Offshore Yachting : February March 2013
RACE & REGATTA ROUND-UP 050 ANDREA FRANCOLINI Windy windup SEVEN OUT OF THE PROPOSED NINE RACES IN THE TROPHY WERE RACED BEFORE WILD WINDS FORCED AN EARLY FINISH. CYCA TROPHY ONE-DESIGN BACK TO SCHOOL Above: Old School builds an early lead. Racing in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's Trophy One-Design in December had to be abandoned early due to strong southerlies that gusted over 40 knots on Sydney Harbour. The previous day's leaders, Old School and Kokomo, were crowned winners of the Sydney 38 and Farr 40 series. With racing due to start at 11.00am on the final day, Principal Race Officer Denis Thompson monitored the situation aboard the official start boat off Manly Cove with his volunteer crew. Meanwhile, the competing Farr 40's and Sydney 38's were sitting sheltered inside the harbour, hoping the wind would die down to enable more racing. At 1:00pm Sydney time, Thompson said, "We've pulled the pin -- all racing abandoned. We are still getting constant 30 knot winds and today was a new wind record for me -- I recorded 42.2 knots." he said. In other areas of the harbour winds reportedly topped 45 knots, necessitating even the suspension of play at the Australian Open golf competition at The Lakes course in Sydney. Fire engines and police cars were heard along New Beach Road, Darling Point, where the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia is situated -- a telling sign that winds were causing significant problems for some. Coming into the final day today, Mark Griffiths' Old School had an insurmountable 14 point lead, having won six out of seven races, with a second place in Race 2. This event also decided the Sydney 38 NSW Championship, which was also won by Old School from the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club. "This is the first day my crew didn't stuff up and Macca (tactician Steve McConaghy) didn't get it wrong all day," joked Griffiths, who became the first back-to-back NSW Championship winner in the class. "We're pretty happy about that," he said. Their win of the CYCA Trophy, according to the Old School owner, "is even better than last year. We've been together a long time, so we know how to make the boat go fast. We have a really good dynamic on the boat." Griffiths and crew will next head to the Sydney 38 Nationals in March. Fellow club mate, Bruce Ferguson's Whisper, took second place overall, while father and son duo Alan and Tom Quick, representing the host club with Outlaw, took third place. "It would have been nice to have a sail, but there's not much we can do about it. We had a bad first day, but yesterday was good and we were hoping to catch up some points on Old School and Whisper," a disappointed Tom Quick said. Aboard Outlaw, crew member Scott Lawson had his son Harry, a Flying 11 sailor, sail with them at the 15 year-old's first Sydney 38 event. "It's really close racing --very tight -- much tighter than in the Flying 11's,' Harry said. "I would definitely like to sail one again." A tight battle between Calibre (Geoff Bonus/Richard Williams) and The Goat (Bruce Foye) decided who will win the right to represent the CYCA at the New York Yacht Club Invitational. The Goat managed to squeeze ahead and will be competing in New York later this year. It was just one point too that separated the Farr 40 leader, Lang Walker's Kokomo from 2010 world champion Guido Belgiorno-Nettis' Transfusion, so Kokomo won, with Transfusion accepting second place, while Middle Harbour Yacht Club's Edake (Jeff Carter) finished third. Like the Sydney 38 crews, the Farr 40 crews were also in joking form; London gold medallist and Kokomo tactician, Malcolm Page offering: "Damien King (helming in Lang Walker's absence) managed to hold onto Lang's lead today, Lang told him this morning not to stuff it up, so he's done the right thing!" On the race's abandonment, Page said: "It was disappointing, but we couldn't have raced. We saw gusts in the 40's and it was constantly in the 30's - it was huge." The 18 footers, of which Page skippers The Kitchen Maker, were also abandoned, the harbour looking significantly empty but for the whites of waves. Yacht owners and officials were aware of the impending southerly yesterday, prompting Denis Thompson, who had been reporting constant 29-35 knot winds throughout the morning, to finish four races instead of the usual three after crews came ashore exhausted by the winds, as did the on-water race management crew. Thompson's forethought meant that seven races from the planned nine were completed, which was enough to decide the winners.
December January 2013
Offshore Yachting April-May 2013