With the start of the PONANT Sydney Noumea Yacht Race and the Audi Centre Sydney Winter Series, Sydney Harbour had something for everyone.
For those entrants of the Audi Centre Sydney Winter Series who set their alarms early and braved the rain squalls, they were rewarded with watching the start of the postponed PONANT Sydney Noumea Yacht Race and the 22 entrants glide down the harbour on their 1064nm Journey to Noumea.
By the time the fleet had made it out the heads the rain had done its dash and sun greeted the rest of the Winter Series fleet who made their way out for the 11:30 start. With a 17-20 knot south-west breeze, the race was exciting and fast paced.
Colin Wilson onboard Never a dull moment was able to make the most of his newly anti-fouled hull to take the win in PHS DivA1. Colin explained, “The boat had been up north for eight months before the start of this Winter Series, it had come back with some coral growing on the bottom which meant that we weren’t that fast in the first few races. Now that we have the bottom cleaned up and anti-fouled we are going much better.”
Reflecting on the race Colin said, “The day was great. It was puffy, but we just made sure to do everything early and keep it safe. We also made sure to watch the radar until the last minute so that we knew we weren’t going to get wet.”
Like many others who enter the Audi Centre Sydney Winter Series, it is a time where crews and boat owners can have competitive, fun racing, but also encourage new sailors to learn and extend their skills in the sport. “I have a good group of guys that I sail with, some of them I have been sailing with for 32 years! We even have a younger guy who started sailing with us when he was 12. He taught himself everything there is to know about the instruments, how to tune them, how to make them work and set everything up on them. Two weeks ago we had another great day on the harbour, we went out and just had a day where the good guys were teaching everyone else new skills from trimming, to steering, all the jobs on the boat, it was great.”
Other divisional winners included PHS DivB – Peter Lowndes Sarah’s Wine–Dark–Sea, PHS DivD – S Cook, R Carr & K Bu’s MortgageChoice Rumba, PHS DivE – Richard Cunningham’s – Space Invader, PHS DivF – Ann & Bob Penty’s Great White, PHS DivG – David McClean’s Merry Mac, IRC Div1 – Paul Clitheroe’s Balance, PHS DivJ1 – Rob & Sue Segaert’s Sante’, PHS DivJ2 – Simon Carr’s More Mischief, PHS DivK – Ed Wyllie’s Wah Moon.