Tuesday, 12 October 2010
Dick Cawse's Lyons Cawse 60 Vanguard Line Honours winner in the Port Hacking Ocean Pointscore Race. Image copyright Andrea Francolini.
by Di Pearson
Noel Cornish has sailed his Sydney 47 St Jude to a win in the drawn out Port Hacking Race, the second race of the Ocean Pointscore Series (OPS) conducted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia today.
The race was so difficult, that the first yacht home, the 2009/2010 Ocean Pointscore Series winner, Vanguard (Dick Cawse) finished over four hours ahead of the last yacht home, Sinewave, a Davidson 37 owned by Reg Mason and Barb Maunsell, who finished the 30 nautical mile race just after 7.17pm this evening.
Winner, Cornish, must have been saying a prayer to St. Jude (although the boat is named for his wife Judith), the Patron Saint of lost causes, asking just to finish the race. His prayer was answered, as Cornish and crew not only finished just before the shifty east-south-easterly breeze weakened, they scraped home to win overall by less than three minutes!
However, Cornish and his long time crew are pleased St Jude’s result; the nearly three year old yacht has already applied to enter the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race in which it gained a good fourth overall in division last year.
Today’s result has boosted their morale for the 628 nautical mile race to come on Boxing Day. “The crew has worked hard between races, so we were certainly well prepared for today’s race,” said the Wollongong yachtsman, adding: “The crew co-ordination was perfect and now we’re looking forward to the Cabbage Tree Island Race which will be our Rolex Sydney Hobart qualifier.”
Noel Cornish's Sydney 47 St Jude, IRC Winner in the Port Hacking Ocean Pointscore Race. Image copyright ROLEX/Kurt Arrigo.
Not even two-time Rolex Sydney Hobart winner and 2009/2010 Blue Water Pointscore champion Bob Steel was immune to the conditions, coming home third overall behind St Jude and second placegetter, David Forbes’ Merlin, a Kaiko 52 from Middle Harbour.
Dick Cawse’s Lyons/Cawse 60, the outstanding winner of the CYCA’s 2009/2010 OPS, took line honours, arriving at the Point Piper finish line on Sydney Harbour at 15.13.43, taking just over five hours to complete the race that started at 10.00am this morning.
It was a very long day for the fleet’s crews and for the principal race officer, Denis Thompson and the volunteer start boat crew.
At 4.00pm, in a fading breeze, only eight of the 20 starters had completed the course, with famous maxi Brindabella skippered by Justin Sutherland second on line, followed by two TP52’s; Bob Steel Quest and Matt Short’s Shortwave, along with Geoff and Pip Lavis’ Inglis/Murray 50, UBS Wild Thing.
“Although the yachts got off the line in an 8-10 knot east-south-easterly, it was mostly 6-8 knots to Port Hacking and back, until 4.00pm when the breeze started to die out,” Denis Thompson said, resigned to the fact he and his team would still be on the water as night fell.
Those who finished prior to 4.00pom were thanking their lucky stars, remembering the tricky light breeze that the Lion Island Race dished up two weeks ago, in which Never a Dull Moment (Colin and Denise Wilson) was the only finisher.
As only two races of the series have now been sailed, Never a Dull Moment, which finished ninth overall in IRC today, leads the OPS from St. Jude and Merlin, while an eighth in PHS means she leads Merlin and St Jude in that pointscore.
The next event on the OPS calendar is the Botany Bay Race on November 20.