbour Yacht Club, which hosts NSW’s largest regatta, which is in its eighth year.
Warwick Rooklyn, whose name is synonymous with sailing, emulated Prescott’s results with his Melges 24, Bandit (NSW), winning every race of that series, some with ease, while others were very close.
Rooklyn’s crew, particularly his foredeck hand, had to have nerves of steel, with their skipper throwing in short sharp tacks and gybes at mark roundings surrounded by those from three classes. Knowing the sailing rules is always a bonus.
The bandit crew overcame challenges from nearest rivals Huey II (Damian Huon), and renowned sports boat sailor, Paul Heyes (Amigos) who finished on equal points, to win by 14 points.
Over 220 boats in 26 classes on 10 courses contested the event hosted by Middle Harbour Yacht Club with assistance from the CYCA, MYC, NCYC, RANSA, RPAYC, RPEYC, RSYS, SASC, and SFS, who made the job easier.
The Sydney Harbour Regatta is sponsored by leading water sports and technical apparel supplier, Helly Hansen, and supported by Sydney Ports, Robert Oatley Vineyards and Sydney City Marine.
Triad with Magpie just below them. - Entire 2013 Etchells Victorian Championship
SAILING - Sydney Harbour Regatta 2013 - 9-10/03/2013, Middle Harbour Yacht Club, Sydney photo credit: Andrea Francolini IMPECABLE - Sydney Harbour Regatta 2013