Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron Milson Memorial Cup: Time to ‘kill the fatted calf’

Saturday, 09 February 2013


John Griffin and his crew of the Beneteau First 40 Bennie and the Jets can use the lyrics of the famous song as an excuse to ‘kill the fatted calf’ when they celebrate their win in the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron’s historic Milson Memorial Cup.

Bennie and the Jets won the Milson Cup short ocean race, decided on PHS scoring, after a race-long duel with another First 40, CYCA Commodore Howard Piggott’s Flying Cloud.

Flying Cloud finished 8th in the fleet, just over six minutes ahead in the 18 nautical mile offshore race, but with a higher handicap placed second to Bennie and the Jets, which crossed the line 11th, by 35 seconds on corrected time.

Bennie and the Jets was a song composed by Elton John and Bernie Taupin in the early 70s and has been one of John’s most popular songs ever since, with the appropriate lyrics for a post-race celebration being:

‘We’ll kill the fatted calf tonight, so stick around

You’re going to hear electric music, solid walls of sound.’

Back on the water, Sydney turned on perfect sailing conditions for the 24 boat that contested the Milson Cup, the last of three short ocean races the RSYS conducts each year and which are part of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Short Ocean Pointscore.

The Milson Memorial Cup is one of three short ocean races conducted each summer by the RSYS with the prestigious trophy donated to the Squadron to commemorate the contribution of one of its founding fathers 150 years ago.

Sailing in a 15 knot north-easterly seabreeze, the fleet started and finished at Watsons Bay, with a 3 nautical mile windward/leeward course offshore.

Bob Steel’s TP52 led the fleet around the course, taking line honours from David Forbes’ Merlin and AFR Midnight Rambler, skippered by Ed Psaltis.

However,  it proved a race for the backmarkers, with Bennie and the Jets winning the Milson Cup from Flying Cloud and Chris Antico’s Selkie.

In scoring for the Grant Thornton SOPS,  PHS Division 1 went to Bennie and the Jets from Flying Cloud and third to Minerva, skippered by Tim Cox,  back sailing after another stint at chairman of the race committee of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

Selkie won PHS Division 2 from King Billy (Phillip Bennett) and Alpha Carinae (Damien Barker).

Quest won the IRC division from AFR Midnight Rambler, third place going to Imagination (Robin Hawthorn).

Peter Campbell

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 09 February 2013 )