The 2018/2019 Summer Season was another great event which was able to attract over 100 yachts to compete across multiple series, to battle it out for divisional and overall trophies. From the more relaxed Club Marine Wednesday Twilight to the longer Mount Gay Ocean Pointscore, all competitors had their work cut out for the ever-changing conditions that would arrive throughout the seven-month season.
Mount Gay Ocean Pointscore
The Mount Gay Ocean Pointscore (OPS) comprised a nine-race series (best eight results to count) including two trips to each of Lion Island, Botany Bay and Port Hacking bringing some diverse racing conditions in to the series.
This series saw the conditions favouring the boats in the fifty-foot range with Bob Steel and Craig Neil’s Quest, Ian Short’s Bush Paul Group and Julian Farren-Price’s About Time taking the top three positions in overall divisions.
Farren-Price’s About Time was able to have a very strong series with their results including first in both PHS and ORCi, with a second in IRC to top it off. “As usual About Time and the crew really enjoyed the competition in OPS and this year was down to the wire. The 50 footers had close racing and I think having such good competition spurred us on to perform quite well as a group in the fleet. Interestingly each boat had conditions that seem to favour them. The TP52’s Quest and Bush Paul Group really gave it to us close reaching which we had a bit of. Our strength was certainly under about 10 knots,” said Farren-Price.
“For sure we are still learning and Quest gave us a lesson a few times on boat handling and sail combinations. We wanted a challenge after 17 years in the Cookson 12 and certainly got what we asked for moving to this new platform. As they say, bite of more than you can chew and chew like hell.”
The series was great preparation for the upcoming Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore with this being the first Farren-Price and the team will compete in both the
series and the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. Divisional winners included Ian Short’s Bush Paul Group in IRC Overall and Div1, Matt Hanning’s Supernova in IRC Div2, Julian Farren-Price’s About Time in ORCi Overall, ORCi Div1, PHS Overall and PHS Div1, Dennis Cooper’s Amante in ORCi Div2 and Kevin Whelan’s Reve in PHS Div2.
Short Ocean Pointscore
The Short Ocean Pointscore consists of nine races which are sailed off Sydney Heads and combines many momentous races throughout Sydney Harbour. The series includes the Rubber Kellaway Plate, Gascoigne Cup, Morna Cup, David Burke Memorial, Australia Day Botany Bay Ocean race and finishing up with the Milson Memorial Cup. The Pointscore is a collaboration between the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Middle Harbour Yacht Club and the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron with each club running three of the races throughout the series.
The series saw many of the 35- to 40-foot boats show their prowess over some of the other stripped out racing yachts with the varying conditions and race courses.
Jack Stenning’s Stormaway was one of those placegetters. “It’s been a fantastic spring and summer series. We’ve worked hard for years to be more competitive against our Sydney 36 and Division 2 peers, and this year it’s come together way beyond our expectations,” said Stenning.
“We’re lucky to have a committed team who seem only to get better with age! We’re out there to enjoy ourselves and do the best we can, and our success this year is mostly down to how well the crew are working together to get consistent performance out of the boat and find any tactical opportunity.”
Final standings were very close with podium positions separated by single points or even tie-brakes as was the case for PHS Div1. “It’s great to be part of a competitive fleet of similar boats, and we really appreciate the sporting spirit in which the series is sailed and are already looking forward to next season,” said Stenning.
Series divisional winners include Philip Dash’s Justadash in PHS Div1, Bob Cox’s Nine Dragons in IRC Div1, Jack Stening’s Stormaway in PHS Div2 and IRC Div2 with Andrew Dally’s Khaleesi in ORCi.
Combined Ocean and Short Ocean Pointscore
The Combined Pointscore Series is perfect for the all-round sailor looking to compete and hone their skills. The series provides entrants with a mixture of both windward/leeward sprint racing and passage style racing in a compact six-race series.
It combines three races from the Mount Gay Ocean Pointscore and three from the Short Ocean Pointscore with the best five races counting towards the final series score.
With racing overlapping both series, entrants battled many different yachts. “We really enjoyed the fantastic close racing with all the other competitors. There is a big range of yachts entered and we had really tight racing with Quest, About Time and Smuggler as the lead constantly changed,” said Short, owner of the TP52 Bush Paul Group.
“It came down to whoever sailed the best and made the least mistakes on the day. A couple of races ended up having to be run in the harbour because of weather constraints but it’s a great series and love the varied conditions and race courses going north and south, we will be back again next year.”
Divisional winners included Ian Shorts Bush Paul Group in IRC Div1 and PHS Div1, Dennis Cooper’s Amante in IRC Div2, with Bryan Moore’s Shibumi first in PHS Div2.
Short Haul Pointscore
The Short Haul Pointscore is a non-spinnaker series comprising 13 races. It has many different courses which range from day-time harbour races, night harbour races and many short ocean races which will take crews up and down the Sydney Coastline from destinations including Botany Bay to Pittwater.
“Being out on Sydney Harbour in the evening is really nice, often we are the only boats out there experiencing it which is really special,” said Cam Wayland owner of Hunky Dory.
It has proven to be a series which many come back and compete in year after year and is a great way to make an entrance to yacht racing but also have some very close racing without having to find multiple crew each week.
“We have done it four seasons now and enjoy the variety of courses with night races and Pittwater weekends. We have a good friendly bunch who sail. We normally sail with four to five on the boat which makes it a bit easier as we don’t need to find a massive crew every week,” said One More-No More’s owner Ian Guanaria.
“This series suits our boat and we are able to push a bit above our weight. We have some very good racing in the series and had some close races with Cyrene 3 and Next.”
Divisional winners included Cam Wayland’s Hunky Dory in PHS Overall, Ian Guanaria’s One More-No More in non-spin IRC, Michael Selby’s Cyrene 3 in PHS Div1 and Cam Waylands Hunky Dory in PHS Div2.
Short Haul Passage Pointscore
The Passage Pointscore consists of the Sydney to Pittwater weekend races combined with the Australia Day Botany Bay Race from the Short Haul Pointscore as the five longest races. Many teams compete in both series with the races being conducted at the same time.
Cam Wayland who placed well in both Pointscores has found it to be a great step in to racing. “It is a fantastic series, I competed for six years on another boat before buying my current boat Hunky Dory and racing the last two seasons. It’s nice to be able to get out of the heads and get away from the amount of boats in the harbour but also makes it much more manageable with the number of sails and people I need,” said Wayland.
“The competitive comradery with all the yachts is great, everyone comes out and waves to each other and says hello. We were able to get 30 people together up at Pittwater to have dinner and get to know each other.”
Divisional winners include Wayland’s Hunky Dory in PHS Overall, Ian Guanaria’s One More-No More in both non-spinnaker IRC and PHS Div1, with Warren Grounds Mr Bojangles first in PHS Div2.
Monday Spinnaker Twilight
This year’s Monday Spinnaker Twilights were another 19 evenings of fun-filled but competitive racing across the PHS and IRC Divisions.
With 35 yachts entered into the series it proves to be a perfect regular race for crews looking to have a short competitive race and keep on top of crew work and boat handling while enjoying the summer evenings. One crew that were able to make the most of the usually moderate breezes was Darryl Hodgkinson’s Victoire who was able to win IRC with a series score less than half of the second-place getter. PHS saw a much closer pointscore with both Div1 and Div2 podium positions separated by single points.
Divisional winners include Hodgkinson’s Victoire in IRC, Greg Mason’s Sinewave in PHS Div1 and Anthony Booth’s Selkie in PHS Div2.
Club marine Wednesday Twilight
The Club Marine Wednesday Twilight was once again a very popular evening race with over 100 yachts entered to compete in the series. With racing starting in early October and continuing through the summer until the end of March there is plenty of time to be able to make the most of the long days and late sunsets over the Sydney skyline.
Spring Pointscore divisional winners include Andy Kearnan and Pete Wrigley’s HWL Ebsworth in PHS DivA, Ray Stone’s Razors Edge in PHS DivB, Roberta and Pat Easton’s In Cahoots in PHS DivC and Jason Wilby’s Hoi Polloi in PHS DivD.
Summer Pointscore divisional winners include Seb Bohm’s Smuggler in PHS DivA, Vicki Hartley’s Sea Change in PHS DivB, Anthony Bruce, James Lee Warner and Antony Sweetapple’s Quetzalcoatl in PHS DivC and Bruce Druery’s Liaison in PHS DivD.