Race 5 of the Audi Centre Sydney Winter Series started off in true winter style with a slow condensed start in light and variable conditions. With smoke looming on the horizon from previous days bush fires the fleet started the race drifting through the haze until being greeted later in the day by a light but more consistent NE breeze.
One crew which was able to capitalise on the light conditions was Andy Kearnan and his team on board the TP52 KOA who placed first in PHS DivA1. Reflecting on the days racing Andy said, “It was a fickle day. We started in two knots which built to around nine knots throughout the day but had some big swings in wind direction. We all ended up starting at the same time as there wasn’t much wind for the start, so there were 30-40 boats we had to manoeuvre around on the start line. We managed to get the boat off the line in reasonable fashion given the condition and enjoyed being able to sneak around the outside of a few boats on the way to the top mark.”
Koa is a boat which has always enjoyed light air conditions and this weekends race certainly showed that. “We managed to keep air in our sails and kept the boat moving along the whole time. We worked hard on transitioning as the wind changed and let the boat do the rest. That set us up for a great result at the end of the day,” Andy said.
It proved to be a day that favoured the bigger boats as second place was taken out by Sam Haynes and his Celestial crew with David Gotze on board Triton in third.
Winners of other divisions included; PHS DivB Tony Clift’s The Goat, PHS DivD George Waldthausen’s Superfine, PHS DivE Stephen Girdis’ +GST, PHS DivF Reece Theedam’s Panacea, PHS DivG Shane Diethelm’s Sumatra II, PHS DivJ1 Paul Billingham’s Defiant, PHS DivJ2 Daniel Foggo’s Sabre, PHPS DivK Herman Heiligers’ Hubcap2 and IRC Div1 Matt Wilkinson’s Foreigh Affair.