A 'pick-up' crew, plus half the regular crew, today combined to give Warwick Sherman a resounding double victory with Occasional Coarse Language in the Gascoigne Cup, the 104th running of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron’s historic annual short ocean race.
The Sydney GTS 43 took out the Gascoigne Cup, decided on Performance handicaps, and also won the IRC division which is also part of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Grant Thornton Short Ocean Pointscore.
In the Cup scoring, the CYCA-based Occasional Coarse Language had a comfortable winning margin on corrected time from RSYS yacht Wine-Dark Sea (Peter Lowndes and Sarah Goddard-Jones) and Aerial (Ron Forster) also from the CYCA.
Under IRC scoring, Occasional Coarse Language won by just 11 seconds on corrected time from Ed Psaltis’ Ker 40, AFR Midnight Rambler, after a great spinnaker duel to the finish between the two boats, which saw the slightly higher rating AFR Midnight Rambler cross the line just 38 seconds ahead.
Third place went to Bob Steel’s TP52 Quest, which also took line honours in 37 boat fleet that sailed in a 15-16 knot east-south-easterly breeze off Sydney Heads, with the start and finish at Watsons Bay.
In the Grant Thornton SOPS results, in Division 1 PHS Occasional Coarse Language placed first from another Rolex Sydney Hobart entrant, Aerial, third place going to Imagination (Robin Hawthorn).
In Division 2 PHS, first place went to Limelight (Alan Husband) from King Billy (Philip Bennett), third to Alpha Carinae (Damian Barker). The IRC results for the SOPS were the same as the Gascoigne Cup results.
Sherman explained that he had been racing Occasional Coarse Language in the CYCA’s Blue Water Pointscore with his regular crew complemented with crew members of the former Lake Macquarie yacht Tow Truck.
'They weren’t available for the Gascoigne Cup, so I looked around the CYCA during the week and came up with six experienced guys,' Sherman said. 'Even though none of them had sailed on the boat before they worked as a great team with my five regular crew members.
'I am delighted with the win today….I must say the boat and people sailing her with me did a spectacular job.
'We had two excellent upwind legs and had a tremendous last spinnaker run back to Sydney Heads and the finish which gave us that narrow winning margin over AFR Midnight Rambler under IRC,' he aid.
Sherman said he would continue to race in the SOPS in the New Year once the Blue Water Pointscore finishes with the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race.
He has entered Occasional Coarse Language for the Rolex Sydney Hobart in what will be his first Hobart race in 18 years of ocean racing, including a dozen Lord Howe Island Races.
What no Sydney Hobart before this year? 'The fear factor!' whimsically commented Sherman, who has recovered well from a cancer scare. 'I guess it has to be on my bucket list, too,' he added.
RSYS principal race officer David Ross set the fleet an offshore windward leg of 2.7 nautical miles with a course of 150 degrees. 'Both divisions had excellent reaching starts, although most were conservative to avoid being over early… only one boat was OCS but they returned and restarted,' Ross said.
by Peter Campbell
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5:29 PM Sat 20 Oct 2012GMT
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