'Greg Hill's Firefly 850 cat was very quick when the breeze freshened in the afternoon. - Cockburn Sound Regatta'
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Heatwave conditions and light, fickle winds greeted the eager competitors on the opening day of the 55th Cockburn Sound Regatta, but there were no complaints. With the course and mooring area just off the Cruising Yacht of WA Clubhouse on Rockingham's beautiful beach, refreshing swims and cooling drinks between races were the order of the day.
Veteran John Holder put the spinnakers away this week to compete in the jib and main fleet and is still proving hard to beat. - Cockburn Sound Regatta - Bernie Kaaks Click Here to view large photo
The early light easterly breeze slowly faded during the morning race, with the resulting glass-off eventually giving way to a light westerly sea breeze. Race Officer Trevor Milton and his team were obliged to shorten courses, but were able to complete the morning's racing program. Sailors enjoyed the steady ten knot south-westerly for the afternoon races.
In Division One, Peter Hickson's Beneteau First 35 'Mulberry' achieved the IRC/PHS double for the morning race, to which the afternoon IRC win was added. Division Two results were shared around, with Colin Harrison's Sonar 'Noel Robins' taking the morning race and Greg Hill's Firefly 850 catamaran 'Whip It' winning in the afternoon. However, a pair of seconds to Nigel Kingdon's S97 'Mistress Quickly' showed the sort of consistency that wins regattas, and flies under the handicapper's acute radar.
Paralympian Colin Harrison and his crew have been very competitive in Division 2 in the Sonar, a yacht specifically designed for sailors with disabilities. - Cockburn Sound Regatta - Bernie Kaaks Click Here to view large photo
Local TCYC boats continued their vendetta in Division Three, with Colin Jones' 'Anelaua' winning in the morning and Craig Nylund's 'Pi Phrontis' taking the afternoon, in both cases from Ally Mounsey's 'Lokman' and John Percy's 'Bonanza'.
The large and competitive Jib & Main division fought out a tight contest, with John Holder's 'Plus 16' prevailing in the morning race and defending regatta champions Neil & Wendy Harrison sailing 'Deckchairs Overboard' winning in the afternoon. Premier Cruising Division also produced tight racing, with Kim Jamieson's 'Intension' winning in the morning and Dieter Strauss' 'Unhinged' victorious after lunch.
Peter Hickson's Beneteau First 35 Mulberry has been outstanding in the Division 1 IRC fleet. - Cockburn Sound Regatta - Bernie Kaaks Click Here to view large photo
In the Classic Division, Gary Martin's 'Acrospire' impressed again by winning in the morning, but may have attracted the handicapper's wrath, slipping to third in the afternoon behind Jay Lawry's H28 'Karoleeya' and Peter Joiner's 'Sir Henry Merkin'.
Nigel Kingdon's S97 Mistress Quickly - a consistent performance with two seconds places. - Cockburn Sound Regatta - Bernie Kaaks Click Here to view large photo
The Sports Boat fleet would have enjoyed more breeze, but still fought out two close races. Bob von Felton's Esse 850 'Caffe Macchiato' won the morning race, but Mark Robertshaw's Runnalls 8 'One Goat' struck back in the afternoon. A second and third to Mark Robins' and Natalie Jackson's Shaw 650 'Shaw Thing' sees them well placed as the regatta moves into Day 2.
With continuing hot and humid conditions and feeble winds forecast, competitors and race officers alike face another challenging day on the water.
Full results are available at Sports Page
by Laurie Flynne
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4:28 AM Sat 29 Dec 2012GMT
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