Twelve yachts took off from Sydney Harbour on Saturday for the Grant Thornton Short Haul Pointscore race ten from Sydney to Pittwater. A beautiful 12 to 15 knot southerly breeze sent the fleet out past Sydney Heads, where they then poled out for the run north to Pittwater on Sydney’s northern beaches.
Paul Billingham on Defiant commented, “The pin end was favoured at the start for the best angle to the heads. There was a little more breeze offshore and a single gybe at Avalon for us made for a quick, straight run to Pittwater with yachts basically staying in the same order they exited the heads!”
Hugh O’Neill’s Cavalier 37, Indefensible, won the Sydney to Pittwater race for the second year in a row, this year by just under four minutes on corrected time. They had a great run up the coast and the larger boats simply couldn't shake her for a well-deserved win. Love Byte, owned by Cyril Latimer, claimed second place over Paul Billingham and Pete McGee’s Defiant, who came in third.
Paul recalled their tactics, “On Defiant we tried to hang close to One More No More and L'Attitude and ahead of close rival Macscap - and we went well until Integrity crept up our inside, complicating our gybe a little at Avalon.
“The usual hole inside Barrenjoey made for an anxious couple of minutes until the southerly filled in and we headed up wind for the last mile to finish in The Basin after an enjoyable but relatively uneventful race.”
After ten races, Defiant is the current overall leader on PHS of the Grant Thornton Short Haul Pointscore Series on 48 points, having a four point advantage over Peter McLelland’s Macscap, who finished fourth in this weekend’s race. With only three pointscore races left in the series, the competition is tight at the top of the leader board. L’Attitude is sitting just two points further behind Macscap, in third overall.
Being short crewed for Sunday meant that Defiant returned to Sydney straight after the race. Though unfortunately for them, a thunderstorm hit them off Long Reef at 4:30pm Saturday afternoon.
Paul described Australia disappearing for 20 minutes, “While we were bombarded by 2cm hail stones, which were very painful and a few cuts and bruises. Add to that a violent thunderstorm that rolled for an hour and we were very happy to see North Head emerge from the cloud!”
Grant Thornton Short Haul Passage Pointscore Pittwater to Sydney Race – Sunday 19 February
Also on this weekend, was the return passage race from Pittwater to Sydney in the final race of the Grant Thornton Short Haul Passage Pointscore. Ten boats started in Pittwater at 11:00am in a light southerly breeze.
It was Peter McLelland’s Jeanneau Sunfast 37, Macscap, from Middle Harbour Yacht Club who took the race win, and also won the overall series by a massive 14 points. George Girdis’ Marloo was second in the race and Rod Wills’ Great Xpectations third.
To round out the podium in the Grant Thornton Short Haul Passage Pointscore series, Jon Short, Miles Bastick and Rob Hunt’s L’Attitude, finished second on 23 points, and Girdis’, Marloo, was third on 26 points.
Thanks to the crew on Offshore for giving up their weekend to start and finish the fleet on both Saturday and Sunday. To view all the results, visit the CYCA website here.