Tuesday, 26 January 2010
Surprise surprise - David Ellis has won five from five. Image copyright Andrea Francolini/Audi.
by Di Pearson
With only a single race remaining, a fourth in Race 4 and a bullet in Race 5 have cemented Peter Horn’s chances of taking out Division 2 of the Audi IRC Series with his brand new King 40 Canute after today’s two races on Corio Bay.
Horn, from Sydney, is over the moon with his brand new yacht’s performance to-date and has pushed him on with his plan to enter all of the Audi IRC Australian Championship events in 2010.
“We’ll be at all the Audi events; the Sydney Harbour Regatta in March and then go on and do the Gold Coast race and Hamilton Island,” a pleased Horn said this afternoon on coming ashore.
The event is not over yet though. Horn is only four points ahead of Rolex Sydney Hobart winner True Blue, a new Beneteau First 40 from South Australia and a further point in front of Just a Minor Hickup, Peter Coleman’s Hick 39 from Victoria.
The three have been in a tight tousle all week, but Canute seems to have got the upper hand in the last two days with just one race remaining to be sailed tomorrow.
“It was great racing on the two windward/leeward courses today. We were way ahead in the first race, but some other boats caught us up when we got on the wrong side of a shift, then we bounced back to fourth place,” Horn said.
“In the second upwind of the second race, we got a fantastic shift in our favour and blew everyone out,” added Horn who has Rob Brown aboard calling tactics.
Horn confessed he is nervous about tomorrow’s final race in the Royal Geelong Yacht Club hosted series on Corio Bay. “I am nervous; we’ll be sailing a bit conservatively. The wind could be all over the place - I believe it’s forecast to be east-nor-east – so who knows what will happen?
“We’ll try to cover, but if Two True and Just a Minor Hickup split up, that will be difficult. It may come down to good crew work and we have that on Canute,” Horn admitted.
Canute has a slight edge going into the final day. Image copyright Teri Dodds/Audi Victoria Week.
Canute has impressive upwind speed, outpacing her rivals up the first beat of Race 5, leaving the rest of the fleet in her wake. By the time she reached the top mark for the first time, she’d already put a good minute on her nearest rival.
Racing was delayed in both Races 4 and 5 of Divisions 2 and 3 today. In the earlier race officials waited for the sea breeze to fill in which it did close to 1.00pm, but was soft at around 4-6 knots to start, but in the later race, freshened to 8-10.
Towards the end of Race 4, the breeze was veering to the right and eventually settled at around 170 degrees with the breeze up around 10-12 knots, making for a tiring day’s sailing.
In Division 3, David Ellis and his BB10 Surprise picked up another two wins and now have a perfect score of five from five races and it would take a disaster to see the Victorian lose the Series.
“Once again the breeze was in our optimum wind range and my guys were great in picking the shifts all day. It was pretty shifty out on Corio Bay today and we were always in the right place at the right time,” a contented Ellis maintained.
“The first race became a bit of a drag race in the end and we just hung on for the ride. We’ve had good starts in every race so we’ve been able to sail in clear air all the time and we’ve minimised our mistakes, so that’s helped,” Ellis said.
“We won the Series last year and it would be great to win again,” said Surprise’s owner from the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria.
Harvey Milne’s Archambault 31 Aroona has maintained second place overall after scoring a pair of second places and is six points off the lead. Peter Jackson’s Beneteau 347 Stitched Up (Vic) has taken over third place from Jason Antill’s Dufour 34 Even Finer (NSW) after Jackson came up with a fourth and a third in this close series.
Only one windward/leeward race remains for Divisions 2 and 3 scheduled to start on Corio Bay on Australia Day from 11.00am tomorrow (Tuesday) in the Royal Geelong Yacht Club hosted Audi Victoria Week event.
Audi Victoria Week