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Conspiracy claims third straight Sydney 38 One Design NSW Championship at Middle Harbour Yacht Club

by Di Pearson / Sydney 38 media 5 Mar 05:31 PST 4-5 March 2023
Conspiracy (right of screen) retained her Sydney 38 NSW title © Andrea Francolini / MHYC

They would not be denied, the reigning Sydney 38 NSW champions, Peter Byford and David Hudson today claimed their third straight Sydney 38 One Design NSW title with their beautifully named Conspiracy.

Hosted by Middle Harbour Yacht Club (MHYC) in conjunction with the Nautilus Marine Insurance Sydney Harbour Regatta this weekend, the conditions could not have been more dissimilar over the two days.

Hudson and Byford, representing Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, did not win the title easily. The first day produced a tricky and light north-easterly breeze that was mastered best by Peter Sorensen and his Advanced Philosophy crew in the three scheduled races.

'Sorro', a champion in myriad classes, from skiffs to offshore yachts, ended the day one point ahead of Conspiracy and Greg Croak's Challenge crew, the rising players in the class.

"We were fourth around the top mark yesterday a couple of times," Hudson admitted.

There was just 21 seconds between Advanced Philosophy and Conspiracy in Race 1, with a further half minute to third placed Shine On - Team Callendina (Phil Herscovics). This was the pattern pretty much throughout the Championship, depicting how close racing was.

Today, three more windward/leeward races, sailed in medium to strong nor' easterly winds, decided the fate of the top three.

Racing was very close again, "but we were fortunate enough to win," a gracious David Hudson commented.

"We played psychological games with the other competitors, but they were all very close in results.

"Our Cat O' Nine Tails Pittwater tactician from previous campaigns was bosun today, doing mainsail and being responsible for boat speed. Jim Colley (49er Olympic aspirant) was a very calm tactician for us this weekend."

Hudson said today's winds had steadily increased from 12 to 20 knots and the sea increased too: "It was easier racing for us than yesterday, but more complex tactically.

"It was very competitive and exciting racing both days. I take my hat off to Challenge. They lost their battery power yesterday (meaning none of their instruments worked) and still did very well."

Hudson praised Sorensen as well. "He and his crew keep us honest. They won first place in the Corinthian division.

"Shine On - New Callendina, Kaizen (Brad Newton) and Mondo (Stephen Teudt) all had credible performances also. If you look at the finish times, they were very close to the front runners."

Hudson believes part of their success is having two owners who share helming duties.

"It helps because it's tense and it takes a lot of concentration steering, so it gives us a bit of relief to have two of us," he said.

A big supporter of encouraging more women into the sport and the Sydney 38 class, Hudson said, "Shine on had four women aboard, so they are doing their bit for women in sailing and doing well. We had one woman aboard, Claire Woods, who does pit and she's very good at it."

With his Sydney 38 Association President's hat on, Hudson ended: "What we saw today was the joy of one-design racing with very competitive racing between the fleet. Everyone had at least one moment of glory."

The Sydney 38s next move to Sandringham Yacht Club, which will host the Sydney 38 OD Victorian title on the weekend of 25 and 26 March.

Full results from the Sydney 38 One Design NSW can be found at:

For all information on the Sydney 38 class, please visit:

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