Monday, 13 May 2013

CYCA : Fun in the Sun for Race Three of the CYCA Winter Series

Phil Molony's wonderful boat Papillon and hot crew won Division B. Image copyright

by Jennifer Crooks

It was another perfect day for competitors in Race 3 of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Winter Series – a full course was sailed, the sun was shining burning off the early morning fog and once the breeze filled in there was some great races within races across the 13 divisions.

Phil Molony’s hot crew and wonderful boat, Papillon, proved the key to success in Division B from Euphoria (Anthony Coleman) and Assassin (Clare Crawford).

“We steered well and executed everything to perfection,” Molony said. “We had a great race against Euphoria – they were ahead of us for most of the race but we managed to get ahead of them at Shark Island and hold them out to the finish.”

Papillon’s helmsman Mitch Dean takes up the story “They (Euphoria) were ahead of us downwind and had their asymmetric kite up – we have a symmetric kite and were able to sail a little lower than them. At the bottom mark, they were forced to give us room. It was really close between us at the finish.” Just how close? Six seconds separated Papillon and Euphoria over the finish line. Papillon also holds the Division B lead in the overall pointscore after three races.

Tomato took Division D honours. Image copyright

Race Officer Denis Thompson started the Sydney 38s at 1125 hours in a lick of breeze only to abandon five minutes later when there was no sign of any significant breeze. The AP was flown for one hour with the Sydney 38s re-starting at 1225hrs and the remainder of the fleet after 1230hrs as per their offset time. A light north easterly breeze had filled in of 6-7 knots with the fleet of 103 sailing a full course A.

The breeze freshened up to 10 knots and went more north as the afternoon wore on. “It was an idyllic, picture postcard day on Sydney Harbour. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky – it’s almost t-shirt weather,” Thompson reported from the start boat.

A crew meeting over breakfast proved to be the winning element for Sinewave in Division F. “It’s a great results especially after last week’s shocker – we were on the wrong side of the course and had spinnaker issues among other things,” said Greg Mason.

“The crew had breakfast together this morning and formulated a plan for today’s race and it all came together. We were on the right side of the course and kept the boat going all the way throughout the laps. We didn’t see much more than 12 knots. Full credit to Denis Thompson for holding his nerve and waiting for the nor’easter to come in and then there was enough breeze to enable a full course to be sailed.

“We sailed extremely well to hold off Mortgage Choice Rhumba – they are our toughest competitors and always sail extraordinarily well. It was great to see Bob and Ann Penty on the course with their new Beneteau Oceanis 41 Great White,” Mason added. Great White placed second behind Sinewave with Mortgage Choice Rhumba third and has the lead in the overall pointscore.

Sinewave's crew breakfast meeting made all the difference. Image copyright

Division D honours went to Tomato, the Mat 1010, owned by Nigel Smyth and Carl Crafoord. Crafoord a renowned navigator and veteran of 27 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht races said “It’s a bit strange to get a nor’easter in the middle of Winter but it was a great race.

“It can be a bit tricky to pick where the land breeze kicks in from the sea breeze and vice versa. This week we got it right and stayed on the eastern side of the course and sailed cleanly. Last week, we got it wrong and were on the western side of the course – in front by 10 minutes and then the breeze change and we lost the race by two minutes,” Crafoord added.

Since purchasing the boat in August last year, Crafoord and Smyth spent the summer learning about the boat and competing in some summer regattas. They are using this series as part of their preparation to compete in the Audi IRC Australian Championship this coming summer. L’Altra Donna (Andy Kearnan’s Summit 35) finished second to Tomato, the two boats were designed by Mark Mills and competition is fierce between the almost sisterships; Speedwell (Colin Geeves) placed third. Tomato holds on to a one point lead from L’Altra Donna in the overall pointscore.

Christian Nicks who finished second in Division J1, with his Northshore 369, Valkyrie, was the lucky winner of the Noakes Group Lift & Stand package. Noakes Group will provide a lift and stand package each week of the CYCA Winter Series to one lucky competitor, drawn at random from all divisional placegetters.

The CYCA Winter Series pointscore continues next week across nine spinnaker, three non-spinnaker divisions and a Sydney 38OD division. The pointscore series consists of 10 races, with up to three drops allowed, if all ten races are completed. The race scheduled for Sunday 9 June will be a non-pointscore race.

Other winners today were: Swish (Steven Proud) Division A1; Kerisma (Grant Dawson and Brett Lawson) Division A2; Quetzalcoatl (Antony Sweetapple) Division C; Tachyon (Andrew York) Division E; Marigot Bay (Merryl Semple) Division G; Cartwheel (Russell Debney) Division H; Europa (David Mason) Division J1; Silver Minx (Geoff and Vicki Player) Division J2; and Star Ferry (John Conroy) Division K.

For full CYCA Winter Series results log on to