Yesterday was the final race day of the 2017 Club Marine Series and was hosted by the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron.
To finish the series on a high a fresh 20- 25 knots was seen across the bay but were welcomed as there were flat seas and blue skies!
With only one race scheduled and these points necessary to determine the winner in a number of divisions, all boats went hard to earn their final determining point score overall. Despite the bustling conditions this final race saw 122 boats registered across the blue and white divisions.
The strong breeze stopped the fleets from pushing the start line with most boats 3 – 5 seconds behind the line as the gun went. There seemed to be an equal split of the fleets for the first upwind but the boats who picked the large left shift were victorious if they were able to hold their kite on the downwind.
In Division 1, Bruce McCraken’s ‘IKON’ battled closely with ‘Wicked’ (IRC) and ‘Sierra Chainsaw’ (AMS) for the series but have been victorious by winning IRC and AMS overall. Danis McConnell’s ‘Schuss’ sailed extremely well in the breeze placing third (for the race) in IRC and winning the race in PHS but just missed out on winning PHS overall to Phil Bedlington’s ‘BKT JAMHU’ who won the PHS (Division 1) by 0.4 points.
Grant Botica’s ‘Executive Decision’ protected their lead on Rod Warren’s ‘Joust’ in Division 2 IRC, despite their win in the last race. ‘Executive Decision’ have won IRC for Division 2 for this season. Although they weren’t able to touch ‘Executive Decision’ in IRC, ‘Joust’ took the win (by a solid lead) in the new Super 11 division. Gary Mackinven’s ‘Way2Go!’ had a solid lead on the fleet in AMS and PHS for the majority of the series so they had some cushioning when their final race day didn’t go as planned.
Gary said, “With a couple of forced crew changes we went into the final race with some apprehension given the conditions but after the first lap we were right in there with a chance of a high finish but unfortunately broke the vang on the second run and with some other issues weren’t able to hoist the spinnaker and lost ground on our rivals. However we were absolutely thrilled with the win overall on AMS and our rate of improvement from previous seasons. Thank you to Club Marine and race officers for a well run series and thanks to all the other crews in Div2 for the excellent competition and friendly rivalry!”
B Feore and G Jackson’s ‘Skipjack’ had a near perfect run across the series in Division 3 IRC taking the win overall. Similar to ‘Way2Go’ Paul Neilson and Rod Langham’s ‘Moonraker’ took the win in AMS and PHS.
Paul said, “We’re wrapped! Skipjack are the masters and we’ve finally knocked them off. We’re all good friends (across the two boats) so it’s been really fun to be so close to each other through the series – it makes for good banter. The crew have done a fantastic job this season so I like to thank them for their efforts. I’d also like to thank David LeRoy and his group of officials and volunteers. We look forward to coming back next year.”
The top five boats in Blue Division were all within 5 points of each other at the beginning of the race day. Philip Cormie’s ‘Co Co’ won this race but after missing a few days of racing misses a podium position overall. Koos Theron’s ‘Xenia’ sailed well, scoring a second and separating themselves with a nine point lead. They now take the overall win in Blue Division!
The 2017 Club Marine Range and Blue Series has been an amazing effort from the five host clubs HBYC, RMYS, RBYC, RVYC and SYC including their staff and volunteers. Having this regular Summer Series brings over 120 boats racing on Port Phillip Bay – a great spectacle especially for the public. It also brings near 800 sailors together which ultimately promotes sailing as the social and engaging sport it is.
Congratulations to all competitors who competed in the 2017 Club Marine Series. This year’s presentations will be combined with the Port Phillip Women’s Championship Series for an evening of Keelboat awards! The presentation will be held on 28 May, from 4 – 6:30pm, at the Royal Brighton Yacht Club. This is a free event but registration is compulsory and registrations close the week prior.
by Club Marine Series Media