Gascoigne Cup Win

20 October 2012

Peter Campbell

Cruising Yacht Club of Australia member Warwick Sherman scored resounding double win with Occasional Coarse Language 2 in Saturday’s Gascoigne Cup, the 104th running of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron’s historic annual short ocean race

The Sydney GTS 43 took out the Gascoigne Cup, decided on Performance handicaps, and also won the IRC division which is also part of the CYCA’s Grant Thornton Short Ocean Pointscore.

In the Cup scoring, Occasional Coarse Language 2 had a comfortable winning margin on corrected time from RSYS yacht Wine-Dark Sea (Peter Lowndes and Sarah Goddard-Jones) and Ariel (Ron Forster) also from the CYCA.


Under IRC scoring, Occasional Coarse Language 2 won by just 11 seconds on corrected time from the Ker 40 AFR Midnight Rambler, owned by Ed Psaltis, Bob Thomas and Michael Bencsik. The two boats had a great spinnaker duel to the finish, which saw the slightly higher rating AFR Midnight Rambler cross the line just 38 seconds ahead.


Third place went to Bob Steel’s TP52 Quest, which also took line honours in 37 boat fleet that sailed in a 15-16 knot east-south-easterly breeze off Sydney Heads, with the start and finish at Watsons Bay.

All three yachts are entered in this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, with both Psaltis and Steel previous winners of the blue water classic.


Celebrating his Gascoigne Cup win back at the CYCA, Sherman explained that he had been racing Occasional Coarse Language 2 in the CYCA’s Blue Water Pointscore with his regular crew complemented with crew members of the former Lake Macquarie yacht Tow Truck. 


“They weren’t available for the Gascoigne Cup, so I looked around the CYCA during the week and came up with six experienced guys,” Sherman said. “Even though none of them had sailed on the boat before they worked as a great team with my five regular crew members.


“I am delighted with the win today….I must say the boat and people sailing her with me did a spectacular job.


“We had two excellent upwind legs and had a tremendous last spinnaker run back to Sydney Heads and the finish which gave us that narrow winning margin over AFR Midnight Rambler under IRC,” he aid.


Sherman said he would continue to race in the SOPS in the New Year once the Blue Water Pointscore finishes with the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race.


He has entered Occasional Coarse Language for the Rolex Sydney Hobart in what will be his first Hobart race in 18 years of ocean racing, including a dozen Lord Howe Island Races.


What no Sydney Hobart before this year? “The fear factor!” whimsically commented Sherman, who has recovered well from a cancer scare. “I guess it has to be on my bucket list, too,” he added.

RSYS principal race officer David Ross set the fleet an offshore windward leg of 2.7 nautical miles with a course of 150 degrees. “Both divisions had excellent reaching starts, although most were conservative to avoid being over early…only one boat was OCS but they returned and restarted,” Ross said.