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ORC NSW Championship at Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club - Overall

by Di Pearson/RPAYC media 11 Feb 00:45 PST 9-11 February 2024

A light weather day on the water helped decide the final outcomes of both the ORC NSW Championship, supported by Sydney Marine Brokerage and the Pittwater Regatta, organised by Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club (RPAYC).

A mix of conditions and races throughout gave everyone a thorough workout.

Coming into the day's trio of windward/leeward races on the Palm Beach Circle, winners of Divisions 1 and 2 of the ORC NSW Championship were all but decided, as both leaders had already won the previous three races.

So it was that David Ross' Cape 31, Kukukerchu, was crowned Division 1 champion. Runner-up was Bob Cox's Nine Dragons, while Mark Griffith's LCE Old School Racing moved up to third overall, the two DK46's revelling in the light. air.

Kukukerchu suffered, bringing home7-5-5 results, but they were enough to claim the title.

Ross said of the average 6-8 knot breeze, "It was hard work - choppy and lumpy in the little boat, but we managed to even it out and pull it off.

"We talked about what we had to do and said, 'Let's sail the best we can to the conditions we get and go hard'. We had to think more strategically and consolidate where we could.

"Yesterday was our weather, today wasn't. The Melges got all the bullets. They did well," he said referring to David Suttie's Lockdown.

Ross ended, "I've got a great team, it was fun. The regatta was so well run. Good camaraderie here and new friendships made."

The best Division 1 performance today came from David Suttie's Lockdown. His Melges 32 was at home in the conditions and won all three races. Unfortunately, two of their previous results meant no podium finish.

David Suttie's son Robert said, "We were very happy to win the three races today.

"Yesterday was very hard in those big conditions. We did have a couple of awesome downwind rides, but we got totally smashed offshore. Today suited the boat. We have a big sail plan for a little boat and spent time tuning the rig, so we were powered up.

"We sailed Lockdown (bought during Covid, hence her name) fast downwind again today. We also got great starts and have great crew," he said.

In Division 2, Garry Holt and Let's Get It On from Queensland claimed the title. The Corby 36 added a further two wins and a second place to her tally today, an exceptional result.

Their second place, Holt said, came about because, "We lost Peter (Sheldrick) overboard. His foot was on the brace and it flicked him off the boat. The boys did a great job getting him back on board, it helped that he is fit and helped himself too."

Of their performance, Holt said, "It's a great boat. It's the ex Jessandra that Michael Spies put together, but I've updated it with a full refit. It's made a big difference. It's the best the boat's ever been, but you have to have a good crew too. They are the best crew I've ever sailed with."

The yachtsman brought the boat south for the Australian Yachting Championships at Newcastle, Sail Port Stephens and the NSW Yachting Championships. "We saw this Championship was on and it's been beneficial for us to tune up," Holt ended.

Garry Essex's J/99, Veloce, steamrolled her way into second place overall, helped by a win and a third today. Coyote, sailed by Rob Brewer and several RPAYC Youth Development crew, were promoted to third due to the outcome of two protests resulting from the fierce and close racing in the division.

Two inshore races, put in place by RPAYC's race committee today, decided the outcome of the four divisions contesting the Pittwater Regatta.

Adding a third and a win to her win of yesterday, Revolver took the inaugural Super 40 Division 1 victory. Michael Ritchie's Ritchie 38 was too good in the division that spawned a dozen entries. Craig Suggitt's Georgia Lee placed second and Campbell Letchford's Vento was third.

"I'm so happy we won," Ritchie said. "It was a good weekend out," he added after not only claiming the Super 40 trophy, but winning ORC and PHS into the bargain.

Ritchie said of the fleet contesting the Super 40 division, "Our club organising it has been successful and it's nice to be part of that.

"I was speaking to Justin Brownbill (owner of the MC38, Botany Access) and he loved it, which is testament to the division. He sailed well and learnt a lot about his boat. That says everything to me. I think the division at the Sydney Harbour Regatta will be better again."

Grant Pocklington's Sydney 39, Hussy, came into the day leading and added two further wins to take Division 2 with a clean slate. Mark Wharton's J/88, Joji, finished second and Leon Wilson's Jeanneau 45DS Nirvana's Kitchen, took third. A good mix of designs taking home the prizes.

Chris Hornsby's Pick Pocket, a Pocket Rocket 22 kept yesterday's momentum going today to win Division 3 overall. Steve Stuart and Bob Johnson's Force 8 did the same in Division 4, with a second and a bullet, to beat his five rivals in the 11 Metre One-Design class.

The official presentation was held at the RPAYC early this evening, where competitors were thanked and welcomed back next year.

For full results and all information, please visit: www.pittwaterregatta.au

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