Offshore Yachting : February March 2013
RACE & REGATTA ROUND-UP 051 Big boats dominate Trophy series THE CYCA TROPHY PASSAGE SERIES WAS DOMINATED BY THE BIG BOATS THAT WERE CLEAR AHEAD FROM THE START. CYCA TROPHY PASSAGE SERIES Matt Allen's Jones 70, Ichi Ban, took the series with a fourth-place and a win, while Peter Millard/John Honan's 98-foot Lahana won line honours in both races, collecting the double line and overall win on the opening day. She was fifth overall on Day 2, which proved pivotal when Ichi Ban won the series by just one point. On Day 1, the 24 boats lined up for an 11.00am start in a light 8-9 knot sea breeze. Lahana made short work of the 18 nautical mile course, from Sydney Harbour north to Long Reef on the ocean side of Manly, finishing 2hours 8mins 13secs later. Her owners were pleased to win the double ahead of the Rolex Sydney Hobart, especially as they were competing with their full complement of Hobart crew. Millard said afterwards, "We were smokin' all the way to Long Reef and back. We tucked in close to Manly on the way out of the Harbour (two thirds of the fleet followed suit) which gave us a good line to the turning mark," Millard said. Behind them in the overall ranking were two smaller boats, Warwick Sherman's Occasional Coarse Language Too, which finished second, and a Middle Harbour entry, Nine Dragons, in third. Sherman was happy to learn he had finished second overall in both IRC and PHS, as he prepared for his first ever Rolex Sydney Hobart at the age of 58. "The boat and crew went really well," he said. "It was a bit sloppy offshore, but we sailed in a really nice breeze and had great competition with Nine Dragons -- there was no more than a boat length in it. They just got us over the line (by eight seconds), our handicap saved us (they beat Nine Dragons, also by eight seconds)," the CYCA skipper said. Ichi Ban rounded out the top four overall, which in the end was enough. She was unable to match the power of her bigger rival downwind, but she maintained the pressure upwind in the light north-easterly breeze. Brindabella (Jim Cooney) took the spoils overall in PHS, with Sam Haynes' Rogers 46 Celestial Assistance Dogs scoring third. The following day threw most competitors for a loop. They realised there was trouble afoot when the predicted nor' easter could puff out no more than six or so knots at the start as it wrestled for prominence over the nor' wester. The boat end of the line was again favoured, but Ichi Ban could not nose in, and on reflection, found itself in the best possible place -- closest to the pin. Matt Allen looked likely to cross the line early, but because he had room, ran the line till the gun went. Westernmost boat on the line, and unable to port tack the fleet, Allen went hard left to the western shore and was rewarded with enough puffs to keep him going all the way to the Heads. "Spiesy (skiff champion and former multiple Hobart winner Michael Spies) did a brilliant job calling the breeze," Allen said later. Ichi Ban left the harbour with daylight between it and the rest of the fleet. The conflicting breeze took its toll mostly on the eastern side where dead spots were aplenty. Lahana was among those trapped; each time it tacked for what looked like pressure, the breeze would vanish into thin air. One of the worst affected was Brindabella, which propped off Sow and Pigs and was then joined by Lahana and others. The late exit from Sydney Heads was telling, with eight boats subsequently retiring, some without even leaving the Harbour. Back at the front, Ichi Ban took a big dig out to sea. "It was tricky out the Heads; we even got a puff of south-east and there was too much joggle closer in to North Head," confirmed Allen, who was happy to find 16-17 knots at the top mark (at Long Reef). Others to make it out of the Harbour in good time were Geoff and Pip Lavis' UBS Wild Thing, Tony Kirby's X41, Patrice Six, Peugeot Surfrider (Nicolas Lunven), Bruce Taylor's Caprice 40 Chutzpah, Bob Cox's DK46 Nine Dragons and Sam Haynes' Rogers 46, Celestial Assistance Dogs. Ichi Ban was around the Long Reef mark about 15 minutes ahead of Lahana; Matt Allen was pleased, knowing the 98 footer would mow the smaller yacht down sailing to the Watsons Bay finish under spinnaker. The Jones 70 sailed back into the Harbour in a light patch and gybed for the line at the last, costing her line honours to Lahana by a measly 21 seconds. "It's good to know everything is going according to plan," Allen said after the race. "It's also nice to get up a win," he said, after taking the race overall and the series by one point from Millard and Honan. Sam Haynes sailed Celestial Assistance Dogs to third overall, in the meantime taking the top place in ORCi and PHS. ANDREA FRANCOLINI BOW SPRAY This Way Up makes passage.
December January 2013
Offshore Yachting April-May 2013