Monday, 23 May 2011

Audi Winter Series : Another Sun-Drenched Sunday on Sydney Harbour

Geoff Lavis' UBS Wild Thing takes the Division A1 win, race 3 Audi Winter Series 2011. Image copyright

by Jennifer Crooks

Another beautiful sun drenched autumn day greeted the 130 competitors in race three of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Audi Winter Series, and despite the delayed start to racing a full course was sailed in most divisions for the first time this season.

The huge fleet started off Point Piper as per their handicap start time shortly after 12:35hrs, after just over an hour delay, in an 8-10 knot north-north easterly breeze on Course C. PRO Denis Thompson described today’s conditions as “lovely day to be sailing on Sydney Harbour. It didn’t even seem like a winter’s day at all.”

For Geoff Lavis and his crew onboard UBS Wild Thing, also known as the flying toothpick, conditions suited them as they picked up the Division A1 win. “I’m happy to get the result in these conditions – the breeze really did suit us, once it came in.”

“The Race Committee made a good choice in selecting Course C, which allowed for the course to be shortened when required,” Lavis added. Divisions A1, A2, B, C and the Sydney 38s all sailed a shortened course, with Divisions D-K sailing a full course.

“We got off to a good start and managed to keep in front of our division until we got to Shark Island when Vamp and Southern Excellence almost ran us down but they got tangled up at the mark which gave us the advantage back,” Lavis added.

Elusive wins Division J. Credit

Inter-divisional rivalry is always evident in an Audi Winter Series and the match-up between Bruce McKay’s Sayer 12 Wasabi and Murray Owen and Jenny Kings’ Sydney 46 NSC Mahligai in Division A2 is no exception.

“We always enjoy a bit of boat on boat action with our old foe Murray and his team onboard Mahligai,” Bruce McKay said this afternoon after hearing of his win via Skype from his stand-in skipper Fred Haes, whilst he was state-side in Miami on business. McKay, cheekily quipped that he gave his team a weather report via Skype this morning and was controlling the boat by remote! “Conditions today suited Wasabi as she can take advantage of her light weight,” McKay added.

It was double the joy for the Elusive team, taking home the Division J win and Peter McGee, joint owner of the Bavaria 42 match Elusive with CYCA Treasurer Paul Billingham, walked away with the keys to an Audi A5 Sportback 2.0T multitronic to drive for the week.

Wasabi wins Division A2 Audi Winter Series 2011. Image copyright

Commenting on their performance today, Billingham said “It was the right sail selection that did it for us today. We had a great upwind run initially with our heavy number one sail and on the second lap of the course we switched to the lighter number one and that really helped us keep in front of others in our division.”

“We picked the right wind lanes and didn’t find any holes and couldn’t have asked for better conditions,” Billingham added.

A port starboard incident between Vanguard and Racy Lady at approximately 1330hrs, resulted in the sinking of Racy Lady.

Other winners today were Assassin (Clare Crawford) taking Division B; Argo Blue (George Snow) Division C; Crossbow (D Murray and D Stenhouse) Division D; Youngstar (David Cameron) Division E; Stormy Petrel (Kevin O’Shea) Division F; Selkie (Anthony Booth) Division G; Sea Rug Hoo Ha (Peter and Sally Howes) Division H; Magic (Chris Manion) Division K and Wild One (Larki Missiris) won the Sydney 38 Division.

Audi Winter Series