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Vaikobi 2024 LEADERBOARD

International Dragon Class Prince Philip Cup at Metung Yacht Club - Overall

by Jeanette Severs 31 Jan 17:31 PST 23-28 January 2024

With five races completed and a series guaranteed, all 17 yachts entered in the International Dragon class Prince Philip Cup/Australasian Championship 2024 took to the water at Metung on Sunday, January 28, 2024. It was the final day of competition.

Wind had played havoc with the regatta, causing one day of racing to be cancelled and races to be abandoned and restarted.

The previous day saw three races completed over a nine hour period on the water and tested the match fitness of all crews and their boats. This followed the first day of racing with two races completed.

The regatta was hosted by Metung Yacht Club, centred on Lake King on the Gippsland Lakes, in rural Victoria, Australia.

An early gathering of the fleet on the water still saw delay in racing getting under way.

For race six, the course was set at 270 degrees (d), over 1.0 nautical mile (NM), traversing Lake King towards McMillan Strait.

A clean start for the fleet in a 10 knot wind, saw Western Australian boat Gordon lead Tasmanian yacht Karabos IX around the windward gate. They were followed by another Tasmanian boat, Riga, then local boat Wicked II, then the rest of the fleet.

The race was abandoned after the first leg, but the leaders - Gordon and Karabos IX - had traversed the leeward gate well ahead of the fleet and were already on a reach to the windward gate.

The Race Officer ordered the race abandoned and the AP flag was raised as the rest of the fleet approached the leeward gate. The wind had dropped off to 3.5 knots.

Gordon and Karabos IX eventually returned to the fleet and start boat.

Gordon is sailed by Richard Lynn (helm), Adam Brenz-Verca and Ethan Prieto-Low. Karabos IX is sailed by Nick Rogers (helm), Lucas Upton and Leigh Behrens. Lynn, Rogers and Behrens have won the PPC multiple times.

Riga is sailed by Hugh Wardrop (helm), Timothy Vincent and Max Gluskie. Wardrop sailed with Rogers in one PPC win. Wicked II is sailed by Fred Haes (helm), Adrian France and Will Crooke.

With a wind shift to 250d, gusting 8-10 knots, and a shortened course length of 0.9NM, the course was set to traverse from Lake King to McMillan Strait.

It was a clean start for all 17 yachts. Gordon and Karabos IX led the rest of the fleet around the windward gate, with Wicked II in third position.

NSW yacht Liquidity, sailed by Richard Franklin (helm), Clive Jones and Geoff Findlay, followed Wicked II around the markers. Next were local boat Imagination, Pennyfarthing from WA and Trio from NSW.

Between the spinnaker leg to leeward and the second approach to the windward mark, the position of many boats in the fleet changed.

Leading the fleet around the windward gate was Fascination, a local boat hired by David Tabb, from Britain, who brought across from Denmark one of his usual crew members, Laerke Norgaard. Third crew was Jeremy Nolan of Australia.

Fascination was ahead of Karabos IX, and Trio - with Matty Whitnall at the helm and crewed by Michael Bartley and Peter Bevis - was in third position. The positions of these three boats stayed the same as they sailed windward-leeward and crossed the finish line.

Race seven was laid 210d over a distance of 1.0NM. The wind was measuring 12 knots.

Adios III retired before the start of this race. Scores were tight between the leaders on the series table and the outcome of the last race could be critical to the championship winner.

David Tabb was keen to cause an upset, and sailed Fascination first around the windward gate. Gordon followed, then Karabos IX, Riga and Wicked II in that order.

Fascination was unable to hold onto the lead and the fleet moved up. Gordon was first to traverse the windward gate the second time, followed by Karabos IX, then Wicked II. Riga, Trio and Pennyfarthing made up the following bunch.

Gordon led the way in the spinnaker leg, crossing the finish line a couple of boat lengths in front of Karabos IX. Wicked II finished in third place.

With the completion of race seven, the regatta was over and the Prince Philip Cup/Australasian Championship 2024 had a clear winner.

The series win and the Prince Philip Cup/Australasian Championship 2024 was awarded to Karabos IX, on 10 points, and her crew of Nick Rogers, Leigh Behrens and Lucas Upton.

She was well ahead of Gordon, on 14pts, sailed by Richard Lynn, with crew of Adam Brenz-Verca and Ethan Prieto-Low.

Local boat Wicked II finished in third place, on 25pts, sailed by Fred Haes, Adrian France and Will Crooke.

Trio, helmed by Matty Whitnall and crew of Michael Bartley and Peter Bevis, was in fourth position and won the Jack Ayres/Ediss Boyes Trophy for the fastest wooden boat in the championship.

The Jack Linacre Memorial Trophy, for the winner of the first race in the series, was won by David Tabb, Laerke Norgaard and Jeremy Nolan on Fascination.

The Prince Philip Cup Corinthian Trophy was awarded to Nick Rogers, with Fred Haes in second place, and Matty Whitnall in third place.

Full Results available here.

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