Prince Philip Cup Regatta, organised by the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, fifth day of racing got underway on Hobart’s River Derwent.
Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania member Nick Rogers today won the prestigious Prince Philip Cup Australasian championship for the classic International Dragon class for a remarkable 11th time, ten times as a helmsman and one as a crewman – with a race to spare.
The victory was Rogers’ 10th win as a helmsman in the Prince Phillip Cup, plus one as a crew. For mainsheet trimmer Leigh Behrens it was his seventh Cup win and for bowman Simon Burrows his fourth as crew in the vintage former Olympic keelboat class.
Rogers today scored a first and second with Karabos IX, a Tasmanian built Ridgeway Dragon, making him unbeatable going into tomorrow’s seventh and final race.
In a remarkably consistent series, Rogers so far has had four wins and two seconds for a net 6 points, 11 points clear of his nearest rival, British yachtsman Robert Campbell and his crew of Rene Nel and Simon Cash from Burnham-on-Crouch, east of London.
Sailing Indulgence, Campbell is on 17 points, three points clear of another local Hobart yacht, Ridgeway, skippered by Steven Shield, with Elliott Noye and George Jones as crew, who is on 20 points after scoring his second win of the series in race six this afternoon.
Rogers admitted he was lucky to win race five this morning. 'I drifted faster than anyone else' in the light and flukey breeze,' he said. Shield led for the first two legs of race five from Campbell. They were duelling for the lead when they sailed into a windless ‘hole’, with the rest of the fleet, including Rogers, sailing around them.
Campbell finished 10th, Shield 12th, their worst races so far, with Rogers winning from two other local boats, Leander II (Stuart Job) and Leander (Stephen Henley). Shield later sought redress, claiming that the race committee had erred into not abandoning heat five because of the light and unstable winds but the protest was dismissed.
In race six, Shield sailed Ridgeway to the front soon after the start in the fresh and steady south-easterly breeze, and was never headed. Rogers came from astern to split Campbell and West Australian Sandy Anderson, sailing Linnea, to snatch second place, with Campbell finishing third, beating Anderson by just three seconds.
It was game, set and match to the Rogers, Behrens and Burrows in Karabos IX.
Rogers began his sailing career in Mirror dinghies, winning four Australian championships, before making a quantum leap into the International Dragon class in 1987, winning his first Prince Philip Cup with Karabos VI on the Derwent in 1989.
In addition to his record run of wins in the Prince Philip Cup Australasian championship, he has also won a world champion in Dragons.
The final race of the Prince Philip Cup will be sailed on the River Derwent tomorrow afternoon with the regatta finishing on Saturday with the Martin Graney Memorial match racing.
Four Dragons will sail a single round-robin: Linnea (Sandy Anderson, RFBYC), Karabos IX (Nick Rogers, RYCT), Amazing Grace (Andrew Merrett, RBYC) and Ridgeway which will be sailed by a youth crew of Laser sailors, Elliott Noye, Christopher ‘George’ Jones and Nick Jones, from the RYCT. Noye led a RYCT crew to victory in the Australian match racing championship in 2012. Top seven placegetters after six races of the 2012 Prince Philip Cup:
1. Karabos (Nick Rogers, Leigh[ Behrens, Simon Burrows, RYCT) 1-1-(2)-1-1-2, 6 pts
2. Indulgence (Robert Campbell, Rene Nel, Simon Cash, GBR) 2-2-5-5-(10)-3, 17 pts
3. Ridgeway (Steven Shield, Elliott Noye, George Jones, RYCT) 3-5-1-10-(12)-1, 20 pts
4. Shapes (Wolf Breit, Roger Hickman, Dan Morrow, RSYS) 5-6-4-2-4-(9), 21 pts
5. Aquila (Jock Young, Ian Ross, Nick Jones, RYCT) 6-3-3-(DNF)-7-5, 24 pts
6. Leander (Stephen Henley, Justin Barr, Andrew Burnett, RYCT) 7-(10)-8-3-3-6, 27pts
7. Linnea (Sandy Anderson, John Moncrieff, John Low, RFBYC) (8)-7-7-6-5-4, 29 pts/ Event website