Dragon breath hot air on Botany Bay - Prince Philip Cup Day 2

9 January 2013

Peter Campbell

As Sydney sweltered in one of its hottest days ever, reaching 42.5 degrees, 21 crews of International Dragon class yachts yesterday enjoyed some respite afloat on Botany Bay for day two of the Prince Philip Cup Australasian Championship for the classic one-design class.


Despite the heat, races four and five were successfully sailed with matching hot competition.


After five races, Akula (Matt Whitnall) has had four wins to lead the championship on 0 points after one discard, but he has had to sail exceptionally well to hold that position in a highly competitive fleet of Dragons from New South Wales, Tasmania and Western Australia.

Sidewinder (Carl Ryves) is second overall while third overall is octogenarian international yachtsman Gordon Ingate, helming Whimsical.


Race four was sailed in a 12 to 15 knot nor’wester with the fleet geting a clean start and by the first mark Matt whitnall in Akula had established a small lead from Anthony Armstrong in FrenchConnection and Gordon Ingate in Whimsical.


After some jostling in the downwind leg, Whimsical established a small lead on FrenchConnection that was held till the end, but neither boat could catch Akula. As the three yachts pulled away from the fleet, the wind steadily built.


Race five stated immediately after race four with winds now well over 20 knots, with solid 25+ knot gusts.


This race saw Matt whitnall again take an early lead, but he was challenged by Carl Ryves in Sidewinder and former Fying Dutchman world champion Ian McCrossin, steering Riga for owner Martin Bourke.


Also challenging was Gordon Ingate in Whimsical and Marcus Blackmore in Hooligan.


The final result saw a very close win by Akula , followed by Sidewinder and Riga, with less than a minute separating all three boats.


Today is a lay and after five races and allowing for one drop, Akula is in first place on 0 points followed by Sidewinder on 17.4 points, Whimsical on 27 points and Riga on 31.7 (the Prince Philip Cup is still scored using the old Olympic system).

This year’s Prince Philip Cup includes a number of wellknown yachting personalities in addition to the veteran Gordon Ingate, whose long career has included representing Australia at the Admira’s Cup, America’s Cup and Olympic Games.


Marcus Blackmore is a successive TP 52 owner who has recently joined the Dragon Fleet. Sailing with Marcus is current world champion crew and CEO of Dragon boat builder Petticrow, Tim Tavinor, a former English Olympian in the Finn class.


Sailing with Gordon Ingate is Australian Olympian David Giles while sailing with Geoff Totterill from WA is Australia II legend John Longley.


Of course, Sidewinder’s regular crew, Dick Sargeant, is an Olympic gold medal winner in 5.5's and two-time America’s Cup crew. Carl Ryves and Dick Sargeant also represented Australia at the Mexico City Olympics, sailing a Flying Dutchman also named Sidewinder.


Peter Campbell – 0419 385 028

One point separates top three boats in Prince Philip Cup

8 January 2013

Peter Campbell

Just one point separates the three leading boats after day one on Botany Bay of the International Dragon Australasian championship for the prestigious Prince Philip Cup.


Matt Whitnall, sailing Akula scored two wins and a sixth place to be on 8 points while equal second on 9 points are Dragon class veteran and former Olympic yachtsman Carl Ryves’ Sidewinder and Riga, helmed by Ian McCrossin.


Sidewinder did not win a race, but showed consistency with a scorecard of 3-2-2 while Riga, had a 1-5-3 score.

Wolf Breit’s Shapes is fourth overall on 15 points from score of 8-3-4, followed by the sole Tasmanian yacht in the fleet, Michael Wilkinson’s Xanthos on 16 poiints (2-8-6).

Yesterday’s first race was sailed in a 10-12 knot nor’easterly seabreeze which cycled constantly and made the race challenging over the three lap course with a 1.2nm windward leg and a downwind finish.


“The start was aggressive with three boats over at the gun,” said Anthony Armstrong, Sydney fleet secretary and helmsman of FrenchConnection. “Only Marcus Blackmore’s Hooligan returned, but Gordon Ingate (Whimsical) was OCS, as was Richard Franklin in Liquidity.”


Riga, won a closely fought race with the Tasmanian Dragon, Xanthos, with just seconds to Sidewinder and the West Australian boat Linnea, helmed by Sandy Anderson.


For race two, the breeze moved more to the north, increasing to 13-16 knots. The PRO brought out the black flag after a general recall and the fleet got away to a clean start.


Sydney fleet rivals Sidewinder and Akula duelled to the finish line with Akula winning from Sidewinder, third place going to Shapes followed by Whimsical, Riga and and Xanthos.


The two top placings in race three were the same with Akula first and Sidewinder, with first race winner Riga crossing the line in third place, followed by Shapes, Linnea and Xanthos.

A fleet of 21 Dragons is contesting the Prince Philip Cup with boats from New South Wales, Tasmania and Western Australia competing with racing scheduled again for today, Tuesday, 8 January 2013


Peter Campbell

M: 0419 385 028

E: peter_campbell@bigpond.com

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