Hobart’s newest yacht racing format, the Combined Clubs Short-Course championship, got off to a cracking start on the River Derwent yesterday.
In Group 1, Shaun Tiedemann’s Sydney 36cr Philosopher dominated corrected time results in all three handicap categories.
Philosopher placed first in two out of four races under PHS scoring, and had three wins in both the AMS and IRC categories.
However, only seconds separated the top placed boats in each of the four races for Group 1, Philosopher beating X&Y (Toby Richardson) by just one second on PHS scoring in race three.
Mark Millhouse’s Masrm 25 Trouble was the stand-out boat in Group 2, winning two of three races for this fleet, under PHS scoring.
A fleet of 14 boats have entered the championship, with helmsmen and crew obviously enjoying the cut-and-thrust of windward/leeward river racing.
The program provides for three days of short-course racing over the summer with up to five races each day
“We would have liked to have had a bigger fleet but the entry list is more than we were getting for the mid-river windward/leeward races last season,” Derwent Sailing Squadron sailing manager Mike Denney said.
Philosopher, sailed by a young crew of ex-dinghy sailors with Shaun Tiedemann’s son Sam on the helm, set the pace in race one for Group 1 outsailing bigger boats to take line honours and win all three handicap categories on corrected time.
With race officer Ian Ross setting the short courses down the eastern shore of the Derwent, Philosopher got caught in a wind shift in race two, finishing second last in fleet.
War Games, Wayne Banks-Smith’s Farr 40, crossed the line first in race two for Group 1, but a protest has been lodged, claiming she rounded a wrong mark.
War Games is provisionally placed first on PHS and IRC scoring, with AMS going to the Mumm 36 TasPaints (Ian Stewart)
Philosopher bounced back for the last two races for Group 1, winning all three handicap categories in race three and AMS and IRC in race four.
Kettering Yacht Club entrant, Rad, Brent McKay’s Radford 35 won the PHS category for Group 1.
After four races for Group 1, Philosopher has a score of 12 points under PHS, with X&Y (Toby Richardson) and Tas Paints (Ian Stewart) both on 13 points.
In the AMS category, Philosopher leads with 6 points from B&G Advantage (Jeff Cordell) on 8 points and TasPaints (Ian Stewart) on 10 points, Under IRC scoring, Philosopher has 7 points Tas Paints 10 and B&G Advantage 11 points.
In Group 2, Trouble and Alibi II (Rod Williams) are both on 6 points with T24 Another Toy on 8 points.
Doctor Who, one of Tasmania’s most successful racing yachts of the past three decades, yesterday made a winning comeback in the opening race of the Combined Clubs Summer Pennant, a river race on the Derwent.
Skippered by Rod Jackman, the black-hulled sloop which won its division of the Sydney Hobart race in 1990, slipped away from the fleet becalmed off Gellibrand Point to finish fourth across the line.
The 45 boat fleet racing yesterday certainly gave an early indication of the success of the bold new concept for the summer pennant – four Saturday afternoon river races and five long day races.
Group 1 has attracted 18 entrants of which 14 raced yesterday, Group 2 nine, Group 3 twelve and Group 4 eleven, with just one non-starter within these groups.
On corrected times, Doctor Who won the Group 1 PHS category by just 34 seconds from line honours winner Wild West, skippered by Michael Denney. Under IRC scoring, Doctor Who also won from Wild West.
The success of the veteran yacht was also a winning comeback to big boat racing for skipper Rod Jackman who in recent years has been an active, and successful, participant in racing radio controlled yachts on Risdon Dam.
Wild West made up for her two second places to Doctor Who under PHS and IRC scoring with an emphatic win under AMS scoring. Veteran Don Calvert steered Intrigue into second place with third going to Gary Smith’s The Fork in the Road.
As Bellerive Yacht Club sailing manager Peter Watson put it….”chocolates for some, boiled lollies for others appeared to sum up the day, especially for Group 1 boats.”
Group 1 went down the river to a mark off Gellibrand Point where the sea-breeze was fighting the northerly gradient, leaving completely calm sections on the.
Among those becalmed was Michael Pritchard’s Cookson 50 which had opening a commanding lead in the spinnaker run down the river.
Some boats, including Wild West and Doctor Who, slipped up the eastern shore in a light northerly to establish an unbeatable lead.
It was a long day on the water for some boats in Group 1, with Ian Stewart’s Tas Paints and Ian Marshall’s As Good As They Get crossing the finishing line at 17.51, just 11 seconds apart.
Groups 2, 3 and 4 stayed with the Howrah/Tranmere vicinity of the eastern shore with plenty of breeze for the whole race.
Under PHS scoring, the 8-metre Juana (Jock Young) won Group 2 from Twitch (Twitch Syndicate) and Pirate’s Pride (Peter Masterton). Under AMS, first place in Group 2 went to Wings Three (Peter Haros) from Jyuu (Peter Davis) and 42 South (Mark Ballard).
In Group 3, Kamehameha (Frank Chatterton) took out Group 3 on PHS from DSS Commodore Steve Chau’s Young Lion and Silicon Ship (Gordon Clark and David Wyatt). Young Lion took out AMS from Silicon Ship and Mako (Phil Soley).
Kindred Spirit (Peter Alcock) won the strong Group 4 from Innovator (Ian Smith and Dean Aberl), third place going to Hornet (Neville Georgeson) which took line honours in Group 4.
Former Sydney Hobart winning yacht Filepro and her crew last Sunday payed a fine tribute to past skipper Darren Clarke, killed in a car rally accident earlier this year.
Filepro took line honours and won Division 1 of the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania’s Channel Race, the traditional opening long race of the sailing season.
Clarke had skippered the yacht since he and other members of a Bellerive Yacht Club syndicate bought Filepro, which as Cuckoo’s Nest won the IMS division of the 1993 Sydney Hobart.
Previously, Clarke had been noted for the success he and his father Harold had had with their yacht Invincible.
Filepro was skippered by Tim Gadsby in Sunday’s 30 nautical mile race down the Channel to Bligh Point and return, outsailing Huon Yacht Club entry Rad, Brent McKay’s fast Radford 39 in Division 1.
On PHS corrected time, Filepro won from Rad, third place going to Planet X (Mike Rowley) with Filepro also winning under IRC scoring from Whistler (David Aplin) and Madness (Janine Frawley and Gavin Adamson).
Planet X won the AMS category from Whistler and Rad.
Line honours favourite Oskana, Michael Pritchard’s Cookson 50 had a luckless race, starting with a twisted spinnaker and later forced to retire with a torn mainsail.
Bellerive Yacht Club’s latest acquisition to its Hobart fleet, Gary Cripps and Hughie Lewis’ Guilty Pleasures IV, got a taste of strong tradewinds sailing on day one of the Magnetic Island Race Week on the Coral Sea on Saturday.
After winning their first regatta at Airlie Beach Race Week with their new boat, a modified Farr 40, the BYC team had to be content with corrected time placings of a fifth and a 12th.
The new Tasmanian owners said they benefitted from their sistership, Ponyo, tearing its mainsail during the race.
“It was fairly windy – up to 20 knots – and very lumpy,” Lewis said after finishing 11th in Performance Racing 1. “We got a fairly good start and then ran a symmetric spinnaker – we should have set an asymmetrical. After that was a fairly big beat on the other side of the Island.
“Ponyo was ahead of us, but then she tore her main from top to bottom, so they had to drop it – and we overtook them – not how we wanted to do it, but there you have it.”
Lewis and Cripps only took delivery of the Farr 40 two weeks before contesting Airlie Beach Race Week. “It was light, so it suited us there – the boat goes well in the light,” Cripps said of winning Cruising Division 1 there.
“I had been sailing an SB20 and Gary was sailing a Sydney 38 and we decided to go back to the dark side and buy a fast yacht.
Lewis said the average age on board is 63. “Except for my 30- year-old son-in-law on the bow… we bought the boat to have fun with it. We don’t want to get too serious.”
Winter showed that she was not finished today for the hardy sailors that ventured out into the River Derwent for the final race of the 2017 BYC Hobart Jaguar Land Rover Winter Series.
“Snow to low levels and a cold west to south westerly wind, blowing at times to 25 knots, made for difficult and uncomfortable racing,” reported sailing manager Peter Watson.
“However, it was all smiles aboard Wild West, Twitch and Vitaminsea, each securing their overall series wins,” he said.
Watson added that despite the southerly cold cells blasting through the fleet at up to 25 knots there were times of light 10 knot breezes.
“This placed a premium on the crew’s ability to ‘change gears’ and keep theirs yachts powered up and in optimum sail trim,” Watson commented.
In Division 1 today, Wild West (Michael and Michelle Denney) led the fleet around the course, but placed fourth on corrected time to race winner Ramrod (Tim Maddock).
However, with three wins already on the board, this was sufficient for Wild West to win the winter pennant with a net 7 points.
The 8-metre Juana (Jock Young) finished runner-up overall on 13 points, gaining second place on a countback from Jeff Cordell’s B&G Advantage.
A win today in Division 2 gave Richie Upton’s Twitch the winter pennant with a net 8 points, second place overall going to Hydrotherapy (Jim Thorpe) on 10 points, third Trouble (Mark Millhouse) on 15 points.
Division 3 overall winner, Vitaminsea (Wayne Pitt) ended with a comfortable margin after placing second in the fifth and final race to Skeme (Paul Rogerson). Vitaminsea won three of the five races on corrected time.
Vitaminsea’s net score was 5 points, Skeme’s 8 points, with third place overall going to Kama (Rod Cushion) with a net 11 points.
Derwent Sailing Squadron yachtswoman Michelle Denney had good reason to celebrate events in Hobart over the weekend, although she and her husband Michael were on holiday in Broome
Michelle was named a Volunteer of the Year at the Tasmanian Sailing Awards on Saturday evening.
Their yacht Wild West scored its third win in four races in Division 1 of Bellerive Yacht Club’s Winter Series.
Michelle was named joint winner of the Volunteer of the Year award for her regular role in race management in events conducted by the DSS, especially club and championship events for the SB20 class.
A keen amateur photographer she updates social media with racing photos as well as supplying images for use in ‘The Mercury’.
With the Denneys on holiday Wild West was sailed by the regular crew. “An amazing crew…Royce Salter helmed and Julian, Andrew Davison, Heather, Kirsty, Frank, Anna, Rob and Karen did an awesome job….winners all round,” Michelle said in an email from Broome.
Wild West has a commanding points lead after five of the six race BYC Jaguar Land Rover Winter Series, 11 points to 17 by her nearest rival, BYC vice-commodore Ian Stewart’s Tas Paints. One point back are Juana (Jock Young) and B&G Advantage (Jeff Cordell).
Sunday was a “classic winter race day on the River Derwent with a 5-10 knot northerly and the ever-present down-river current,” according to BYC sailing manager Peter Watson.
“The two Mumm 36s, Madness (Gavin Adamson) and B&G Advantage (Jeff Cordell) had a great tussle all around the course while Wild West capitalised on the clear air in front of the pack and extended her lead enough each leg to take an outright victory.
“Jim Thorpe’s Hydrotherapy, sporting a new headsail, sailed well for a comfortable win in Division 2,” added Watson.
Hydrotherapy shares the leaderboard with Twitch (Richie Upton) in Division 2, both on 16 points with Chris Sheehan’s Saga on 17.5 points.
In Division 3, Vitaminsea (Wayne Pitt) extended her overall pointscore lead with her third win of the series. After four races VItaminsea has a score of 7 points, with Skeme (Paul Rogerson) on 10 points and Sundance (Don Bailey) on 12 points.
Major changes have been made to Hobart’s Combined Clubs racing programme for the 2017-2018 summer yachting season on the River Derwent, aimed at boosting fleet numbers.
Instead of separate Combined Clubs Harbour and Long Race Series, nine Pennant races will be scheduled over the summer, approximately every second Saturday, comprising five long day races and four races in the river.
The Combined Clubs agreement between the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, Bellerive Yacht Club and the Derwent Sailing Squadron has been in place since 2012 and in the main has worked well, with most series well supported.
However, in a circular distributed to yacht owners this week, the Combined Clubs committee points out: “…it has become apparent that in recent years the number of boats entering and starting in the Combined Clubs Harbour Series has been in serious decline.”
Sailing managers and key club volunteers have now put forward a model that encourages maximum participation in the summer pennant series, with emphasis on longer races around the river, down the Channel and to marks out in Storm Bay.
“In doing so we have taken into account feedback and constructive criticism from a range of owners and skippers,” the circular explains.
To cater for yacht owners and their crews who “enjoy the cut and thrust of windward/leeward style races” there will be a separate series, the Short Course Championship.
This series will comprise three days scheduled throughout the season, each day consisting of up to five races, with provision for resails in the event of inclement weather.
The race days have been allocated around the traditional regattas/races sailed in summer, the Pipe Opener (15-17 September), Channel Race (8 October), Maria Island Race (17 November), Bruny Island Race (10 February) and the Crown Series Regatta(16-18 February), with the first Combined Clubs Summer Pennant race programmed for Saturday, October 14.
The first race in the Short Course Championship will be on Saturday, October 21, while traditional early season events include the Piper Opener on September 15-17 and the Channel Race on October 8.
Hobart is hosting the Australian Yachting Championships for IRC, ORCi and PHS categories in January 2019 and the Combined Clubs committee has agreed that any new model should attempt to match the type of racing that will take place in that championship.
The Championship is decided by yachts competing in long races, harbour races and windward/leeward races.
The proposed oncoming season’s structure could facilitate a championship style event incorporating the Combined Clubs proposed summer pennant (long and harbour) and the short course series.
Full details of the proposed Combined Clubs pennant racing for the 2017-2018 season, and dates of these and other major events on the River Derwent are available on the club websites.
The classic-style Eight Metre yacht Juana sailed through a “bizarre” morning on the River Derwent yesterday to win race three of the Bellerive Yacht Club Hobart Jaguar Winter Series.
Skippered by experienced one-design helmsman Jock Young, Juana finished eighth in the 12-boat Division 1 fleet but on handicap won comfortably from Cromarty Magellan (Richard Grant) and Ramrod (Tim Maddock).
“Fickle winds on the river played tricks with the 28 boats,” commented BYC sailing manager Peter Watson. “The forecast 15 knot gradient northerly wind did not kick in until late in the race.”
Watson said the fleet started in a very light northerly which found the whole fleet bunched together at the leeward mark.
After drifting around the mark and turning for what was supposed to be an upwind leg, spinnakers started to appear in a light south-easterly breeze.
This breeze lasted halfway up the course when the northerly finally kicked in.
“With everyone ‘starting’ again at the first leeward mark, the line honours boats in each division had an almost impossible job in having enough to ‘run down’ their handicap and gain a place on corrected time,” Watson added.
For example, the ‘gun’ boat in Division 1, Wild West, placed eighth overall after her two previous outright race wins. She still leads Division 1 overall.
Twitch (Richie Upton) and Trouble (Mark Millhouse) are on equal points in Division 2 after placing second and third respectively to winner Hydrotherapy (Jim Thorpe).
In Division 3, Rod Cushion’s Karma had her best race of the winter series to win from Sundance (Don Bailey) and Skeme (Paul Rogerson). Vitamin C (Wayne Pitt) still heads the division pointscore after a fourth place.