Farr 40 Tasmanian Championship decided on countback

7 January 2013

Peter Campbell

If the Tasmanian Farr 40 championship at the weekend is any criteria, Sydney Harbour is set for some spectacular and close one-design keelboat racing when the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron hosts the New South Wales and Australian Farr 40 championship in February.


Both championships will be sailed on the Harbour to wind up the eastern seaboard circuit of championship regatta and is expected to draw Farr 40s from Queensland and Tasmania to again race against the Sydney fleet.


As RSYS member and Australian 40 Owners Association president Guido Belgiorno-Nettis said, there could not have been a better finish to the inaugural Farr 40 Tasmanian Championship on Hobart’s River Derwent on Sunday.


Sailing Transfusion, the former Farr 40 world champion from Sydney surfed to victory before an 18 knot seabreeze in the final race, with series leader Voodoo Chile, helmed by Hobart yachtsman Lloyd Clark, third across the line.


Transfusion’s win levelled the pointscore and it also gave the Sydney yacht the vital total of three wins to two by the Hobart boat.


However, he was speaking in broader terms of the success of the Tasmanian championship which is part of the Eastern Seaboard Circuit of championship events for the elite Farr 40 class sponsored by Aberdeen Global Asset Management, which also sponsors the famous Cowes Week in England.


Ironically, a second place in the last race by Tilford Auto Group, chartered for the regatta by Andrew Hunn, co-owner of Voodoo Chile, cost Lloyd Clark the Tasmanian championship win. A second place, rather than a third, would have given the title to Clark and Voodoo Chile. Visit this website to find out more information on private charters.


“Finishing second to a world champion on a countback and winning the Corinthian trophy was a great reward…we pushed the Transfusion team all the way in what has been a fantastic regatta,” Clark said after the race.


Winning skipper Guido Belgiorgno-Nettis described the inaugural Tasmanian championship as a wonderful event for the Farr 40 class. “We had great sailing on the Derwent, the regatta was brilliantly managed by Bellerive Yacht Club and we encountered plenty of competition from the local fleet,” he added. “Lloyd took us right down to the wire.”


Belgiorgno-Nettis praised his new tactician, West Australian Tom Burton, the world’s No1 ranked Laser sailor who on Friday won the Australian championship, also sailed in Hobart. “In his first role as a tactician on a keelboat, he did a wonderful job, showing great maturity in calling the shots,” the skipper added.


Third place overall went to another of the three yachts that came down from Sydney for the Tasmanian championship, Estate Master, skippered by Martin Hill with a family crew that included his wife Lisa, daughter Sarah and son-in-law Michael Blackburn, the Sydney 2000 Olympic bronze medallist in the Laser class.

Three races were sailed on the final day, with Transfusion and Voodoo Chile each winning one race on a smokey River Derwent in which the wind steadily increased for less than 5 knots to a brisk 18-knot southerly.


Third place overall went to Martin and Lisa Hill’s Estate which along with Transfusion and RSYS memberSam Hill’s Forty came down from Sydney to contest the Tasmanian championship, competing against Hobart’s fleet of five Farr 40s.


Going into the second and final day racing, Hobart yacht Voodoo Chile, from the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, on 6 points, held a two point lead over the former world champion, Transfusion, and another Sydney boat, Forty, both on 9 points.


But things changed once the racing got under way in less than 5 knots of south-westerly breeze on a course south of Kangaroo Bluff on the Derwent eastern shore.


Estate Master won the shortened race from Forty and Transfusion with Voodoo Chile. After four races, only two points separated the first four boats on the leader board: Voodoo Chile 10 points, Transfusion 11 points each and Estate Master on 12 points.After a delayed second race, waiting for the 12 knot seabreeze to come up the river, the state of play changed once more. Voodoo Chile won the race by just 13 seconds from Transfusion, with Hobart yacht Wired (Stephen Boyes) finally getting among the top third with a third.Transfusion recovered well after a spinnaker clip let go with the kite halfway up. “Our bowman Mitch White quickly clipped the head to the second halyard but as this doesn’t hoist beyond three-quarters it kept the boat going down wind, “ Belgiorno-Nettis explained.


“Mitch then went up the mast to retrieve the masthead spinnaker halyard and got back to finish a close second.”


Going into the final race, with breeze freshening to a 15 knot sea breeze, Voodoo Chile had 11 points on the board, Transfusion 13 points, Estate Master 17 and Forty 18 points.


It was then that Andrew Hunn and his crew got into the action with the chartered Tilford Auto Group, leading around the windward mark and holding first place until Transfusion outpaced them on the final spinnaker run to the finish, the winning margin just 21 seconds as the fleet surfed downwind in an 18 knot southerly.


Lloyd Clark, at the helm of Voodoo Chile, could not overtake Andrew Hunn, steering Tilford Auto Group, and thus the inaugural Tasmanian championship for the Farr 40 class went to Transfusion. A worthy winner and an equally worthy runner-up after two days of magnificent competition on the River Derwent.

Women Skippers win Spring Series in two divisions

15 December 2012

Peter Campbell

In an historic day for women’s sailing at the Squadron, owner/skippers Julie Clarke and Cheryn Croker last Saturday helmed their yachts to overall wins in Divisions 2 and 4 of the Spring Series.


Julie, an experienced yachtswoman of long standing, sailed Senta, a Beneteau First 35 she owns with husband Terry, to victory in Division 2, taking line honours for the first time this season and placing second on corrected time.


Cheryn, in her first season of open competition in the Squadron’s Saturday racing, won the final race on Saturday with her Compass 29, Daydream, to clinch the Division 4 pointscore on a countback.


The Spring Series ended in a light to moderate and rather variable north-easterly breeze that ranged from 12-18 knots with a strong turn-out in all divisions and one-design classes.


“I didn’t’ realise we had a chance of winning the Spring Series until I looked up the pointscore last Friday, but I didn’t tell any of the crew, so they sailed without any tension about winning or losing,” recalled Julie Clarke, who helms the boat with husband Terry on mainsheet.

“It has taken us a year to get to know the new boat, but having a fairly regular crew has made the difference,” she added. “The big thing has been to get the better of the J35s – and we did it on Saturday, getting the gun for first time. But we still have not won a race on handicap!”

Julie’s passion, other than for sailing, is grand opera and their boat, Senta, is named after the heroine in Wagner’s grand opera, The Flying Dutchman.


Senta won the Division 2 Spring Series with a net 41.54 points, with second place going to the J35 Soundtrack (John Amos) on 45 points and Arcturus III (Peter Davenport) on 47.62 points.


Cheryn Croker was ecstatic after the countback showed that Daydream had won the Division 4 Spring Series. “The girls are tickled pink”, she quipped.


Cheryn explained how the crew taped together a headsail that had been ripped the previous week and then damaged further in the strong breeze during the Friday twilights. “Luckily, we got hold of some wider tape and hurriedly repatched it in the pond on Saturday morning,” she said.

“We also ripped the spinnaker from to end to end on our last downwind leg on Saturday. We only had four crew on board and we did not let off the halyard in time for the drop; it came apart in the foredeckie’s hands as she tried to haul it in.


“Saturday was the first time we had seriously kept up with the fleet, but there was a lot riding on it,” Cheryn added.


Daydream and Stafford Watts’ Folkboat Beowulf finished equal on 29 points after three discard races, but the countback went to Daydream with five first places to Beowulf’s four over the spring season. Kerstin II (John Bowman/Ken Chase/John Goldie) finished third on 33 points.


Division 1 saw another close result, with Charles Curran’s Sydney finishing on 45 points to Ian MacDiarmid’s Hell Razor’s 48.84 points, third place going to Impetuous Too (Graeme Lambert).


Division 3 Spring Series ended with just one point separating Mystere (Malcolm Shaw) and Tingari (John Jeremy) third place overall going to Zeus II (Jim Dunstan).


The International Etchells Spring Series of 25 races went to Ciao (Doug McGain) on 68 points, with McGain not needing to sail the final race. Alchemist (Richard Hammond and Roger Gain) finished second on 77 points with a last race win, third in the series going to Unami (Matt Whitnall and Ant Elliott) with 107 points.


Mexico Olympics sailor Carl Ryves followed up his New South Wales championship win in the International Dragon class by dominating the Spring Series, winning seven of the nine races with Sidewinder to finish with 7 points. Liquidity (Richard Franklin) ended with 23 points, with Indulgence (Robert Alpe) third on 27points.


With the previous weekend’s Dragons states restricted to five races, Sidewinder had a 4-3-8-1-1 scorecard with Riga (Martin Burke) second and Hooligan (Marcus Blackmore) third. The Dragons are now heading to Botany Bay for the Prince Philip Cup in January.


In the Intentional Yngling class, Miss Pibb (Hamish Jarrett and Max Hayman) notched up five wins and two seconds to comfortably win the Spring Series from Black Adder (Gary Pearce) and Shining Star (Chris Harper).


AFR Midnight Rambler wins historic Morna Cup

AUSPAC Regatta

10 November 2012

Karyn Gojnich

Over the weekend Squadron members were joined by a number of ladies from Manly Yacht Club to participate in the AUSPAC regatta. Sailed in the one-design International Yngling the weekend provided an opportunity, for ladies in particular, to have a sail in a smaller keel-boat and then in teams of three test their skills in a friendly, supportive environment.

Saturday was a scheduled familiarization and train day with Olympian Karyn Gojnich and Hamish Jarrett from the Yngling class. The south-eastern gusting over 22 knots proved challenging but also invigorating. “The boat was so responsive, we were so close to the water, surfing waves – I loved it” commented Wilhelmina Harder when back on shore after the Saturday training session.

Typically most of the participants had sailed on larger keel boats and had not had the responsibility of helming, especially while racing.

Sunday with a light easterly blowing conditions were perfect for six short course races. Race wins were spread across all the fleet however it was consistency and a string of seconds saw Ivana Gattegno and her crew take out the regatta.

AUSPAC 2012 Results:
AUS 39 - Ivana Gattegno, Nicola Reade, Gary Pearce (11 pts)
AUS 56 - Jan Newland, Barbara Jones, Lyn Humphreys (12 pts)
AUS 29 - Marike Koppenol, Wilhemina Harder, Joshua (17 pts)
AUS 39 – Tricia Coxen, Jan Bartel, Megan McCormick (20 pts)

The Manly Yacht Club will be holding the annual Women’s Challenge on Sunday March 24, 2013. Boats of all sizes are welcome and there will be a trophy for the largest one-design class.

Cheryn notches up four straight wins in Division 4

27 October 2012

Peter Campbell

The Squadron’s only all women crew racing in the Saturday cruiser/racer divisions, Cheryn Croker and her team aboard Daydream last Saturday scored her fourth straight win in Division 4.

No other yacht has yet to achieve such a result in the division so far this season, and this is only the second season of open Saturday pointscore racing for Cheryn and her crew.


While she admits the victory of the season was the outcome of several yachts sailing the wrong course “winning the Rawson Cup by default still spurred us on.”


Describing Daydream as “old, heavy and slow, but very stable, but perfect to learn on” Cheryn said most of her crew were novices and ranged in age from mid-40s to 62.


“Not a bad effort from some very keen ladies,” she added. “We may be light on in muscle but having a competitive edge just makes it all worthwhile!”

Cheryn and her crew have certainly maintained that competitive edge, notching up three more consecutive wins in Division 4 with Daydream.


Daydream’s win last Saturday week proved the ladies can match the mostly male crews of their competitors in most weather, with the wind gusting to the low 30 knots. “We did not launch the spinnaker due to the strong, gusty wind and shortened crew numbers,” Cheryn recalled. “Even poling out the headsail was fraught with problems as the wind was so changeable.”


Daydream was last to finish the race but close enough to the leaders to win on corrected time and she repeated that performance last Saturday, beating fleet line honours winner Solay (David Smith) and Beowulf (Stafford Watts) on corrected time.


After eight races in the Spring Series, Daydream and Beowulf are level on the pointscore but after one discard race, the ladies are leading and to quote Cheryn are having “a hoot of a time out there!”


Last Saturday produced big winning margins on corrected time in Divisions 1 and 3 but a close double victory in Division 2.