Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars

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

upffront 660x82InSunSport - NZBarz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best Eyewear

Related Articles

52 Super Series – Puerto Portals Sailing Week – Day 3 action shots
Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from day three Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from day three
Posted today at 5:09 pm
RS Feva Worlds – Qualification phase is complete at the end of Day 2
Heavy metal day. Gold, Silver or Bronze. It was going to going to be tight at the cut off points. PA Consulting and Allen RS Feva Worlds 2016 - Heavy metal day. Gold, Silver or Bronze. It was going to going to be tight at the cut off points. A number of boats went into the day in much lower positions than expected for a variety of reasons. Could they make it up?
Posted today at 7:34 am
Chile’s Clemente Seguel wins Youth North American Championship
Chile's Clemente Seguel on top with four bullets in four races. The wind didn't come in on Tuesday, leaving the results as they were after Monday: Chile's Clemente Seguel on top with four bullets in four races.
Posted today at 4:58 am
Kinetic V wins 2016 Vic-Maui Yacht Race
Kinetic V Wins Vic-Maui 2016, Valkyrie wins Line Honours and second overall, Longboard takes third overall. 2016 Vic-Maui Yacht Race - Kinetic V Wins Vic-Maui 2016, Valkyrie wins Line Honours and second overall, Longboard takes third overall.
Posted today at 4:08 am
TowBoatUS Bay St. Louis now offers 24/7 on-water assistance to boaters
Capt. Conrad Morris, knows what it is like to get stuck on a sandbar in Mississippi Sound. Capt. Conrad Morris, the new owner of TowBoatUS Bay St. Louis, a 24-hour on-water towing and assistance service for recreational boaters, knows what it is like to get stuck on a sandbar in Mississippi Sound. “It happened to me countless times when I was a kid,” he said. “Sometimes we had to spend the night waiting for the tide to come in – there weren’t any towing services around back then.”
Posted today at 3:23 am
52 Super Series – Puerto Portals Sailing Week – Azzurra strikes back
Azzurra delivered their best day of the season so far on the Bay of Palma waters where they won the World Champion title The team of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda scored two second places from the pair of windward-leeward races which were sailed in relatively steady sea breeze conditions. Super sharp starting was the launch pad for race victories today. Prime position on the pin mark of the start line at the gun was key to the wins of Bronenosec and Provezza.
Posted on 26 Jul
Registration open for Rally to the Cup 2017
It will provide dock space at the St. Georges Sports and Dinghy Club for the first 20 to 25 boats to sign up. It will provide dock space at the St. Georges Sports and Dinghy Club for the first 20 to 25 boats to sign up and a designated anchorage area (with launch service) or a berth along the wall in St. Georges for all others.
Posted on 26 Jul
New French leader on Day 3 of Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup
Breakfast time today saw some furious adding up to resolve the winning team in the high scoring offshore race Initially France Blue, overall leaders after day one, looked strong with their two big boats, Eric de Turkheim's A13, Teasing Machine, and the Prietz family's JND 39, GOA, in front. As boats started finishing the Flanders North Sea team edged ahead.
Posted on 26 Jul
52 Super Series – Puerto Portals Sailing Week – Races 3 and 4 images
Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from races three and four Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from races three and four
Posted on 26 Jul
Gstaad Yacht Club's Racing Team trio for Rio 2016
Pre-Olympic Brunch at the GYC clubhouse – members, guests and friends gave a Brazilian farewell to the GYC Racing Team. The Gstaad Yacht Clubs sport members are: the Nacra 17 team with Matías Bühler and Nathalie Brugger who qualified for Switzerland, the 470 sailor Will Ryan, who starts with his helmsman Matthew Belcher for Australia and Billy Besson, who starts in the Nacra 17 class too, together with his crew Marie Riou for France.
Posted on 26 Jul