The wild and woolly Sydney Spring weather certainly delivered for Saturday’s Botany Bay Race as crews from the Ocean, Combined, and Two-Handed Pointscores, as well as the TP52 Passage Series, took to the water for what was sure to be an exhilarating sail.
The 1130hrs start saw 36 teams set off in a leisurely 6-9 knots from the east-south-east which sent them nicely down the Harbour to round South Head and make for Botany Bay.
The cruisy conditions were about to change, however, as by lunchtime the wind was swinging to the south-south-west and steadily building to 20-25 knots.
With the breeze now directly on the nose and showing no signs of relenting, crews battened down the hatches for the beat to Botany Bay. And then, of course, the sky opened up and the rain and hail came down!
Matt Donald & Chris Townsend’s TP52 Gweilo excelled in the tough conditions, clinching the Ocean Pointscore IRC handicap victory with Bob Steel & Craig Neil’s TP52 Quest coming home less than one minute later on corrected time for second place and Gordon Ketelbey’s TP52 Zen in third.
Saturday’s Botany Bay Race also acted as the first hit-out of the TP52 Passage Series. Ten crews (nine of which from CYCA) battled it out in the tough conditions, with many teams using the opportunity to size each other up before the Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore Bird Island Race this Saturday and the 2020 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race on Boxing Day.
Past Commodore Matt Allen’s Ichi Ban claimed victory on IRC handicap followed by Gweilo second and Quest third. On TP Rating handicap, Quest finished in first place, with Gweilo second and Andy Kearnan’s Koa third.
Congratulations to all competitors in what was a tough day of racing!