The River Derwent’s newest addition to its racing fleet, the Melges 32 Crusader, scored her first win on the river in today’s Combined Clubs series.
It was only her second pennant race since Huon Yacht Club and Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania member Scott Sharp bought the fast boat from the mainland only weeks ago.
Crusader turned in an impressive race over the 30 nautical mile course, winning Group 1 PHS on corrected time after finishing second in fleet, only 55 seconds astern of the Bakewell-White 45 The Fork in the Road (Gary Smith). The Melges 32 as yet does not have an AMS or IRC rating.
The win is a significant lead-up to the Crown Series Bellerive Regatta in two weeks’ time when widely experienced Bellerive Yacht Club member Troy Grafton joins the crew of Crusader.
Crusader was fourth around the leeward mark off Yellow Bluff on North Bruny, astern of Wired (Sam Boyes), The Fork in the Road (Gary Smith) and Wild West (Mike Denney) but Wired had problems hoisting its spinnaker and was overtaken by the other yachts.
On the long spinnaker run back to Hobart, The Fork in the Road opened up a good lead but the light displacement Melges 32 got within 55 seconds at the finish off Castray Esplanade.
Crusader won Group 1 PHS from the Farr 40 Heatwave (Stephen Keal) and Ian Stewart’s Mumm 36 Tas Paints.
Under AMS scoring, Group 1 went to Jeff Cordell’s B&G Advantage, also a Mumm 36, with Tas Paints second and Don Calvert’s Castro 40 Intrigue third.
Tas Paints won the IRC category from Marcus McKay’s She’s Apples Two and B&G Advantage.
The Group 2 and 3 fleet’s leeward mark was Bull Bay, a course of 25 nautical miles while Group 4 went to Seacroft Bay and return.
In Group 2, the classic Eight Metre yacht Juana (Jock Young) took line honours and first place under PHS scoring from 42 South (Mark Ballard) and Natelle II (Glen Roper).
Group 2 AMS first place went to Illusion (David Brett) from 42 South and Wings Three (Peter Haros).
Chris Sheehan, back on board his Young 88 Saga after the SB20 Worlds, took out the Line/PHS/AMS treble in Group 3. Saga won AMS from Young Lion (Steve Chau) and Silicon Ship (Gordon Clark and David Wyatt) and PHS from Rousabout (Derek Inglis) and Young Lion.
In Group 4, first place on PHS scoring went to Wayatih (Allan Morgan) by more than nine minutes on corrected time from Free n Easy (Rob Jones) and Astralobe (Peter Bosworth).
After six races in the Combined Clubs summer pennant series of 2017-18, Intrigue is heading both the AMS and IRC rating pointscore in Group 1.
In AMS, Intrigue has a net 10 points, with Wild West on 14 points and B&G Advantage on 15 points. In IRC Intrigue and Tas Paints both have 13 points, with Doctor Who (Rod Jackman) on 15 points.
Tas Paints heads Group 1 PHS with 19 points, Doctor Who has 23 points and Filepro (Tim Gadsby) is on 26 points.
In Group 2, Wings Three leads AMS scoring with 8 points, 42 South has 10 points and Jiyuu (Peter Davis) 14 points. Under PHS, Juana has a net 7 points, 42 South 13 and Twitch (Twitch Syndicate) 15 points.
Derwent Sailing Squadron Commodore Steve Chau leads Group 3 in both the AMS and PHS categories with his Young 88 Young Lion.
Under AMS Young Lion has 5 points to Saga’s 11 points and Silicon Ship’s 16 points. Under PHS, Young Lion has a net 18 points, Kamehameha (Frank Chatterton) and Serica (Charles Peacock) both have 22 points.
Kindred Spirit’s run of wins in Group 4 ended with a fifth place today but she retains the overall lead with a net 12 points. Free n Easy is second with 14 points, Astralobe third on 16.5 points.
Words: Peter Campbell
Photos: Peter Campbell & Michelle Denney
3 February 2018