Close racing between CHALLENGE and AUDACIOUS in Ullman Sails Sprint Series - Ullman Sails Sydney 38 Sprint series
Sandringham Yacht Club was the host of Day 2 of the Ullman Sails Sydney 38 Sprint Series held last Sunday. Five Sydney 38’s faced the starter in a squally south to south easterly varying in strength from 15 to 25 knots.
Three races were sailed and produced three different winners. The two lap windward leeward course with each leg just under a mile in length was perfect and produced close racing. The easterly influence created a problem for tacticians as the wind oscillated between 150 and 170 degrees and the winners generally were favoured by the right hand side of the course.
Race 1 was won by Audacious sailed by Greg Clinnick and Paul Holden by 15 seconds from Lou Abraham’s Challenge with Sierra Chainsaw owned by Mel and Andrew Mollison a minute latter. Audacious has been the big improver this season and is being rewarded for their efforts and enthusiasm.
The Race Officer wisely delayed the start of Race 2 as rain and gusts to 30 knots would have made racing unpleasant. When racing recommenced, all yachts had their number 4’s set and it was Challenge’s turn to show a clean pair of heels to win comfortably from Audacious with Clockwork owned by Frank McDermott and Gordon Mather, 15 seconds behind in third place.
By the start of Race 3, the wind had moderated to 16 knots which produced the closest racing of the day. Mark roundings were very close and it was one design racing at its best. Whilst Challenge and Audacious engaged in their own private battle, it was Clockwork which again attacked the right hand side of the course to lead from Another Challenge sailed by Chris Leewin and his young crew who were enjoying their best race of the day.
The leeward mark rounding was keenly contested but the Orange team, ably assisted on the day by the series sponsor, Sam Haines from Ullman sails, who protected the right hand side of the course to maintain their lead at the weather mark for the final run to the finish. Challenge attacked Orange with a couple of jibes to close the gap but it was to no avail as Orange crossed the line with a boat length to spare. The win was the first class win for the owners and demonstrates how close One Design racing can be! Audacious managed to pip Another Challenge by four seconds in another close finish to finish third.
At the end of the day Challenge now leads Audacious by a point with the next sprint series to be held on the 29th November, 2009. The Ullman Sails Series consists of six days racing spread over the summer season and is jointly hosted by Royal Brighton Yacht Club and Sandringham Yacht Club.