On the final day of NCYC’s winter series, which has been plagued by a big breeze, tumultuous seas and plenty of rain, such conditions could be further from the truth on the ultimate day of racing off Newcastle. On a glorious winters Sunday morning without a cloud in the sky and nice brisk 10 knot westerly the fleet headed directly off Newcastle’s Nobby’s Beach to be greeted by flat seas.
Starting on time, the fleet jockeyed up for the start of the first of two windward leeward races. With IRC divisional series leader Schouten Passage (Rob Howard) a single point ahead of PT73 (Tony Lobb) and three points clear of Storage King Wallop (Peter Hewson) the final day’s racing was guaranteed to be tight. Similarly, in PHS, while Summersalt (Tim Gleeson) held a 5 point stranglehold on the series Toy Story (Tom Woods), She’s the Culprit (Michael McDonald), Novocaine (Vaughn Stephens), Wallop and PT73 were still in contention for the minor series placings or potentially a series win dependant on how the dominoes fell.
After a clean start, the fleet of 11 split evenly across the course on the 1.4 nautical mile beat with PT73 hitting her straps off the start line and establishing an early advantage up the middle of the course. Schouten Passage struggled off the line with a clearing tack seconds before the gun, then heading right up the first beat in a light breeze more suited to the Farr 40 configuration than that of the Beneteau 40.7. At the windward mark PT73 lead Storage King Wallop and further extended down the run with Anger Management (Phil Arnall) and Toy Story working their way into the mix as the breeze softened further. The pack behind, which included Close Halled (Graeme Hall), Marta Jean (Steve Rae), and Schouten Passage again split across the full width of the course attempting to get a shift or waft of extra breeze.
Subsequent to a late start, Long Time Dead (Matt Fensom) showed perseverance revelling in the light conditions clawing back much of the five minute self-imposed handicap to be within striking distance of the leading pack as they approached the top mark for the second time.
Following a slower second downwind leg in a fading land breeze, PT73 crossed the finish line ahead of Anger Management and Toy Story.
On completion of the first race, the Committee battled with trying to reset the course in the ever fading winter breeze while the fleet basked in the winter sun while having the pleasure of watching a number of whales journey up the coast on their annual Northern pilgrimage. Following a short postponement, the Race Committee pulled the pin on further racing and the fleet headed for home.
PT73’s convincing line honours win in the final race had her take our IRC also with Schouten Passage sneaking in for a 2nd a mere one second ahead of Storage King Wallop. PT73 took the honours in PHS ahead of Marta Jean and Anger Management.
With the series decided, PT73 won IRC on a count back from Schouten Passage with Summersalt hanging in there to take the title on PHS.
With a 6 week hiatus in NCYC’s sailing calendar and the opportunity for yachts to race North the Club and volunteers will take a much needed break prior to starting what is guaranteed to be a big 2013-14 summer of sailing at NCYC. The summer season will start with the Inner Spring Regatta at the end of August and culminate with the Audi IRC Australian Championships over Easter next year.
CLICK HERE for full NCYC Winter Series Results (http://www.ncyc.net.au/results/2013/club/WSOP2013/series.htm)
By NCYC Media