Please select your home edition
Edition
Cyclops 2022 - Sailmon Bundle - LEADERBOARD

Extreme Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship tests crews at Middle Harbour Yacht Club

by Lisa Ratcliff 29 Nov 2020 07:19 PST 28-29 November 2020
Stormaway start - Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship 2020 © Marg Fraser-Martin

Middle Harbour Yacht Club's Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship (SSORC) coincided with Sydney's record-breaking hot weather weekend, 28 crews enduring 40 knot gusts for race two and brutal temperatures in the low 40s both days of the longstanding annual series.

A gale warning moved racing inshore on the Sunday, Race Officer Denis Thompson designing special courses to suit a second day of fresh north-westerlies. Hot winds really kicked up in the closing stages of the Sydney Harbour passage race, testing reaction times and causing sail damage and a few knockdowns.

The icing on top of Keiran Mulcahy's resounding IRC, ORCi and PHS division 1 victories with his King 40 called Soozal was beating nemesis and Royal Prince Alfred clubmate Bushranger, Gerry Hatton's Mat 1245 also from Pittwater.

“We come to SSORC to beat Bushranger – this result has been two years in the making. I’m walking around at Middle Harbour Yacht Club now with a bucket for their tears and handing out tissues. I’ve been through three boxes already,” Mulcahy joked before heading to the podium to collect the team’s six trophy haul.

"Though we would have liked windward/leewards on the Sunday, Soozal is an all-rounder and a monster when it gets going so we were equally happy doing another passage race. We saw 41 knots coming up to Manly and tore one jib. We had a good time on the water," the winning skipper added.

IRC division 2 went to Jack Stening and Colin Gunn's Stormaway, a Sydney 36 sailing for the host club. Tactician and trimmer Nicky Bethwaite said they were relieved to finish Sunday's passage race with no damage or injury. "I don't think I've raced on the harbour in 30-40 knots before, watching the spray lift off the white caps up the track knowing that was a 40 knot gust was pretty challenging."

ORCi and PHS division 2 top honours went to another Pittwater boat, Mark Hellyer's Italia 11.98 Cicero.

The winning Sydney 38 was David Hudson's Conspiracy (RPAYC). The TP52s only managed one race on the Saturday, Andy Kearnan's Koa from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia the top-scoring boat on TPR. Gordon Ketelbey's Zen (MHYC) claimed the Gunboat Trophy for the fastest elapsed time.

Saturday was equally challenging to Sunday with 41.9 degrees recorded at Sydney Airport. All SSORC divisions and the CYCA Ocean Pointscore fleet started together on a long line at Steele Point, the outgoing tide causing OCS headaches which prompted a general recall from Race Officer Steve Kidson.

On the way to Lion Island, at the mouth of the Hawkesbury River, the boats that went offshore found lighter NE winds whereas those that stayed closer to the coastline enjoyed the fresher north-westerly. It was a long day in the heat with the last of the 37 finishers reaching the Watsons Bay finish line after 5pm.

Inshore for Saturday's 22 nautical mile Seven Islands pursuit race, a fleet of 37 boats had some great racing in the puffy north-westerly wind. It was an upwind work from Shark Island to Spectacle Island followed by a nice run under spinnaker or poled out headsail back from Cockatoo Island to Clarke Island. Teams finished the big day spent and very thirsty.

Key SSORC sponsors include Helly Hansen, Club Marine, Robert Oatley Wines and Short Marine.

Find complete results here.

Related Articles

Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship overall
Victoire, Nine Dragons and Mille Sabords take SSORC top honours Paul Jenkins and his Sydney 38 crew onboard Mille Sabords won their first ever regatta on a wild and wet Sydney weekend racing for the host club in the annual Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship that drew 55 mixed keelboats boats. Posted on 28 Nov 2021
Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship day 1
Bushranger holds up to brutal opening day Big seas and strong winds offshore for the Premier Divisions contesting MHYC's annual Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship put the stress test on crews over the 24 nautical mile course, described as "brutal" by the division 1 winning tactician. Posted on 27 Nov 2021
Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship preview
Reigniting the good-natured rivalry between Sydney and Pittwater sailing crews Middle Harbour Yacht Club's annual Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship reignites the good-natured rivalry between Sydney and Pittwater sailing crews - each believing they have the better pedigree, particularly within the Premier Divisions. Posted on 22 Nov 2021
MC38 Australian Championship at Middle Harbour YC
Lazy Dog's back-to-back MC38 nationals victory Back-to-back national MC38 titles for Shaun Lane and Quentin Stewart's Lazy Dog was no picnic, hours of floating around Sydney Harbour expectantly on the final day yielding an empty scoresheet. Posted on 7 Nov 2021
2021 Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship
The first major keelboat regatta for the season Sydney sailors are anxiously awaiting news of Sydney's lockdown coming to an end. After an enforced four-month hiatus from yacht racing, there is now a light on the horizon. Posted on 18 Sep 2021
Sydney Harbour Regatta overall
Adrian Walters' Little Nico adds another victory to impressive regatta tally Adrian Walters' nippy Shaw 11 Little Nico, sailing for the Sydney Harbour Regatta host club, added another victory to their impressive regatta tally on day two of the weekend regatta. Posted on 7 Mar 2021
Moguls at the Sydney Harbour Regatta
Francolini, his camera, big swell, and busy crews all makes for a very nice day at the office... Francolini, his camera, big swell, and busy crews all makes for a very nice day at the office... Posted on 6 Mar 2021
Sydney Harbour Regatta Day 1
Conspiracy rises to the challenges Conditions offshore on day one of Middle Harbour Yacht Club's annual Sydney Harbour Regatta had tummies churning and skittled one Sydney 38 bowman who was saved from a Man Overboard incident by the lifelines. Posted on 6 Mar 2021
Ready to rumba at Sydney Harbour Regatta
Entries have climbed past the 180 mark for this weekend's event Entries for Middle Harbour Yacht Club's flagship Sydney Harbour Regatta on this weekend, March 6-7, have climbed past the 180 mark, among them a local yacht jointly owned for close to 20 years that has competed in every Sydney Harbour Regatta Posted on 3 Mar 2021
2020-21 Farr 40 NSW State Title overall
Outlaw crowned champion at Middle Harbour YC CYCA/RSYS yacht Outlaw has today been crowned the NSW Farr 40 State Champion. The prize-giving was conducted at Middle Harbour Yacht Club after racing concluded with a special presentation by former Class President and owner of Zen, Gordon Ketelby. Posted on 28 Feb 2021
Doyle Sails 2020 - Pure Brilliance 728x90 BOTTOMSelden 2020 - FOOTERHyde Sails 2021 - Basic FOOTER