Audi Winter Series 2012, organised by The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, is being held on Sydney Harbour. Race six got underway today, Sunday 2nd June. For the 116 competitors conditions today were in stark contrast from those experienced last week. From near perfect sailing conditions to rain, dark clouds and light breezes this week, competitors struggled to find the silver lining in today’s conditions.
With a light south westerly breeze that fluctuated from 2-8 knots, Race Officer Robyn Morton made the decision to shorten the course, providing competitors with their silver lining. With the last boat crossing the finishing line shortly after 3.00pm, it was back to the CYCA for a warming rum or hot shower. 'It was a pretty miserable day on the Harbour, but I don’t think anybody was too unhappy with the decision to shorten the course,' Morton said.
The silver lining for Colin Wilson was the clear air his Mkl49 Never A Dull Moment managed to get, handing him the Division A2 win, despite having a mishap with his wet weather gear. 'Clear air is everything on a day like today,' said Wilson. 'We got our break at the beginning and held on to it for the entire race. Using the current, we were able to come down the start boat end of the line and get into clean air.'
Wilson noted that his fancy wet weather gear decided to malfunction on today of all days! 'My top half was dry but the bottom wasn’t!,' he quipped.
'We debated putting the kettle on mid race so that I could have a warm cup of tea. Instead as we crossed the finish line, the crew put some pies and sausage rolls in the oven so that by the time we got back to our berth (at the CYCA) and put the boom tent on, the pies were hot. The crew are celebrating our win with jugs of rum and a tummy full of hot food!' Wilson added. Minerva, skippered by Edward Cox, placed second to Never A Dull Moment with Kings Quest (Jason King) finishing third in Division A2.
Jonathon Stone is thrilled with his recent purchase of Chancellor, the former Beneteau First 40 owned by Ted Tooher, which won Division C today. 'It’s great fun. She’s two generations of design ahead of Illusion (Stone’s former yacht, a Davidson 34, that was built in 1988) and I’m experiencing the benefits of all the new technologies.'
'We managed to keep boat speed going upwind and some hot tacking downwind paid off for us today. The crew, the old Illusion crew and some new faces, are busy learning the new boat, but I should have paid someone extra money for some nicer weather!' Stone added as he and the crew finished the day off with hot pies and beers. Gaia (Howard Elliott) finished second to Chancellor with Cyrene 3 (Michael Selby) third.
Division G winner, Kevin Karaloff was pleased with Chameleon’s win. 'It was definitely wet out there but still a great light air day on water. It was a challenge to stay warm and dry,' he said.
This is Karaloff’s sixth Audi Winter Series with his Elliott 7 and he thoroughly enjoys the level of competition in his division. 'The boat’s been fantastic and she fits well into Division G where there’s always strong competition. It’s not uncommon to have less than 100 metres between boats in our division at the first mark.
'We traded places with New Territories and Selkie around the race course today. They had the better of us on the downwind leg rounding the Lady Bay mark in front of us, but we managed to get ahead on the upwind leg,' Karaloff added. Selkie (Antico/Booth/Lewis) placed third behind Chameleon with Yandoo (John Formosa) second.
For Jeffery Taylor and his C & C 41 Nemesis, his new season ‘nemesis’ is Grant Pollock’s L’Eau Co, after finishing second in Division K to Pollock today. 'It’s shaping up to be a good series. L’Eau Co is the current divisional pointscore leader and they are proving to be the one to beat with three wins on their series scorecard. There was only nine seconds between us today on elapsed time,' Taylor said.
In last year’s Audi Winter Series, Nemesis battled with MRX all season, eventually placing second to the 2011 Division K winner by one point. Taylor wished his old ‘nemesis’ (MRX currently competing in Division J) the best of luck for the rest of the series.
'It was a good light wind race today. We saw most of our division at the first mark and dueled with Hubcap II for most of the afternoon, trading places in the light finicky wind. Hubcap II got a nice lift and put some air between us but we managed to overcome them and Star Ferry towards the end of the race,' Taylor added. Star Ferry finished third behind L’Eau Co and Nemesis.
Glenn Crane, who finished second overall in Division J, with his Dufour 40, Lahara II, was the lucky winner of the Audi Drive Weekend and will now drive a luxury Audi of his choosing for a weekend.
Other winners today were: Brindabella (Jim Cooney) Division A1; Last Tango (Phillip King) Division B; Salt Shaker (Peter Franki) Division D; Skeeter (Sandor Tornai) Division E; Perfect Match (Alun Lewis) Division F; Clewless ? (Lachlan and Guy Irwin) Division H; Eclipse (Rob Landis) Division J and Pastizze Café Wild One (Larki Missiris) Sydney 38.
With six races now completed and one drop coming into account in the overall series pointscore, the current divisional leaders are: Duende (Damian Parkes) Division A1; Playstation (Dean Harrigan) Division A2; Brannew (Chris Bran) Division B; Into the Mystic (Arthur Psaltis and Jon Ross) Division C; M (Steve Hatch) Division D; Tigger (Robert Briet) Division E; Kahoona (Derek Sheppard) Division F; Velocity (Brian Carrick) Division G; Clewless ? (Lachlan and Guy Irwin) Division H; Lahara II (Glenn Crane) Division J; L’Eau Co (Grant Pollock) Division K; and Next (Richard Holstein (Sydney 38).
The Audi Winter Series continues next Sunday from 11:25am, however the race is a non-pointscore race.
by Jennifer Crooks
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7:55 AM Sun 3 Jun 2012GMT
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