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J Composites J/99

Combined Clubs Harbour Pennant at Derwent Sailing Squadron - Races 5 & 6

by Liz Rountree 18 Feb 22:02 PST 17 February 2024
Combined Clubs Harbour Pennant Race 4: Tight racing for the start of Division 1's short course racing © Colleen Darcey

Another 'Perfect' day on the water

How was the racing? "Oh, you know, we went around some cans, we broke a few things... including our spirits," reports Arunga bowman Charlie Donnelly. But beyond they dry and the deadpan he continues, "It really was a beautiful day, can't complain!"

The clear skies and building sea breeze conditions made tight competitive racing across all divisions, finally delivering on the promise of Windward-Return racing for Division 1.

Just eyeing the results and the conditions gives the impression of a picture-perfect day, but it was anything but.

"We were under a lot of pressure for the first start," says Michelle Boutchard of Young Magic, winner of the day accross the board in Division 1.

Co-owner Paul Boutchard adds, "We went out as we always do for a bit of a sail around and a practice - and trying for the first time to launch the spinnaker out of the hatch.

Then about 25 minutes to go the jib halyard snapped - and we only have 2 halyards, one for the jib and one for the kite." It was very nearly close to day-over for the team before it even began.

"Fortunately, we had Tom Stearnes on the boat," Paul continues, "We hoisted him up the mast and we end-for-ended it and were able to pull it through.

If he hadn't been on the boat, we would have been in all sorts of pickles!"

Michelle adds, "In the second pre-start we were busy swapping the light air heady for the number 3. We could see the breeze building on our final leg into the finish of the first race, so we were busy again before the start."

"Homework this week," Paul chimes in, "We'll be running a backup halyard through!"

Michelle attributes their success to the "exemplary crew work" on board. Joint Custody, Heatwave Fish Frenzy, Hooligan and Guilty Pleasures VI all shined, with Intrigue winning one race and a solid 3rd in the other.

Jazz Player decided they weren't giong to be upstaged by Young Magic's drama and decided to lose a crew member overboard in the second race. Skipper Brent McKay admits "there was a bit of a debate" about going back, but ultimately the team decided to pick him up out of the water. Crewmember Lachie was awarded a 6-pack for his swimming efforts.

In Division 2, Andrew Crisp's Etchell Bandwagon nabbed another ORC win. "Credit due to Derrick Adams who was 'in the engine room'" Crisp laughs, "You know, on the main."

Adams, a 12-footer legend, is also known for racing Bronzewing, the oldest yacht still raced in Australia. Built in Launceston out of Huon Pine, she launched in 1895 and still struts her stuff in the weekly twilights. If you're out, look for sail number 13.

In a dramatic finish, Division 2 series leader IYKYK's hot pink kite went from flying to flogging 5 mins from the finish line as Xcite barreled down on them. IYKYK was forced to sail under the heady, while Xcite flew past for the Line Honours win. Luckily for IYKYK they managed to finish in time for 2nd to Xcite's 3rd on ORC as well as the IRC win.

Arunga and Wings Three were not far behind, for a tight race, with Peter Haros and his wings finishing just in time to edge out Arunga for 2nd on IRC.

Charles Peacock and his team aboard Serica had another top performance to win Div 2 PHS.

Div 3 had its fullest fleet of the season with very tight racing, until Miss Conduct won outright with a solid 10-minute lead, followed by Serenity and Innovator.

"The race went like clockwork," says Rob MacDonald aboard Neville Georgeson's Hornet. "It was beautiful breeze, and everyone enjoyed themselves."

Blown sheets, man-overbaords, exploding halyards and all, it truly was a perfect day out.

Stay tuned for the last race of the series on Saturday the 23rd of March.

Current Results:

Combined Clubs Hosts: Bellerive Yacht Club * Derwent Sailing Squadron * Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania

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