Please select your home edition
Edition
Protector 728x90

Bird Island Race victory for Celestial

by Di Pearson on 6 Oct 2012
Celestial gets some pace on under spinnaker. © Andrea Francolini Photography http://www.afrancolini.com/
In the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s 85 nautical mile Bird Island Race, Sam Haynes has sailed his Rogers 46, Celestial, to victory - putting to an end the winning streak of Stephen Ainsworth and his Reichel/Pugh 63, Loki.

Race record holder, Loki, took line honours at 03.22.04 hours this morning, in the time of 8hrs 22min 4sec, close to two hours outside the record she set last year. However, Celestial, which has been improving each and every race, stole a march on her rival overall by the smallest of margins – just 34 seconds.

AFR Midnight Rambler, Ed Psaltis/Michael Bencsik/Ed Thomas’ Ker 40 was third, followed by Ragamuffin, Syd Fischer’s TP52. These are the four that have been dominating the Blue Water Pointscore Series so far, with three races put to bed. All are contenders for the Rolex Sydney Hobart, which is likely to decide the outcome should this close tussle continue between the top four.


Haynes was over the moon to be the one to break the Loki draught that has continued for the past two seasons, with Ainsworth, the 2010 BWPS victor, winning the opening two races of the 2012 series. 'Stephen actually said to me last night before the race, ‘Don’t go too fast now’ – and I had a feeling it could be our race,' he said.

'It was fantastic to be the one to beat Loki – but it was so, so close. We’ve been sailing a little better each race over the last year and we do a lot of sailing – all of the CYCA events, including the twilights. I’ve had the same crew for a while now and it’s all coming together well.'

Haynes described the race as, 'pretty straightforward – a spinnaker ride all the way to Bird Island,' after Principal Race Officer, Denis Thompson sent the fleet on its way at 7.00pm last night in a 10 knot south-easterly, which peaked at around 15 knots.

'We nailed the start and Southern Excellence (Andrew Wenham’s Volvo 60) just beat us out the Heads,' Haynes, who finished the race second overall last year said. 'Coming home the wind dropped out near Long Reef to 5-8 knots, but kicked back in as we came into the Harbour. We were able to set spinnaker for the finish.

'Celestial flies downwind, and she’s pretty good upwind too. I’m hoping to keep the same 12 crew for the series to keep up the momentum for Hobart,' said the CYCA skipper whose aim is to not just to top-place in the Hobart race, but to actually finish it.

'We broke down in the last two Hobarts,' he said of their broken gooseneck last year and sail damage the year before ended his chances. 'We’ll prepare as well as we can now. I’ve worked hard to get the boat right; faired the hull and repainted it and put new sails on the boat.'

Ironically, Celestial, AFR Midnight Rambler and Ragamuffin cleaned up in ORCi, while Warwick Sherman’s new Ker Gts43, Occasional Coarse Language 2, got between Celestial and AFR Midnight Rambler in the PHS category. The lone interstate entry, Bruce Taylor’s Chutzpah, finished fourth in PHS and sixth in IRC.


Taylor had decided to put in extra work towards winning the Rolex Sydney Hobart which has so far eluded him for 31 years. The likeable quietly spoken dentist from Victoria will again have his son Andrew aboard, who is coming up for 20 races south.

The Bird Island race started on Sydney Harbour at 7.00pm last evening and finished at Rushcutters Bay today.

The next race in the Blue Water Pointscore Series is the Cabbage Tree Island Race on November 16, starting at 7.00pm.

For full race results and provisional Blue Water Point Score standings, click here.

Cruising Yacht Club of Australia website

Naiad/Oracle SupplierZhik Isotak Ocean 660x82Wildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Vendée Globe – Alan Roura takes twelfth place
Race rookie Roura’s elapsed time for the 27,700 mile course is 105 days, 20 hours 10 mins and 32 seconds. Roura’s finish reflects his exceptional drive and tenacity and belies the very tight budget which the young sailor ran his programme on.
Posted today at 9:16 am
Vendee Globe - From Conrad Colman this evening
I might not be going very fast but I'm certainly keeping busy here on Foresight Natural Energy. I might not be going very fast but I'm certainly keeping busy here on Foresight Natural Energy. Indeed, never have I worked so hard to go so slowly! The problem is that I am sailing upwind in light winds which is never a recipe for breathless speed and certainly not now! Going downwind on a slow boat, the wind pushes against the windward side of the sail
Posted today at 4:34 am
SCYA Midwinter Regatta - Sam Heck and Robert Marcus in action
Sam Heck and Merry Cheers decided that just having bought a new Farr 40 race boat, Viva La Vida, wasn’t quite enough. Sam Heck and Merry Cheers decided that just having bought a new Farr 40 race boat, Viva La Vida, wasn’t quite enough. They wanted to race it, right away. So they entered the 2017 SCYA Midwinter Regatta through Long Beach Yacht Club, which hosted their class, and won in the first racing sailboat that they have ever owned.
Posted today at 4:05 am
Overall winner crowned at Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta in St. Petersburg
The first event of 2017 Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta wrapped in St. Petersburg on Sunday. The first event of the 2017 Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta wrapped in St. Petersburg on Sunday. After a weekend of close competition in the Lightning division, the class winner — Steve Hayden, 49, of Lake Mary, Fla. — was awarded the regatta’s overall prize.
Posted today at 2:41 am
The Bay Regatta 2017 wraps with a picture postcard final day
The fourth and final day of The Bay Regatta, Chang Beer Race Day, saw all fleet sail a short loop around islands The fourth and final day of The Bay Regatta, the Chang Beer Race Day, saw all the fleet sail a short loop around islands off Krabi’s Railay Beach before heading out for a straight shot back to the southern end of Koh Yao Yai with the racing boats doing a slightly longer course than the cruisers.
Posted on 19 Feb
RORC Caribbean 600 race kicks off tomorrow
The light air forecast is not good news for the Italian ocean racing trimaran which is designed for much stronger winds. Soldini’s men have been monitoring the weather situation closely after the formation of a low-pressure storm system far to the north of Antigua disrupted the normal strong trade wind conditions.
Posted on 19 Feb
Vendée Globe – Roura to finish Monday morning with Super Superbigou
Eleven skippers have already finished and eleven were forced to abandon their race. Seven solo racers were still at sea this Sunday afternoon. Eleven skippers have already finished and eleven were forced to abandon their race.
Posted on 19 Feb
Spectacular opening for the 2017 RORC Caribbean 600
The highly acclaimed Antigua Band 1761 took to the stage and lit the blue touch paper. Sailors enjoyed a traditional Caribbean welcome with the Panache Steel Orchestra opening the musical entertainment, complimentary drinks and fine Caribbean fayre.
Posted on 19 Feb
H.H NOOD Regatta - Local sailors make waves on Tampa Bay during Day 2
Michael Zonnenberg, of the Lightning division, is currently one of only two local skippers leading a class. With sailors from across the country and beyond in town for the annual Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta this weekend, stand-out local skippers were a highlight of Saturday's competition. Michael Zonnenberg, of the Lightning division, is currently one of only two local skippers leading a class.
Posted on 19 Feb
Krabi waters deliver a spectacular Day 3 of the Bay Regatta 2017
Opting for just two starts each day – monohulls / multihulls – has proven a successful strategy for 2017 The Bay Regatta Opting for just two starts each day – monohulls and multihulls – has proven a successful strategy for the 2017 The Bay Regatta, getting the boats off early and enjoying the good breeze and eye-candy that is the Andaman triangle of Phuket-Phang Nga-Krabi.
Posted on 18 Feb