Please select your home edition
Edition
RS Sailing 728x90

General in command as casualties soar at Rockwater Coventry Reef Race

by YWA Offshore on 28 Nov 2012
Centimetre Perfect – the competitive Division Two fleet hits the start line fully powered, with Steel de Breeze harassing Aquila from behind. Bernie Kaaks
After a relatively light start to the season, Fremantle Sailing Club’s 48 nautical mile Rockwater Coventry Reef ocean race proved once again to be the Old Faithful of strong sea breezes. Crews and their boats were sorely tested by the conditions in Saturday’s race, which started in a benign south-easterly that clocked to south-south-west and built steadily throughout the day.

The larger yachts were able to round the Coventry Reef turning mark off Warnbro Sound before the breeze peaked at upwards of 30 knots, but the smaller yachts had a tough time as they pounded south. All were rewarded by a white-knuckled run home to Fremantle, with some skippers calling for the brown corduroy trousers as they prepared for the necessary gybes.

In Division One, Knee Deep skipper Phil Childs went overboard during a gybe west of Garden Island, but had the presence of mind to cling to a running backstay tail. The big Farr 49 had been topping 22 knots prior to the gybe, and even when slowed to a mere nine knots after the incident, the recovery of the man overboard was a difficult task. Phil was successfully retrieved and the yacht continued to race, finishing second over the line and second on both IRC and YAH.



It was the orange flying machine General Lee, with its crew of hardened dinghy and sports boat sailors, which harnessed the conditions best, sizzling home to make it three from three on IRC in the annual event. The compact Bakewell-White 37, designed light and tough for offshore racing, beat a number of larger boats over the line to win by 20 minutes on IRC and finish third on YAH. Sled was third on IRC, with veteran Garth Curran’s Inglis 58 Walk on the Wild Side taking line honours.

In Division Two, Tony Carter’s well-performed Beneteau First 40 Just Cruisin’ made a triumphant offshore return, taking the IRC-line honours double. In a tough day for owners, Carter ended up in Fremantle Hospital receiving 42 stitches to the back of his hand, which was shredded between the mainsheet and wheel during a spinnaker gybe. Scott Glaskin’s fast-charging Foundation 36 The X-Factor was only 2 ½ minutes behind on IRC, with Archimedes (Anthony Kirke) producing another solid performance for third. On YAH, it was The X-Factor from Archimedes and Just Cruisin’.


Division Two stalwart Bryan Bailie’s Titan 36 Adrenalin Rush had a scare when the motor failed just outside the FSC marina shortly after finishing. The disabled yacht drifted towards the rocky breakwater with the crew desperately trying to set an anchor. A crisis was avoided when Race Officer Trevor Milton radioed the nearby Fremantle Volunteer Sea Rescue, who deployed a rescue vessel within a minute.

It was a long, wet day at sea for the tenacious Division Three fleet, with the leaders finishing as the sun was setting and the tail enders finishing after dark. Peter Kennington’s veteran Whiting 32 Traffic Jam was the star of the day, finding the boisterous conditions to its liking to take fastest time and first on YAH. Traffic Jam’s perfect day was spoiled by Simon Torvaldsen’s hard-to-beat S&S 34 Blondie, which grabbed the IRC win by a mere four minutes, with Dennis Vincent’s Beneteau First 34.7 Wyuna third. Blondie and Wyuna took the YAH minor placings, with Sydney 2000 Paralympic gold medallist Graeme Martin showing his offshore skills to pilot his Gib Sea 404 Sand Crabs Disco to fourth.

The heroes of the day were undoubtedly the hardy Double-Handed sailors, who tackled the testing conditions with limited resources. As testament to the growing popularity of short-handed ocean racing, six yachts greeted the starter. A destroyed spinnaker could not stop Graeme Monkhouse’s J/122 Lithium from recording another victory, despite being pursued relentlessly by Todd Giraudo and Dubbo White on Kraken, which also unfurled a chute after rounding Coventry Reef in 32 knots. When Kraken’s spinnaker fell to the deck with a broken swivel pin after being furled for the gybe, Giraudo and White decided to accept the message and did not re-hoist. Adrian Wilson’s Beneteau First 30 Lamotrek was third on IRC, with the order being Kraken, Lithium, Lamotrek on YAH.

Misfortune struck Chris Hogan’s Beneteau First 40.7 Liesl, which lost its mast late in the race. Once again, Fremantle Volunteer Sea Rescue performed the recovery. The yacht has been pursuing a full double-handed program this season and will be missed by the fleet while awaiting a new spar.

Full results of the Rockwater Coventry Reef race can be found here

The final offshore race before Christmas is South of Perth Yacht Club’s OH&S Consulting Around the Sound race, details of which can be found on South of Perth Yacht Club website.

Southern Spars - 100Protector - 660 x 82Barz Optics - Kids range

Related Articles

Comanche on the warpath for Transpac record
Jim Clark’s 100-foot Comanche has joined fleet of 62 entries preparing for Transpacific YC’s biennial LA-Honolulu race Jim Clark’s 100-foot Comanche has recently joined the fleet of 62 entries currently preparing for the 49th edition of the Transpacific YC’s biennial LA-Honolulu race, with one goal: to set a new race record. This 100-foot carbon fiber ocean greyhound designed by VPLP/Verdier and built by Hodgdon Yachts in 2014 was created to be quite simply the fastest sailing yacht in the world
Posted today at 5:29 am
Countdown to Transpac - Under 70 days to go
With just under 70 days to go to the first start of 49th biennial Transpac, skippers and sailors, are all working hard With just under 70 days to go to the first start of the 49th biennial Transpac, skippers and sailors, sponsors, families, spectators and organizers from the Transpacific YC are all working hard on their preparation tasks for this classic 2225-mile race from LA to Honolulu. In all, 63 monohull and multihull entries from seven countries around the Pacific and beyond are now entered
Posted today at 5:17 am
RC44 Sotogrande Cup – Rain does not stay on the plain
Rain of Old Testament magnitude descended on Spain's Costa del Sol for day two. While the wind was not excessive Even as RC44 crews and race management surfaced for their breakfast this morning, it was evident that the onshore easterly breeze, that had been blowing all night, had caused the sea state to build to the extent that waves were already breaking over the harbour wall.
Posted on 28 Apr
28th May announced as the America’s Cup Endeavour Day
The America’s Cup Endeavour Program is the America’s Cup’s ambitious youth sailing and educational program The America’s Cup Endeavour Program is the America’s Cup’s ambitious youth sailing and educational program, dedicated to inspiring everybody who engages with the initiative and to leaving a sporting legacy in Bermuda that has a strong, positive impact on the community.
Posted on 28 Apr
Challenging Qingdao tests Extreme Sailing Series fleet in Act 2 opener
As the fleet of seven crews hit the water the wind was down to just a couple of knots, delaying the start of racing. China's Olympic Sailing City is renowned for its tricky weather conditions that can catch sailors off guard with sudden changes – and the opening day of Act 2 Qingdao 'Mazarin Cup' was a prime example.
Posted on 28 Apr
Extreme Sailing Series – Team Oman Air promise to bounce back
Qingdao is notorious for delivering tricky conditions that can change in an instant, and that's just what happened today After almost two hours of bobbing around waiting for enough wind to allow action to commence, a solid 15-knot breeze swept over the seven-strong fleet allowing three races to be held.
Posted on 28 Apr
Antigua Sailing Week – 8 teams contest Nonsuch Bay RS Elite Challenge
Racing is done in two preliminary heats of three races each. The two top finishers of each heat go to the final round Racing is done in two preliminary heats of three races each. The two top finishers of each heat go to the final round, which also consists of three races. All races are approximately 15 to 20 minutes in length keeping them challenging and exciting to watch!
Posted on 28 Apr
RYA announces new Olympic Performance Manager
The RYA is delighted to complete its World Class Programme management team with the appointment of Mark Robinson Robinson, who joins the British Sailing Team in June from a Performance Manager role at Australian Sailing, takes on the post vacated by Stephen Park OBE and will lead the world’s leading Olympic sailing nation as it continues its quest for medal success in Tokyo 2020 and beyond.
Posted on 28 Apr
Marion Bermuda 2017... an Extravaganza
Entries now stand at 60 yachts for the 2017 Marion Bermuda Race and there is still time to get off the fence Entries now stand at 60 yachts for the 2017 Marion Bermuda Race and there is still time to get off the fence and enter this classic, 40th Anniversary Race.
Posted on 28 Apr
RC44 PRO earns his bucks on snakes and ladders opening day
Sotogrande, Spain laid on a tricky first day of the 2017 RC44 Championship. Sotogrande, Spain laid on a tricky first day of the 2017 RC44 Championship. Nonetheless Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio read his crystal ball well enough to stage four races on this course which uniquely has Europe, Gibraltar and North Africa as a backdrop.
Posted on 28 Apr