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Club Marine Series cream rises to the top

'Cougar II making the most of light breezes getting organised to hoist their kite nearing the top mark in Saturdays race - Club Marine Series'    Alex McKinnon ©

Club Marine Series' best, such as Cougar II (pictured) and Penfold Audi Sport, emerged from their Christmas break on Saturday, displaying great panache, dash and style while most landlubbers were struggling to recover from the shock of Melbourne’s Friday night tropical swamping.

In Saturday’s two IRC handicap division zero races sailed in humid swinging north westerly breezes, Alan Whitley’s Sandringham Yacht Club based TP52 Cougar II was typical of the cream rising to the top, scoring a first and second to take a firm 6.5 points lead (on 14 pts) in the series, ahead of its sistership Robert Hanna’s TP 52 Shogun (Royal Yacht Club 20.5 pts).

Royal Brighton Yacht Club’s Principal Race Officer Simon Dryden who managed the races had his work cut out as the light 4 – 9 knot mainly north westerly breezes swung up to 90 degrees at times. The Club was lucky to be operating at all after Beach Road (on which it fronts) was flooded by over 100 mils of rain the night before that saw waves cascading into the premises.

Meanwhile out on Port Phillip, David Ellis’s new division two Archambault A31 speedster Penfold Audi Sports (RYCV) that had recorded two wins added a third on Saturday to further stretch its lead (on 5 pts) over Terry Hall’s Absolut (Sandringham YC) on 8 pts.

Division One turning into a Beneteau 45 shoot out
David McCraken’s sleek Beneteau 45 Ikon Hobsons Bay YC 7 pts) continues to hold the division one pole position, with a third placing adding to its earlier two wins, to lead Grant Botica Adams 10 Executive Decision (RYCV 19.5 pts). Whilst Alan Woodward's Beneteau 45 Reverie (Royal Brighton YC 20.5 pts) holds down third overall and remains very keen to take the silverware.

Young Lion scoots away in Division Three
And in the hotly contested division three that sees 40 plus boats fighting for the performance handicap honours, Michael Manson’s Sandringham YC based 8.9m Young Lion has sailed away to big series lead with two firsts and third (5 pts) whilst falling astern in second place is Brendan Kruger’s 10.35m Wavelength (SYC) on 15 pts.

The next Club Marine Series race day will be sailed on 19 February to be conducted by Sandringham Yacht Club with Division Zero starting at 1155 and all other divisions at 1355 hours.

2011 Club Marine Series at a Glance
19 February 1155 and 1355 Hours – conducted by Sandringham Yacht Club
5 March 1155 and 1355 Hours – conducted by Keep Cancer at Bay
9 April 1155 and 1355 Hours – conducted by Hobsons Bay Yacht Club

Club Marine Insurance is the naming rights sponsor for the Series which was first staged in 1992. Club Marine is a long term supporter and active participant in the great Australian marine lifestyle, that includes recreational boating and racing.

As the country’s largest provider of pleasure craft insurance, it is also proud that it’s been protecting the insurance needs of Australian boaters for more than 40 years.

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by Mike Sabey


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9:05 AM Mon 7 Feb 2011 GMT

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