Great results at Sail Port Stephens

  • Racing
  • NEWS
  • By Ross Macdonald
  • 18 Apr 2018 10:25:15
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REO Speedwagon at Sail Port Stephens Photo: Nic Douglas (Adventures of a Sailor Girl)

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Over the weekend and during the course of last week many of the club members headed north to make the most of the unusually warm weather at the annual Sail Port Stephens Regatta.

With racing scheduled for Friday through to Sunday many yachts were lined up to compete in multiple windward leeward sprint races and a coastal race which add some adventure to the series.

The CYCA had a strong contingent of yachts across all divisions with great results in both IRC and the Sport Boat Fleet. The CYCA took out 1-4 in the sports boat division with Andrew York and the team on Reo Speedwagon taking the National Title for the second year in a row. Second was Reg Lord on Juno, third Kevin Nixon on Accru and fourth, Tim Ryan on his J70 James.

Reflecting over the weekend’s racing, Andrew York, who managed two wins, a second place and a fifth said,

“Friday we had three races, two races in 12-14 knots and one race in 6-8 knots. The second race was a little trick.  The nor’easter came through when we were less than 100m from the line. The breeze went all the way around from the west,  so we had to drop the kite and beat the last little bit in to the line. We could see it coming but we just didn’t know exactly when it was going to get there. We sort of prepared but I think the boats behind us caught us a little there. We were still first across the line and just saved our corrected time on the Melges 24’s but one of the j70s got us then.

Saturday we had the long distance race right down in to Nelson Bay. It started light and built to around 15 knots on the way down. About a third of the way back it came in at well over 20 knots. When we got back to the club they had recorded a one hour average of 29 knots and a peak gust of 38 which is a bit more than we should be out in, but we all got around the course unscathed which was pretty good. There was a bit on in those big gusts, we are one of the longest in the fleet but we are also one of the lightest so we were hiking our butts off to keep the boat upright.

With a large storm coming through on Saturday night there were a lot of boats looking for sails the next morning which had blown off the docks, due to wind gust of over 60 knots. Not to mention the damage the hail storm caused that hit Port Stephens Saturday evening. In the morning the winds had dropped but with consistent wind speeds over 30 knots the race committee had no choice but to postpone and then abandon racing for the day.

Coming off the back of winning Ocean Racer of the Year and the Blue Water Pointscore, IRC division competitor, Tony Kirby and his team on Patrice came out swinging.

After Friday and Saturday’s racing scores, of three seconds and a first, Kirby was sitting in a perfect position to make a play for top spot as Marcus Blackmore’s TP52 Hooligan was only 1.5 points ahead.

Unfortunately with the racing abandoned it meant there was no change to the scores and the series standing held as the final result.

Sam Haynes with Celestial took out third to finish off the podium positions.

Even with Sundays racing abandoned the Race Management Team did a fantastic job getting enough races in to constitute a series.

With the event popularity dates for Sail Port Stephens 2019 have been set for 8-14 April.

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