Ideal weather draws out big fleet

Sydney Harbour returned to normal on Saturday, bringing with it the biggest fleet so far this season for the Royal Sydney Yacht Club’s summer season of 2013-2014 – and a perfect day for racing.

Almost 70 yachts turned out for the fifth day of racing this season with the four mixed divisions each racing for prestigious perpetual trophies and the International Etchells competing in a two-race mini regatta.

Sailing in a freshening 10-15 knot nor’easter,  Division 1 drew a fleet of 13 boats,  with first place on corrected time and the Duke of Gloucester Cup going to the last boat to finish, John Molyneux’s Equiknox.  

Second place went to I Super (Peter Campbell) which was 10th boat to finish, third Xpress (Parkes/West) while line honours winner Sydney (Charles Curran) placed last of the 12 finishers on corrected time.

I Super now holds a one point lead in the Division 1 pointscore from Hell Razor (Ian MacDiarmid).

Division 2 saw a somewhat similar outcome,  with Roman Tarnawsky’s Can Can finishing second last in fleet but first on handicap and winning the Carleton Cup.  However, front runners filled the minor placing, second place  going Soundtrack (John Amos).  Soundtrack was second to finish astern of Ambitious (David Matthews) which took line honours and third on handicap.

In a close series, only three points separate the leading three boats in Division 3, Jessica Rabbit (Bruce Miller) being on 19 points, Ambitious on 21 and Arcturus 3 on 22 points.

Grant Pollock’s L’Eau Co,  a newcomer to Division 3 this summer, won the Tarring Cup with a 12 second win on corrected time from Norn (Robert Albert),  third place going to Wallop (Bryan Collis) which led the fleet around the course.

The win has given L’eau Co a two point lead in the Division 3 pointscore from Come by Chance (John Nutt).

The 34 year old Bonbridge 27 Hornblower scored its second consecutive win in Division 4, also taking out the Rawson Cup and opening up a four point lead in the pointscore.  
Hornblower won Saturday’s race from another veteran small cruiser/racer, Kirsten II (Ken Chase), with third place going to Beowulf (Stafford Watts). Hornblower leads Division 4 pointscore on 12 points,  with Kirsten II on 17 points and Til the Fat Lady Sings (David Smith).

Describing the race, skipper Steve Sweeney said Hornblower “had a wonderful start in a 10-12 knot NE at the committee boat end, to windward of all the fleet.”
Hornblower led for the most of the first windward leg until overtaken by the Division 4 ‘gun boat’ Til the Fat Lady Sings, holding her in sight with two excellent  kite runs.
“On the final leg to the finish Hornblower was overtaken by Therapy and the two boats duelled all the way to the line with Til the Fat Lady Sings taking her fourth consecutive line honours,”  Sweeney added.

The Etchells mini-regatta regatta attracted 23 starters with Umami (Matt Whitnall) scoring two wins and a second in a day of impressive racing.

In the first race Umami won a close duel with Shindig (Rob Weir) and North Star (Michael Coxon) while in the second race, with the nor’easter freshening,  Umami had a more decisive win from Vivienne (Rupert Henry) and Adolescence (Steve Billingham). 

North Star  finished 19th in race two but bounced back to beat Umami by eight seconds with Dot (David Seaton) taking third place, just 18 seconds further astern, followed closely by Vivienne.

After six mini-regatta races this season, Umami is on 10 points, North Star 17, Viviennne 21 points and Dot 24 points.

The International Dragon and Yngling fleets still seem to be attracting small race fleets, with Indulgence (Robert Alpe) winning a four boat race in the Dragons and Miss Pipp (Hamish Jarrett) taking out a three-boat Yngling race.


By Peter Campbell