Vipers Strike at Geographe Bay Race Week
by Bernie Kaaks on 28 Feb 2011
Geographe Bay Race Week.
Mike Finn's Constellation enjoyed the light conditions to record another handicap win. - Geographe Bay Race Week 2011 Bernie Kaaks - copyright
Having notched State and national successes in several classes, Rod Beurteaux has now turned his hand to sports boats. In today’s windward/leeward races in steady 10-12 knot breezes, Beurteaux made a clean sweep of all three races sailing his Viper 640 Yacht Hub.
Tim Reger, who had a great day yesterday, had a horror today with a premature start in race one, a last placing in race 2 before finally clinching a second in the third. Peter Chalmers’ Shaw 650 continues to impress, but carries a higher rating than the Vipers and had to be content with mid-fleet placings.
Today’s long passage race for the IRC fleets, multis and some of the cruiser classes turned into a marathon when the wind died for more than two hours, leaving the fleet becalmed near Bunkers Bay. Alan Brierty’s Limit, steered by Ian 'Barney' Walker, enjoyed a sensational leg to Bunkers Bay to reach the turning mark in a little over two hours. An hour later however, with the turning mark barely out of sight, the big boat ran out of wind while searching for breeze close to shore near Dunsborough. Gary McNally’s Black Betty was next to round and headed directly for the shore looking for breeze, a decision that left the boat becalmed for almost two hours. The trailing pack was never able to fully capitalize on Black Betty’s misfortune as one by one they fell into the same 'hole' and parked until the arrival of a gentle south westerly early in the afternoon.
Limit had first use of the new breeze and skipped right away to take line honours by more than one and a half hours ahead of Black Betty, and capped it off by taking the handicap double. Second place went to The Next Factor, helmed by New Zealander Simon Minoprio, who did a great job in the light conditions to lead the bunch behind Black Betty until the final stages of the race.
Brad Skeggs’ Beneteau 34.7 Minds Eye finished mid fleet in IRC Division 2 but claimed the handicap win with a solid performance on his home waters, followed by Anthony Kirke’s Archambault 35, Archimedes, showing the benefit of having sailmaker Brad Sheridan on board.
IRC Division 3 continues the enthralling contest between Mike Finn’s S&S34 Constellation and Ian Holder’s modified Whiting 32, Bad Habits. Constellation won today, ahead of Bad Habits and the Adams 10, Addams Family.
Michael Cameron’s Flying Tiger Matador took line honours in Division 4, beating home the best division 2 IRC boat.
Tomorrow will be a busy day for the IRC divisions, with windward and return racing in the morning and a night race starting at sunset, ahead of Tuesday’s lay day.
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