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Audi Winter Series - Tight competition

by Jennifer Crooks on 10 Jun 2012
Ross Glasson’s Larrikin took the win in Division D - Audi Winter Series 2012 David Brogan - copyright http://www.sailpix.com.au.
Audi Winter Series 2012, organised by The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, is being held on Sydney Harbour. Race seven, a non-pointscore race, got underway today, Sunday 10th June.

It was short and sweet for the 51 competitors. A chilly and rainy winter’s day meant the forecast of 15 knots did not eventuate but it was sweet victory for those that did brave the conditions to take podium places.

With a light south westerly breeze that fluctuated from 6-8 knots, shifted 180 degrees at the top of the course and then dropped in strength as the afternoon went on, Race Officer Robyn Morton made the decision to shorten the course.

Ross Glasson’s win in Division D with his Sydney 32 Larrikin, was just as sweet as the spinnaker run he held all the way down the Harbour putting distance between him and his fellow competitors.

'We put the spinnaker up a little earlier than the rest of our competitors and got a little lift. At the top mark we saw the rolling cloud outside the Heads and knew that the breeze was going to change direction,' said Glasson.

'We sailed back down the middle of the Harbour, where there was more breeze, kept the boat speed up and maintained the gap we’d created.

'The crew work was excellent today – no handling problems or round-ups,' Glasson added. Steve Hatch’s M placed second with Terry Burke’s Brigus third to Larrikin.

A little bit of luck and being in the right place at the right time was George Waldthausen’s sweet treat that gave his Cavalier 350sl Superfine the Division F win. 'It’s not often you get up and back from the top mark under kite,' he said.

'Today’s race had the usual vagaries of a Winter Series race and it came down to a little bit of luck and being in the right place at the right time. We were at the top of the course when the wind shifted 180 degrees giving us a tailwind to come down the Harbour.

'Our tactics were great – we were able to pick the wind shifts and gybed our way down the Harbour. Conditions were perfect for the boat today – she like 5-10 knots of breeze and you can see it in the results. We finished 17 seconds ahead of Illusion (on corrected time),' Waldthausen added. Derek Sheppard’s Kahoona finished third behind Superfine and Illusion (Kim Jaggar).

For Phillip Denison and his Cavalier 39 – Salthouse Gusto, the Division K win was a long time coming. 'I’m pretty happy with the result – the win has been a long time coming. We’ve stuffed up a few races this season.

'We hardly went to windward all day. The downwind run from the eastern cardinal mark was great. As we were approaching the gate, I saw the S flag flying and then the wind dropped out, so the decision to shorten the course was a good one,' Denison added.

'An interesting race,' was how Russell Debney described today. His Carter 33 Cartwheel got moving in the breeze to come away with the Division H win.

'We all saw the storm clouds brewing up to the north but I’m not sure we all expected the 180 wind shift! It was challenging to get the spinnaker up and down to take advantage of the shift.

'The Audi Winter Series is such an amazing event to compete in – everyone has to make the best of the different weather patterns each week,' Debney added. Peter Howes’ Sea Rug Hoo Ha placed second with Clewless ? (Lachlan Irwin) third to Cartwheel.

Geoff Bonus, who won the Sydney 38 Division with Calibre, was the lucky winner of the Audi Drive Weekend and will now drive a luxury Audi of his choosing for a weekend.

Other winners today were: Brindabella (Jim Cooney) Division A1; Ichi Ban (Matt Allen and Walter Lewin) Division A2; Euphoria (Anthony Coleman) Division B; Wave Sweeper (Morgan Rogers) Division C; Shere Khan (Rod Gibbs) Division E; Itchy (Jamie Watson) Division G; Marloo (George Girdis) Division J and Calibre (Geoff Bonus and Richard Williams) Sydney 38.

The Audi Winter Series continues next Sunday from 11:25am and competition is tight. Current divisional leaders are: Duende (Damien Parkes) Division A1; Playstation (Dean Harrigan) Division A2; Brannew (Chris Bran) Division B; Into the Mystic (Arthur Psaltis and Jon Ross) Division C; M (Steve Hatch) Division D; Tigger (Robert Briet) Division E; Kahoona (Derek Sheppard) Division F; Velocity (Brian Carrick) Division G; Clewless ? (Lachlan and Guy Irwin) Division H; Lahara II (Glenn Crane) Division J; L’Eau Co (Grant Pollock) Division K; and Next (Richard Holstein (Sydney 38).
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