by Di Pearson
Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship (SSORC), at Middle Harbour Yacht Club, is to be held over this weekend and has attracted Tony Kirby’s brand new Patrice and Darryl Hodgkinson’s newly purchased Victoire among others ahead of the Sailing Instructions being released online yesterday.
Big blustery winds made life hairy on the race track last year - Sydney Short Ocean Race Championship
Kirby, with his Ker 46, and Hodgkinson, sailing his canting keeled Cookson 50, will use the SSORC as a pre Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race hit out, as will Paul Clitheroe’s Beneteau 45, Balance.
The CYCA trio will take on the best of the ‘locals’, including Bob Cox’s DK46, Nine Dragons and Ian Box’s XP44, Toybox 2. And the locals’ best be warned, in Patrice’s first and only outing, the 180 nautical mile Cabbage Tree Island Race, she led the fleet to the Island and finished fourth overall.
'We’re really looking forward to racing at the SSORC,' Kirby confirmed yesterday. 'It’s always a hard fought event and will give us some extra racing before we head to Hobart,' said Kirby, who had the misfortune of having another yacht smash into Patrice’s bow while it was moored at its berth just last Friday.
On Saturday, the SSORC will be bolstered by an extra 30 plus boats competing in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Ocean Point Score (OPS), which will use the event as Race 4 of their series, and will raise the stakes somewhat. OPS leader, Julian Farren-Price, will have to outsail more than the usual for his Cookson 12 About Time to stay ahead of the game.
Today, the weather models indicate a 15 to 25 knot southerly easing slightly during the afternoon for Saturday. By Sunday, variable winds are expected to lighten right off to 5-10 knots. From both ends of the spectrum, these conditions are sure to test all.
For Saturday’s race, MHYC’s Race Committee has the option of sending the fleet to Lion Island north of Sydney, to Botany Bay south of Sydney or on a heavy weather course inside Sydney Harbour. That decision will be made on Saturday morning.
On Sunday, the SSORC will continue with a short offshore race, to start in the Harbour and finish offshore, followed by a quick windward/leeward sprint. It means all competitors will have a fair chance of success while enjoying a variety of races.
Within the event, divisions will consist of IRC and ORCi Divisions 1 and 2 and PHS Division 1. Sailing Instructions are now available online and in the Competitor Packs which are now available at MHYC.
Principal Race Officer is Denis Thompson and racing will be conducted with the assistance of the CYCA.
John Walker skippered his Impeccable in the Seven Islands Race 2012
'A thriller', is the best way to describe the Seven Islands Race which takes place on Saturday only and takes yachts from a pursuit style start at MHYC from 12.30pm to the most famous islands in the Harbour, passing Fort Denison to port on the way up and back.
There is a division to suit everyone; Spinnaker Divisions 1 and 2 and Division 3 for those who prefer to do it the easy way – Non-Spinnaker. Club sailors love the Seven Islands Race and who can blame them with great prizes and giveaways at the Presentation on the beach after the race (approximately 5.00pm).
Middle Harbour Yacht Club will once again provide a live band on Saturday and Sunday nights. It’s a great way to kick back and relax after racing. Space on the marina is available for Saturday night, but those wishing to stay must make a booking with the Marina Office quickly to avoid disappointment.
The Farr 40’s will add even more colour to the SSORC, as the class conducts the Aberdeen Asset Management One Design Trophy, featuring some of the biggest Australian names in sailing.
Already the one design yachts are taking advantage of the new section of the MHYC marina and their owners will enjoy a reception on MHYC’s new balcony on Friday evening. Then on Saturday after racing, crews will partake of a dock party at the end of racing followed by a barbecue.
For SSORC Sailing Instructions, and for further information visit the event website.