Land Rover Winter Series 2015 – An icy cold, wet and miserable day nevertheless attracted the diehards to race eight of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, because there is everything to play for with just two weeks of the point score remaining.
Today’s race was an echo of last week’s. Slow and steady won the race, with light and next to nothing breezes saturating the Sydney Harbour course area again.
Principal Race Officer, Steve Kidson, commented back at the CYCA this afternoon: “It became a day of doubt. It was seven to eight knots from the west-northwest as the first boats got away. From there it was stop, start, stop, start, and so it went.
“The first boat got through the gate the first time at around 12.50pm and we were getting pretty much a westerly of seven knots, so I decided not to shorten the course. You were damned if you did and damned if you didn’t,” Kidson said, agreeing that in this type of weather you would please some, but not others, for taking the fleet around the course a second time.
Division D winner, Ian Guanaria (One More-No More) commented: “I did wonder why they took us around a second time, but I guess it’s hard to know what to do, as the wind was fairly consistent, around seven knots, but it died out at times.”
Guanaria and his Beneteau First 35 crew were particularly happy with themselves after winning. “That’s the first Winter Series race we’ve won in years. The crew work was good, the tactics were good – we picked it right – and in the end, the conditions suited us down to the ground.
“It was very, very, cold when we went out though. That’s the first time I’ve worn my Musto Snug AND my wet weather jacket, but we managed to avoid most of the rain and we’re very pleased with our result.”
One More-No More’s victory has lifted her into second place overall in the division. She is one point shy of the leader, Sommer breeze, the Cavalier 350sl owned by past CYCA commodore Hans Sommer, which finished third today.
A win by Jonathan Green’s Crusader allowed the Melges 32 to regain the lead of Division E from Tim Ryan’s J70, James. Four points now separates the two yachts following James’ fifth place today.
“It took us a while to catch James – we got them early on the second lap. It’s been an interesting battle between us in this series, and with two races to go it will go right to the wire,” Green conceded late this afternoon.
“It (James) is a little smaller than us (Crusader is 9.7 metres to James’ seven metres), but it’s certainly been exciting between us and we’re enjoying it.”
Kidson said the last boat to finish today was Ian Arthy’s Beneteau Oceanis 311, Jublilee. The Division G entry finished at just after 4.10pm for last in the division – a far cry from his win in race three.
In other news, Darryl Hodgkinson’s Victoire has a narrow three-point lead from Duende in Division A1 with just two races remaining. Division A1 has two boats on equal points, with today’s winner, Playstation 4 now on 19 points alongside Matt Wilkinson/Andrew Wylie/Dion Morrison’s Kerisma.
Division B is led by Philip Grove’s Huntress by five points over Larki Missiris’ Buildrite G&R Isuzu, while Division C has Michael Selby’s Cyrene 3 four points in front of Antony Sweetapple/Anthony Bruce/James Lee-Warner’s Quetzalcoatl.
Steve Wyatt’s Double Trouble has a five-point lead over Steve Barrett’s Outlandish in Division F. In Division G, Peter Howes’ Sea Rug Hoo Ha leads Lia Darby’s Starpac by four points, while Division J1 continues to be led by Jon Short/Rob Hunt/Miles Bastick’s L’Attitude, with Kevin Whelan’s Reve five points in arrears.
In Division J2, Niel Burling’s Baltic Lady leads Pat and Roberta Easton’s In Cahoots by five points while Division K has Derek McDonnell’s Applejack on equal points with Herman Heiliger’s Hubcap II.
Each week, one lucky division winner is drawn to receive a Land Rover Range Rover Evoque drive experience for a week. The well-deserved winner was Steve Wyatt’s Bavaria 35 Match, Double Trouble, which today snapped up its fourth win of the series.
A second draw is held for a lift stand launch and two free laydays courtesy of the Noakes Group and that prize went to Karen Hawkett’s Beneteau 305, Broulee.
Weekly prizes are also awarded to all top three placegetters in each division and include exclusive CYCA Land Rover Winter Series merchandise.
Other Division winners today were: Division A1 – Triton (Michael Cranitch); Division A2 – Playstation 4 (Dean Harrigan); B – Next (Richard Holstein); Division C – Scarlett O’Hara, (Robert Skol); Division F – Double Trouble (Steve Wyatt); Division G – Noakes White (Peter Langman); Division J1 – Trim (Shaaron Walsh); Division J2 – Arch Nemesis (Jeffery Taylor); Division K – Broulee (Karen Hawkett).
The Land Rover Winter Series continues next Sunday with Race Nine starting from 11.30am.
by Di Pearson