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Pittwater to Coffs Harbour - Exile and Future Shock handicap winners

by Damian Devine on 5 Jan 2012
DK46 Exile wins IRC handicap in 2012 Pittwater to Coffs Race - 2012 Pittwater & Coffs Harbour Regatta Gavin Ward
Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Yacht Race 2012 - Two DK46s representing the MHYC have dominated the IRC handicap spoils with a 1-2 finish whilst line honours winner Craig Ellis’ Elliot 57 ‘Future Shock’ crowned the PHS winner in the regatta, hosted by the Royal Prince Alfred and Coffs Harbour Yacht clubs.

Rob Reynolds DK46 'Exile' took out the coveted IRC handicap crown with a corrected time of 46hrs 27mins 36secs to win by twelve minutes from club compatriot and good mate, Bob Cox’s ‘Nine Dragons’.

The former ‘Shogun’, Rob Reynolds acquired her in 2009 and has configured her to achieve the highest performance IRC cruiser/racer.

The duo battled it out on top of the leader board since the early part of day two, being challenged at times by ‘Merlin’, ‘Old School’ and ‘Blunderbuss’, but the might of the DK46s in the tough upwind conditions managed to hold them off over the 226 nautical mile course.

Reynolds who has been racing for over 45 years was thrilled with his first overall IRC handicap win in the Coffs race. 'We’re elated, this is my second Coffs race in this boat so to win it’s fantastic. It’s a great race to win.'

'We were fortunate with the conditions as it suited this all round boat that goes very well on the nose. But I have to say that was one of the hardest races I’ve ever done. It was tough out there plus we were engaged in a 40 hour match race with Bob’s Nine Dragons, so there was not much rest. We pushed each other all the way, we’re both great mates and very competitive but without each other in the race, it may have been a different result,' commented Reynolds.

'We knew with our configuration that Bob gave us a bit on handicap and we were mindful we had to finish within 40 minutes of him, so we just worked at staying in touch. In the end, it was pretty close. It was a very tiring race with lots of tacking to stay out of the current and the surf line, so there wasn’t much sleep on board. But it’s all worth it now, really happy,' offered an exhausted Reynolds.

Reynolds had praise for his excellent crew saying, 'I have a fantastic crew and have full admiration for them. They worked very hard for the entire race and they are elated with the result.'

Cox obviously handled the step up to the recently purchased DK46, carrying the same name from the previously successful NS 369 'Nine Dragons' who podiumed in the past two Coffs races. The Coffs race was its first major test. 'We just couldn’t shake this monkey off our back, he kept coming at us all the way, it was a good race and well done to Bobby,' quipped Cox.

Only eight seconds separated third to fifth in IRC overall with Joseph Earle’s Kaiko 52 ‘Merlin’ taking the final podium position in the end ahead of Tony Kinsman’s Beneteau First 40 ‘Blunderbuss’ and Mark Griffiths Sydney 38 ‘Old School’.

In the PHS Division, it was a another sweet victory for line honours winner ‘Future Shock’ in less than 24 hours for skipper Craig Ellis who takes home two trophies after being announced performance handicap winner for the 2012 Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Race.

Ellis was proud of the effort saying, 'it’s not easy taking line honours, it’s even harder winning on handicap, so I am really proud of the effort by the crew and the boat to get us here in the quickest possible time in a very tough race. This is pretty special and I’m thrilled with this victory. It makes it all worthwhile. We look forward to doing it all again next year.'

Second place went to the Coffs Harbour local, Paul D’Olier’s Sydney 41, ‘B52’ who repeated his previous performance a couple of years back whilst RPAYC Commodore Rob Curtis and his SMB syndicated Murray 42 ‘Secret Men’s Business #1’, finishing third.

With still a handful of boats still at sea and due to finish overnight, the results are provisional and will be official pending no protest. They will be presented at the prize giving to be held at the Coffs Harbour Yacht Club tomorrow evening.

Provisional Divisional results:

IRC Overall and Division One:
1. Exile, Rob Reynolds, DK 46
2. Nine Dragons, Bob Cox, DK 46
3. Merlin, Joseph Earle, Kaiko 52

IRC Division Two:
1. Blunderbuss, Tony Kinsman, Beneteau First 40
2. Close Halled, Graeme Hall, Beneteau First 40
3. Ariel, Ron Forster, Beneteau First 40

1. Exile, Rob Reynolds, DK 46
2. Wizzard, Mick Hinchley, Sydney 38
3. Kerisma, Grant Dawson, Kerr 11.3

Sydney 38OD:
1. Old School, Mark Griffiths

PHS Overall and Division One:
1. Future Shock, Craig Ellis, Elliot 57
2. B52, Paul D’Olier, Sydney 41
3. Secret Men’s Business, SMB Syndicate, Murray 42

PHS Division Two:
1. She’s the Culprit, Tony Purkiss, Hart 39
2. The Real Thing, Garry Holder, ID 35
3. TBC

The attention now turns to the start of the four Solitary Island races tomorrow to round out the regatta and the inaugural Australian Performance Handicap (PHS) Championships, over two days ending Friday.

Pittwater and Coffs Harbour Regatta website

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