The opening act of the Ocean Pointscore Series, also incorporating Combined Pointscore Series Race 1, was a tightly-fought contest as the fleet of 21 yachts raced to Lion Island and back. The increasing southerly winds encouraged crews to push their boats to the limit, which ended up with a close finish over the line and in the corrected time divisions on IRC, ORCi and PHS.
After the lighter start, Ian Short’s TP52 Bush Paul Group won the first battle against fellow TP52, Gordon Ketelbey’s Zen, choosing to take sow and pigs to the east where the wind started filling in first from Watsons Bay. Zen chose to split and make their way up the western channel, which led to the first of many position changes in the race.
Bush Paul Group was the first out of Sydney Heads as the breeze started to fill in about an hour into the race. However, Zen made their move on the downwind to regain the lead as they made the most of their spinnaker run to Pittwater.
Zen and Victoire, Daryll Hodgkinson’s Carkeek 40, rounded Lion Island ahead of Bush Paul Group, but the upwind race back to Sydney Harbour allowed for the TP52 to hold onto second place and Zen held onto the lead, crossing the finish line ahead of Bush Paul Group by just over 16 minutes.
In PHS it was David Henry’s Buizen 48, Sweet Chariot that claimed the top spot, closely followed by Carlos Aydos’ Crux in second with Zen in third.
The second Ocean Pointscore Race is set to be held on Saturday 26 October, where the fleet will compete in the Botany Bay Race.