Race 3 of the Audi Centre Sydney Winter Series brought many people back to reality in showing us that our weeks of warm sunny days which graced the start of the winter season have come to an end.
This Sunday saw only a portion of the registered boats in the series make their way out on to the harbour to greet the first big southerly of the 2018 winter season.
One person who was watching eagerly was Paul Clitheroe of Balance who was not onboard but had passed the reins over to his crew to take the boat out.
“I can tell you I was a very nervous owner, in fact I had a couple of extra glasses of shiraz to calm my nerves. She is a tough old Hobart style boat though, with a tough old crew. Particularly in IRC racing with the short courses like that I saw the forecast and thought, this is a Balance kind of day.”
After hearing reports from the day and seeing the results he was put at ease seeing that the team had taken out top spot in the IRC division.
“Much to my great joy as an owner no one was hurt and nothing damaged either. When I called up the first things I asked was, is everyone ok? Then the next thing is what did you break? Unless they are fibbing to me it sounds like everything is in one piece.”
Mike Green who had been put in charge didn’t seemed phased with the conditions on the day. With many trips to Hobart and many of the usual Balance crew onboard, the boat was in good hands
“It started off quite reasonable but then half way down the first run it started to really pick up, it was definitely interesting. There were a few spectacular wipe outs which we were able to avoid luckily. We topped out our speed at about 28 knots down the first run, so that got the adrenaline going. We were cautious in our spinnaker drops so that all the sail came in on the boat and it was controlled and safe. We just had to feather it when the wind came in up to 37 knots on the next upwind. It had been pre-warned though, so there weren’t as many boats out as usual but we wanted to get out there and consolidate our place in the point score.”
One owner who was able to experience it all first hand was Geoff Lavis onboard his boat UBS Wild Thing. With many of the crew comprised of family members, taking the win in PHS and surviving the day became a family affair.
“We had one attempt at putting up a chute but that failed miserably, so we decided bugger it we’ll just stick with two sails. We ended up over near south head and had to gybe around junction bell when the wind really picked up so we made sure to take it safe. I think there were a few boats with ripped sails and decisions to not keep going but it was a good day all in all with a nice result for us. It was really good, we all really enjoyed the day and it was nice that the rain held off until after the race. With all the light days we have had, to be able to get a bit of a run in big breeze was a nice change.”
“It was good to get the jacket and the Audi voucher aswell, but I think I’ll leave that one to my wife Pip to decide which car we test out.”
Other Division winner include; DivB PHS – Rum Jungle, DivD PHS – Scarlett O’Hara, DivE PHS – Monkey Business, DivF PHS – Lorelei, DivG PHS – Fiction, DivJ1 PHS – Lahara II, DivJ2 PHS – Baltic Lady, DivK PHS Hubcap2