CYCA Trophy-Passage Series’ first race was held at 1.08.13pm today, Saturday 15th December. Lahana, Peter Millard and John Honan’s 98ft super maxi from NSW has taken double honours, making short work of the 18 nautical mile course that took the 24 boats from Sydney Harbour north to Long Reef on the ocean side of Manly.
Millard and Honan and their full complement of Rolex Sydney Hobart crew took line honours and then won the race overall from their 23 competitors. Hobart newcomer, Warwick Sherman (Occasional Coarse Language Too) finishing second overall and Middle Harbour entry, Nine Dragons, a DK46 owned by Bob Cox in third.
Millard said this afternoon they were 'smokin' all the way to Long Reef and back, sailing upwind to the mark before setting a spinnaker for a speedy run back home to the finish in Watsons Bay on an overcast gray afternoon.
'It was light at the start,' Millard confirmed, saying the nor’ easter was at around 8 or 9 knots.
'We tucked in close to Manly on the way out of the Harbour (two thirds of the fleet followed suit) which gave us a good line to the turning mark. Then we had a fast run home,' Millard said, adding that the breeze had topped out at 15 knots.
Matt Allen’s Jones 70, Ichi Ban, kept Lahana honest up the work, but the bigger boat got away from it downwind, with Ichi Ban ending the day in fourth place overall.
As they came in through the Heads to finish, the breeze was lightning off, but the fleet was lucky the sea was not quite as toggly as the breeze suggested it might be when competitors turned the corner to head north off North Head.
Warwick Sherman was 'extremely pleased,' with his pair of second places today, also finishing second overall in PHS, as the seasoned offshore sailor prepares for his first ever assault on the Rolex Sydney Hobart.
'The boat went well and the crew did really well too. We had all but two of our Hobart crew on board,' Sherman told.
'We got caught out a bit at the start; there was a big bunch up at the boat end and some were pushed out of the start,' the CYCA skipper said.
'It was a bit sloppy offshore, but we sailed in a really nice breeze. We had a great competition with Nine Dragons and there was no more than a boat length in it. They just got us over the line (by eight seconds), our handicap saved us (they beat Nine Dragons by eight seconds),' he said.
Perennial favourite, Brindabella (Jim Cooney) took the spoils overall in PHS, with Sam Haynes’ Rogers 46 Celestial Assistance Dogs scoring third.
The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia race started at 11.00am. At 3.00pm, 17 of the 24 had finished. Most are entries in the Club’s 628 nautical mile Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and using this two race series as their final preparation for the big race ahead.
The smallest yachts in the fleet, 9.1 metre Selkie owned by Chris Antico and Velocity, the 9.5 metre Beneteau 31.5 belonging to Brian Carrick, were the last two to finish the race at 3.36.13pm and 3.42.51pm respectively.
Racing finishes tomorrow with one final passage race.
by Di Pearson
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10:31 AM Sat 15 Dec 2012GMT
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