The Port Hacking Race is the second race of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Ocean Pointscore Series (OPS) which commenced on 10 September 2011 and consists of 10 races.
Julian Farren-Price won the Port Hacking Race today, with his Cookson 12, About Time – and it was all about time, with the CYCA member taking overall honours by a mere 20 seconds from long-time rival St. Jude.
About Time won the OPS last season from Vamp, the Corby 49 owned by CYCA commodore Garry Linacre and past commodore David Fuller and St. Jude, the Sydney 47 owned by Noel Cornish. Along with newcomer, Jake, the J111 owned by Ray Entwistle, these are the same boats Farren-Price had close racing with today.
While Vamp took line honours today, at 3.27.36pm, she was fourth overall. It was second placed St. Jude and third placed Jake that had Farren-Price most worried. 'I’m glad to be on the right side of the results this week – I was beaten by four seconds in the first race of the series two weeks ago by Bennie and the Jets (John Griffin) and I wasn’t sure whether St. Jude had beat us today or not, it was so close,' he said.
Farren-Price described the 30 nautical mile race as: 'Unusual, tricky, but a really nice sail – very interesting. We got a good start, then stuck close to South Head and then went out to sea a bit, which worked out well for us. We didn’t get as much time under spinnaker as St. Jude and Jake, because of the shifts.
'I’ve never seen the wind shift so much as it did today. There were 20 degree shifts all the way to Port Hacking and as we approached the turning mark, the wind went from 120 degrees (east-south-east) to 220 degrees (south-west) really quickly. The sea was very lumpy too.
The committed yachtsman said tactics were critical. 'I think Jake and others made the mistake of staying too close to the coast. It proved costly. But don’t underestimate Jake, I couldn’t shake her off till we left the Harbour and went out to sea. I think she’ll be hard to beat in the series – so will St. Jude,' he said.
Although second under IRC, St. Jude sailed well enough to win PHS from Stephen Trevillion’s Jarkan 12, Online and Greg Barter’s Mount Gay 30, Shaya Moya.
Breezes were light on, eight knots being the average, but it was enough to get the last boat home by 5.00pm. Twelve were registered to start, but only seven finished the race.
The start off Point Piper, had all the hallmarks of last year’s very light race, with very little breeze to get the yachts going, prompting Principal Race Officer, Denis Thompson to say: 'It’s going to be a long, slow race.' However, at least the tide was an outgoing one, which helped take the small fleet out and the breeze did recover to better than expected.
For full race results and provisional Ocean Pointscore Series standings are available online
. CYCA website