Audi Winter Series 2012, organised by The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, is being held on Sydney Harbour. Race eight got underway today, Sunday 24th June. There was not a cloud in the sky today for the record 140 competitors. Sydney Harbour was bathed in glorious sunshine and westerly breezes that provided excellent conditions for sailing.
From his vantage point on the CYCA’s start boat MV Offshore, Race Officer Denis Thompson said 'It’s such a beautiful day: nice breezes and not a cloud in the sky. We’ve even seen a few shorts being worn by sailors.'
At 12.30pm the lead boats were approaching the gate with the last competitor crossing the finish line at 14:53. For the second week in a row, competitors enjoyed westerly breezes of 10 – 20 knots, that tended north west at times with occasional flicks to the south west late in the afternoon.
'As the afternoon wore on there were a few holes in the breeze but all managed to get around the course in good time,' Thompson added.
It was a double bonus for Terry Rhodes and his Noelex 30 Wild Blue Yonder, securing his second win for the season to be the current Division G pointscore leader.
'It’s very happy days. With two races to go, it’s good to be two points in front of our fellow competitors (Velocity, Marigot Bay and Selkie) who are all tied on 20 points,' Rhodes said this afternoon after being informed of his pointscore lead.
'The weather today was absolutely perfect for us – sunny and up to 15 knots of breeze. This enabled us to run with a full sail rig and our flawless spinnaker work made all the difference.
'As the first boat away in our division, we got away cleanly and managed to hold onto the lead for the entire race,' Rhodes added. Wallop (Bryan Collis and Stephen Wall) and Kelly2N (Michael Ewings) finished second and third respectively, to Wild Blue Yonder today.
Consistency and minimising the mistakes paid dividends for Justin Graham and his Swarbrick JS9000 Jet, handing them the Division E win. 'We were very lucky to hold our kite virtually all the way down to the EC2 mark, which gave us the break on Tigger,' Graham said.
'We had to cover Tigger all the way to Shark Island and managed to hold them off till the finish line, with about two minutes between us.
'It was a strange day with the wind – it went from almost nothing up to 20 knots. This meant there were huge holes in the breeze and a few boats got caught. Keeping out of the holes was what kept us in front,' Graham added. Tigger holds on to second place in the Division E series pointscore after her second place today, from Rod Gibbs’ Flying Tiger Shere Khan, with Sandor Tornai’s Farr 30 Skeeter third.
In the Sydney 38 One Design division, Richard Holstein and Stewart Kellie’s Next holds onto a two point lead in the series pointscore, over Thirlmere (Sally Warneford and Larry Jamieson) after winning today.
'I got kicked off the wheel today by my crew as I went around the wrong mark last week,' Holstein said laughing. 'Last week, we were leading the race when the mishap occurred.
'I was relegated to the bow today and I don’t know how I got through it; plus I lost one of my good shoes! It’s good to be leading the pointscore after see-sawing all season with Thirlmere.
'For the final two weeks we just have to keep our heads and we might just be able to pull off the series win,' Holstein added. The Goat (Mitchell Gordon) secured third place today and holds onto third place in the pointscore.
'A classic winter’s day,' was how Greg Mason described the race. Mason, who owns the Davidson 37 CR Sinewave, with Barb Maunsell, and is the current leader of Division F series pointscore by one point after a second place today.
'We’ve put a lot of effort in over the summer and it’s paying off – our spinnaker and crew work are good and the boat is in great shape.
'It’s going to come down to the last race – if we’re not on the ball we could lose the lead in the series. There are four other boats: Rhumba, Attitude, Kahoona and Syonara, that could win this division. We are very similar in waterline length, everyone has to work hard and on any given day, any one of us could win,' Mason added.
'I’m looking forward to the final two weeks of racing and would love to come away with the series win in my eighth Winter Series,' he added.
In the big boat division A1, Wayne Keavy’s Upshot, a Greg Elliot designed, canting keel 52 footer, came away with the win.
'It was a really easy race for us – we managed to get clean air and make our way to the front of the fleet; and that’s where we stayed. We were looking over our shoulders a bit to see where Brindabella and Vanguard were but we managed to hold them out,' Keavy recalled this afternoon.
'It’s our first season with the boat, and every time we take her out, we’re learning how she performs in the conditions. We appreciated the breeze today,' he added. Brindabella (Jim Cooney) finished second to Upshot and holds the lead in the series pointscore.
Julian Brenchley, who took the win in Division K, with his Northshore 38, Shorething, 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: Kerisma (Brent Lawson and Grant Dawson) Division A2; Papillon (Phil Molony) Division B; First Priority (Michael Cameron) Division C; Larrikin (Ross Glasson) Division D; Stormy Petrel (Kevin O’Shea) Division F; Sea Rug Hoo Ha (Peter Howes) Division H; Trim (Shaaron Walsh) Division J.
With two races remaining in the overall series pointscore and a few points separating the top five in each division, cool heads will be required by the current divisional leaders to stay on top. Division leaders are: Brindabella (Jim Cooney) Division A1; Never a Dull Moment (Colin and Denise Wilson) Division A2; Brannew (Chris Bran) Division B; Into the Mystic (Arthur Psaltis and Jon Ross) Division C; M (Steve Hatch) Division D; Shere Khan (Rod Gibbs) Division E; Sinewave (Greg Mason and Barb Maunsell) Division F; Wild Blue Yonder (Terry Rhodes) 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.
Tigger came 2nd in Division E however final results are subjtect to protest - CYCA Audi Winter Series 2012 - Beth Morley Click Here to view large photo
Skeeter came 5th in race 8 however final results of Division E are subject to protest - CYCA Audi Winter Series 2012 - - Beth Morley Click Here to view large photo
by Jennifer Crooks
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8:29 AM Sun 24 Jun 2012GMT
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