Akela on a sunny Sydney Harbour. Credit David Brogan SAILPIX

Race 10 – Audi Centre Sydney Winter Series

The final race of the Audi Centre Sydney Winter Series did not disappoint. With sun, clear blue skies and 20-30 knots from the west it was a race that all teams were ready to tackle.

The 2018 series was blessed with many weekends of clear skies and good wind, which in previous years has proven not to be the trend.

With many divisional placings coming down to the results from this final race, teams where going to have to fight hard to secure their final positions in the series.

One podium which had been nearly impossible to lose was in DivK with the crew of Hubcap2. From the 10 races in the series Herman Heiligers was able to win every race except one, which he placed third. This meant that coming in to the last race of the season there was no pressure for the team to perform. However, they did what they have done over the rest of the season and took out first place for another week.

“We had a great Winter Series, we sailed well, and the boat performed well so I am very happy,” said Herman. “Its not a racing boat, it a cruiser but we have set it up nicely. The boat performs well in anything over 10 knots and has been remarkably quick for an old yacht.”

Herman has had a very reliable core crew which includes a mix of cultures onboard.

“I have had mostly the same crew for 15 to 20 years. It’s a bit of a mix of cultures. I am a dutchman, but onboard we have a German, a Fijian-Indian, another Dutchman, a Filipino and an Italian,” said Herman. “It’s a good team and we approach each season very seriously.”

Going in to the final week with Ladies Day Race 3, the team will be looking to make it a double for the season hoping to also win their division in the Ladies Day series which has them sitting in a strong first position, four points ahead of the next competitor.

For many teams and divisions, the podium positions were going to be decided by the final race of the series. For crews like Akela who were able to take first place in this weekend’s race, it was just not enough to secure a spot on the podium with only one point separating them and third place.

“We carried a spinnaker and code zero for much of the race when others in our division were not, which meant that we were storming down the harbour at about 13 knots.” Said Ben Hunter.

“We were just out of a podium position in the end, we came back from being eight or ninth half way through the series after some engine and bilge pump issues, so to get back to fourth was pretty amazing. We also had some brand-new crew so to be able to have a win was great for those guys.”

As this was the last week of the 2018 Audi Centre Sydney Winter Series before Race 3 of the Ladies Day Series, the divisional winners have been decided (subject to results audit) with the winners including;

  • PHS DivA1 – Triton
  • PHS DivB – Wine-Dark-Sea
  • PHS DivD – Scarlett O’Hara
  • PHS DivE – Krakatoa
  • PHS DivF – Bear Necessity
  • PHS DivG – Sumatra II
  • PHS DivJ1 – Wild One
  • PHS DivJ2 – Salona
  • PHS DivK – Hubcap2
  • IRC Div1 – Grace O’Malley

The official Audi Centre Sydney Winter Series Prizegiving will be held on Friday 20th July in the temporary Clubhouse with tickets available for sale at the event page by clicking HERE.

Divisional winners from race 10 included IRC Div1 – M. Short & J. Penny’s Highfield Caringbah, PHS DivA1 – Erin Vidor’s Charlotte, PHS DivB – Neville Blair’s Sports Bar, PHD DivD – Ben Hunter’s Akela, PHS DivE – Richard Cunningham’s Space Invader, PHS DivF – Matthew Farr’s Lorelei, PHS DivG – J. Hewitt & C. Johnson’s See Ya, PHS DivJ1 – Alan Husband’s Limelight, PHS DivJ2 – Simon Carr’s More Mischief, PHS DivK – Herman Heiligers’ Hubcap2.

Full results are available at the CYCA website results page with images from the day available on the CYCA Facebook page.


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