Rolex Trophy: TP65 Rosebud wins regatta by 2 points over Yendys

Sunday, 16 December 2007

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Roger Sturgeon and his American TP65 Rosebud hammered the final nail in Yendys’ coffin this afternoon with a second in the last race of the Rolex Trophy giving them a two point cushion when the final pointscore was tallied.

Heading into the deciding race of the Rolex Trophy late this afternoon, Rosebud and Geoff Ross’ Reichel/Pugh 55 Yendys were tied on equal points and on a countback, Ross would have claimed victory.

The Sydney crew was dealt a somewhat cruel hand when the race committee called for a second race start just 10 minutes before the 4pm time limit. Last year Ross lost the Rolex Trophy by 0.1 of a point in what was the boat’s first outing. Today he again conceded defeat to a worthy winner after finishing a costly fifth in race eight.

“We prayed…it is Sunday…it might have helped,” said a delighted Sturgeon this evening. He says he and his crew leant a lot from this regatta and that their team spirit for the upcoming Rolex Sydney Hobart is high.

“This regatta taught us how to build on our weaknesses,” agreed mainsail trimmer and ‘number cruncher’ Malcolm Park.

Rosebud has the perfect scorecard in Australia waters with an IRC win in the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge and now the Rolex Trophy. Sturgeon and his crew are calling Sydney “the friendliest place in the world. “It’s far better than we thought it would be,” Sturgeon said tonight.

There is no rest for the Yendys crew, the boat heading back out tonight in the pouring rain for some reefing practice with their offshore mainsail.

Ross says this was his most enjoyable Rolex Trophy he’s contested and he congratulated the Rosebud crew on their fine result in division 0/1. 

Rosebud finished the Rolex Sydney Hobart lead up series on 11 points, Yendys on 13 points and Steven David’s Wild Joe rounded off the podium placings with a third on 27 points.

Alan Brierty’s Corby 49 Limit sailed a brilliant series, today picking up a fifth win from eight races to beat The Philosopher’s Club by six points in division 2.

Helmed by Roger Hickman and with America’s Cup sailor Gavin Brady calling tactics, Limit’s win has strengthened its Rolex Sydney Hobart overall chances but they will have to wait for the Boxing Day bluewater classic to go head to head on handicap against the Rolex Trophy division 0/1 placegetters as well as the other highly fancied contenders.

“The crew is excellent, they are mostly amateurs who just love sailing,” said Hickman tonight.

“Alan’s put a top team together and it was great having Gavin on board to raise the bar and improve our race tactics. It’s been a fantastic four days but we are all glad it’s over because we are tired of sailing and then partying”.

Hickman was on board the Corby 49 when it claimed the division 2 win in last year’s Rolex Trophy, when the boat was owned by Chris Dare and called Flirt.

After yesterday’s 15 knot nor’easter on a postcard Sydney summer’s day, the sun stayed hidden and crews copped a drenching when a southerly change brought teaming rain and 15 knot winds to the race track late this afternoon.

It was a light air affair to begin with, racing delayed for more than two hours while competitors scanned the horizon for breeze. A light southerly finally blew in, allowing race one to get underway before the wind fizzled again, the course subsequently shortened at the second top mark rounding.

PRO Denis Thompson then made the late call to complete the scheduled eight races.

“It was very close racing over the four days, particularly amongst the 50-52 footers which were boat for boat,” said Thompson this afternoon.

“It was a great regatta with a wide variety of conditions and courses”.

A number of boats which weren’t vying for trophies or had interstate crew booked on flights out of Sydney tonight chose not to sail the final race.

Bob Oatley’s Wild Oats XI didn’t race at all today, instead using the day for yet more sail testing and crew training off Sydney Heads.

Final pointscore

Image: Alan Brierty’s Corby 49 Limit: © Rolex/Daniel Forster

Lisa Ratcliff:

Last Updated ( Sunday, 16 December 2007 )