Please select your home edition
Edition
InSunSport - International - Endure

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

Newport Boat Show 2016 660x82upffront 660x82Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

Vendée Globe – Yann Eliès and his team relaunch 60-ft IMOCA in Lorient
Yann is now on the final stretch before the event and will be taking part in the three training courses. Yann is now on the final stretch before the event and will be taking part in the three training courses organised at the Finistère Ocean Racing Centre in Port-la-Forêt (Brittany). He will also take part in the Azimut Trophy. Yann Eliès tells us about the work that has been done and what lies ahead in the final part of his preparation.
Posted today at 12:47 pm
Vendée Globe – A long trip between France and Iceland for Heerema
After completing two solo transatlantic crossings in the spring, Pieter Heerema is currently on his third major trip. After completing two solo transatlantic crossings in the spring, Pieter Heerema is currently on his third major trip. Thanks to this voyage from France to Iceland and back, the Dutch skipper is finding out more about No Way Back, the new generation IMOCA on which he will line up on 6th November
Posted today at 12:17 pm
Phoenix returns and Cayard is back for the TP52 World Championships
Richard Cohen will compete at the championships in Mahón, Menorca, with Phoenix, which will be skippered by Paul Cayard. The carefully assembled team includes a core group of sailors who have many years of experience in the class, but Cayard cautions that their initial objective is to learn and improve together in line with their long term goal, to be competitive on the 2017 52 Super Series.
Posted today at 11:52 am
Michael Marshall triumphs at J/22 World Championship
With a second place finish in Thursday’s only race, Mike Marshall, Todd Hiller and Luke Lawrence are the champions. Heading into the 10th and final race, Marshall and Chris Doyle were tied on points at 30. As the 41 teams arrived at CORK in the morning, the after effects of an overnight storm left breeze in the mid-20s, so the Race Committee postponed on shore.
Posted on 25 Aug
Best pictures of the first 4 Acts of the Extreme Sailing Series™
An influx of fresh talent have all added to the hype, but the greatest evolution is the replacement of the Extreme 40. An influx of fresh talent, new venues and a revised race format have all added to the hype, but the greatest evolution is the replacement of the Extreme 40 by a smaller, faster catamaran: the flying GC32.
Posted on 25 Aug
Return to Russia for the Extreme Sailing Series™
Joining the fleet as the season heads into its second half is Gazprom Team Russia, led by WMRT champion, Phil Robertson. With one week to go, the fleet returns to St Petersburg for the fifth Act of the season, presented by SAP, 35 of the world’s best sailors are getting their heads in the game and preparing for the one of the trickiest venues of the season so far.
Posted on 25 Aug
Marshall and Doyle tied on points at J/22 World Championship
By way of a victory in Wednesday’s third race, Mike Marshall, Todd Hiller and Luke Lawrence are tied at 30 points By way of a victory in Wednesday’s third race, Mike Marshall, Todd Hiller and Luke Lawrence are tied at 30 points with Chris Doyle, Will Harris and Adam Burns. Jeff Todd is still in the hunt in third place with 35 points.
Posted on 24 Aug
Debriefing the 2016 Rio Olympics—Sailing news North America and beyond
Editorial Editorial
Posted on 23 Aug
The Clipper Race turns 20!
Throughout the race, tales of crew celebrating birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion Throughout the race, tales of Clipper Race crew celebrating their birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion, likely to remain a completely unique event in their lifetime.
Posted on 23 Aug
A magnificent fleet gathers in Cowes for Etchells World Championship
58 teams from all over the world have entered the championship, hosted by the Royal London Yacht Club. Twenty teams are from Great Britain and a dozen each from Australia and the United States of America. Four entries are from Hong Kong and as far afield as: Bermuda, Ireland, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.
Posted on 22 Aug