Audi Winter Series winners announced
Sunday, 08 July 2012
The weather gods really turned it on for the final pointscore race of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Audi Winter Series Race 10, which wrapped up on Sydney Harbour today in glorious sunshine, with a light east nor’ east breeze midway through the day bringing the promise of spring.
Today’s race decided the winners across the 12 divisions. It was a difficult day, as Principal Race Officer, Denis Thompson said: “It was a pleasant sail for all at the beginning of the race and the end - in the middle it got a bit hard.
“At the beginning of the start sequence, a light westerly of up to 10 knots was blowing; by the end of the sequence, it was 4 to 5 knots and then it was a glass out.”
However, just as crews were relaxing into the sunny day, a lovely light east nor-easterly wind, averaging 7-8 knots came through, giving the fleet a pleasant spinnaker ride back up the Harbour on the shortened course Thompson had called for.
“A few got caught out in the glass out, and at 3.30pm, there were still three boats coming up the Harbour to finish,” Thompson said.
Duende’s win today rolled Brindabella out of the top spot to win Division A1. Damien Parkes and his Duende crew led the division for most of the series, with four wins on the scorecard. “We’re pretty excited,” crew member Leander Klohs said back at the CYCA this afternoon.
“The light winds were a bit of a challenge, but we were in the right place when the north-east came through. It was a nice way to end the series and we’d like to thank the Brindabella crew for making it an interesting one,” Parkes said of Jim Cooney’s enduring maxi, which finished two points behind in second place.
Forty (Stephen Barlow) might have won the race, but Warwick Sherman sailed to fifth place today to maintain the series lead he had with Occasional Coarse Language 2, and win Division A2 from Col and Denise Wilson’s Never a Dull Moment, which is not at her best in light airs, but nevertheless finished seventh today.
Leading Division B coming into the final race, Scott Russell and his Solahart-Rum Jungle partners and crew left nothing to chance. A win well and truly secured the overall win from Chris Bran’s Brannew, which sailed consistently in top five places throughout and did no worse than ninth all series.
A massive total of 184 boats entered the Audi Winter Series 2012 and many will be on the start line again for one final race next Sunday, the non-pointscore Ladies Day Race for the Chris Lee Trophy.
Arthur Psaltis was another who led his division into the final race with Into the Mystic and although Kym Butler’s One for the Road won Division C’s race today, Psaltis’ fourth, added to his four wins during the series, was enough. Butler, whose Newcastle entry was second overall, used the Audi Winter Series as practice for the upcoming Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race
Division D leader, M, was sailed to its second win of the series today, guaranteeing the overall win for owner Steve Hatch from Ray Stone’s Razors Edge, which kept the M crew on their toes throughout the 10 races. However, Hatch was in Scotland on holiday, having just finished jury duty at the X-35 Europeans.
“I don’t even know which of my crew steered the boat,” he said laughing, having just woken up (it was 7.30am in Scotland). “It’s a bit frustrating knowing we were in the lead and not being able to be there for the last race,” he said.
“It’s a great series and we got such a good variety of conditions that gave everyone a go. We had great competition with Amante (Dennis Cooper) and Scarlett O’Hara (Robert Skol) this season,” said Hatch, who named his Sydney 36 CR for his wife Michelle.
Although Shere Khan (Rod Gibbs) scored her worst result of the series with a sixth place, she did just enough to cling to her overall lead of last week to claim the spoils in Division E from Matthew Brown’s Orbit – by one point.
Things did not go so well for Division F leader, Mortgage Choice Rumba, Robert Car and his partners worst series placing of eighth knocked them off the top of the podium by just one point from Robert Hunt’s well-named Attitude.
To say Hunt was happy is an understatement. “We’ve been trying to win this series since 1995 (with various boats) and the whole crew is very, very thrilled. To come from behind and beat Mortgage Choice Rumba – we feel sorry that they sailed so well throughout and then had trouble today.
“We’ve had a fantastic year - we had two wins in the Audi Winter Series and we won the CYCA’s Short Ocean Pointscore (PHS) in March – It was also a very close series. The wind was actually too light for us today, but we got lucky and found a bit of breeze and sailed away – Syonara (today’s winner) just got us on the line.”
In the remaining divisions, all of last week’s leaders won their respective divisions, excepting the Sydney 38 Division, which results will not be finalised until next week, pending a protest. Coming into today, Thirlmere (Sally Warneford and Larry Jamieson) was the leader.
While competitors were basking in the sun at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia this afternoon, celebrating and commiserating, Jeffery Taylor (Nemesis), who finished third in Division K, was announced as the winner of the Audi Drive Weekend, so will experience the luxury of an Audi of their choosing for a weekend.
Overall division winners are: Duende (Damien Parkes) Division A1; Occasional Coarse Language 2 (Warwick Sherman) Division A2; Solahart-Rum Jungle (The Lost Boys Syndicate) Division B; Into the Mystic (Arthur Psaltis and Jon Ross) Division C; M (Steve Hatch) Division D; Shere Khan (Rod Gibbs) Division E; Attitude (Robert Hunt) Division F; Wild Blue Yonder (Terry Rhodes) Division G; Clewless ? (Lachlan and Guy Irwin) Division H; Lahara II (Glenn Crane) Division J; and L’Eau Co (Grant Pollock) Division K.
By Di Pearson, CYCA media
Last Updated ( Sunday, 08 July 2012 )