Hell Razor wins Milson Memorial Cup

Prominent Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron member Ian MacDiarmid on Saturday sailed his harbour racing yacht Hell Razor to a somewhat rare victory for a RSYS boat in the Squadron’s historic Milson Memorial Cup.

In recent years, results of the Milson Memorial Cup, one of three short ocean races conducted each year by the Squadron, have been dominated by Cruising Yacht Club of Australia boats contesting the Milson Cup as part of that clubs’ Grant Thornton Short Ocean Pointscore.

Ian MacDiarmid normally races Hell Razor in the Squadron’s Division 1 of the Harbour racing series, but enjoys the break to go racing off Sydney Heads in his club’s traditional short ocean races.

Hell Razor was declared provisional winner of the Milson Memorial Cup, decided on PHS handicaps, second and third place going to two CYCA boats, Warwick Sherman’s Occasional Coarse Language and Adrian van Bellen’s Jackpot.  In fourth place was another RSYS yacht, Rod Pearse’s Ultreya.

In Division 2, the Royal Thames Yacht Club Eddystone Lighthouse Trophy, went to CYCA entrant Saltshaker (Peter Franki), second place going to Soundtrack (John Amos), third to the RSYS entrant King Billy (Phil Bennett,).

Olympic yachtsman David Forbes has clearly lost none of his helming skills over the near 42 years since he won a gold medal in the Star class at the 1972 Munich Games.

While his current yacht, the Kaiko 52 Merlin is a far cry from the two-man Star, the need for good helming and tactics remain unchanged to be successful, and Forbes certainly is still a leader in the sport.

Merlin today scored a fine line honours win in the Milson Memorial Cup, finishing well ahead of Nine Dragons (Box Cox) and Occasional Coarse Language (Warwick Sherman).

Merlin revelled in what principal race officer David Reid described as “a beautiful Sydney summer nor’easter.”   Reid expressed surprise at the small size of the fleet, including CYCA boats contesting their Grant Thornton Short Ocean Pointscore.

“Forbes had got an excellent start with Merlin leading the 22 boats fleet around the windward mark for the first time and extending that lead by the second rounding and on the run back to the finish in Watsons Bay,” Reid reported from the RSYS committee boat.

Of 30 entries for Division 1, only 12 started in Division 1, 10 in Division 2. Division 2 was reduced by two when Crosshaven (Justin Pelly and Sean Rahilly) and Orbit (Matthew Brown) retired shortly after the start.

Peter Campbell