Sunday, 20 March 2011
About Time wins the Ocean Pointscore series. Image copyright Andrea Francolini.
by Di Pearson
Winning the final race of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Ocean Pointscore Series (OPS) was pivotal for Julian Farren-Price and his well-named Cookson 12 About Time, from the CYCA.
Farren-Price, a jeweller/watchmaker, has provisionally won overall the IRC class of the Lion Island Race, giving him overall victory in the eight-race OPS, with four wins on his scorecard.
The Sydneysider, whose main ambition was to keep closest Series challenger Vamp, owned by David Fuller and CYCA Commodore Garry Linacre, behind him on corrected time in this race, managed to also finish second in the PHS class, to claim second overall, beaten to the punch by a second Cookson 12, Stephen Thomas’ Blackadder, also from the CYCA .
Vamp, a Corby 49, finished the series second overall, nine points behind About Time and following their fourth place in the race, Noel Cornish’s always competitive Sydney 47 St Jude (CYCA) was third overall.
Having been a regular on the ocean racing scene for some years, consistently good results have paid big dividends for Farren-Price, who in January won the Pittwater-Coffs Harbour race and its associated series in January, for a second time.
“I’m over the moon to win the OPS series. I’ve got a great boat and crew, who’ve been with me for 10 years. The boat’s so nice to sail,” Farren-Price commented.
“I had a terrible series last year; everything that could go wrong did. The worst of it was my best mate died, so it’s nice to come back from that,” said Farren-Price who will celebrate the win over a big dinner at home for his entire crew.
Of the Lion Island Race, the low-key yachtsman said: “It was interesting. We sailed all the way to Pittwater and back without setting a spinnaker. It was a reach there and a reach home – straightforward – not a tactical race.
“We had a good start and dragged off the back of Tulip (Bernie van ‘t Hof’s Swan 45) for a while, which was great. After that, we straight-lined it. We finished in close company with Tulip and Occasional Coarse Language (Warwick Sherman’s Cookson 12),” he said.
Sherman’s boat finished the race second overall in IRC, within two minutes of stable mate About Time, to finish the OPS fourth overall.
“Conditions were just right for us, the Cookson’s like reaching, so it was a great end to the series,” Farren-Price said.
Stephen Thomas would have been on tenterhooks going into the race. He led About Time in the PHS pointscore on countback only, so had to make sure he beat Farren-Price overall. In the end, he did, by a comfortable five minutes on corrected time.
“I’d have loved to win the double again, but they (Blackadder) sat on us all day and hung on; they were very smart,” said Farren-Price, who won the OPS double in 2007-2008 and IRC in 2008-2009. “Good luck to them, they sailed a great series and did all the right things. They made no mistakes,” he conceded.
The two Cookson 12’s cleared out on the rest of the fleet overall in the PHS Series. Their nearest competitor and third placegetter overall was a third Cookson 12, Occasional Course Language (OCL), owned by Warwick Sherman (CYCA), making it a treble for the design.
However, it was Rob and Sue Segaert’s Quatre Quart, a Beneteau 44.7 that won the race under PHS from Wine-Dark Sea (Peter Lowndes/Sarah Goddard-Jones). Blackadder was third, OCL fourth and About Time seventh. It gave Thomas a four-point PHS Series buffer over About Time, with OCL 17 points behind the winner.
Jim Cooney claimed line honours with golden oldie Brindabella, the recent recipient of a major redecoration job. Only two yachts retired from the race; Rod Wills’ Great Xpectations and Paul Clitheroe’s Balance. It is believed both let the inclement weather that plagued the race throughout, make the decision for them.
According to Principal Race Officer Robyn Morton, the race got away on time at 10.00am, “in an 8 knot east/south-easterly breeze – you couldn’t even see the 18 starters leave the Harbour, it was drizzling and murky.”
Morton said the breeze was “all over the place,” when the fleet exited Sydney Harbour, but reported a 15 knot east/south-easterly off North Head just after 11.00am.
Greg Mason and Barb Maunsell’s Davidson 37 cruiser Sinewave was the last yacht around the Island at approximately 2.00pm. She reached the Rushcutters Bay finish line last at just before 6.00pm last evening.
For full race results and provisional Ocean Pointscore Series standings click here.