Audi Winter Series : Total glass out on Sydney Harbour for closing Ladies Day Race

Sunday, 17 July 2011

What a difference one week makes! Last week the final pointscore race of the Audi Winter Series, conducted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, was abandoned due to excessive winds that gusted to 45 knots; and today, the traditional closing Ladies Day race was started in 4 knots westerly breeze that glassed out forcing the abandonment of racing.

Principal Race Officer Denis Thompson got the fleet of 54 away on time from a start line off Point Piper, with the first boats away in a dying breeze which dropped to 0 knots at 12.35pm. The last boat to start, Dick Cawse’s Lyons 60 Vanguard took 20 minutes to cross the start line after her allotted start time.

With just over one hour of racing elapsed, the lead boats had made it to the first mark and were drifting towards the second mark at Bradley’s Head, struggling with the lack of wind and an outgoing tide.

Nine retirements were received by the Committee vessel and it was at this time that PRO Denis Thompson made the decision to abandon the race, given that there was no chance of any significant breeze filling in over the course of the afternoon.

“That’s winter racing for you – it’s either all or nothing,” Thompson said ruefully this afternoon.

Over coffee to warm up back at the CYCA, Amanda Wilmot from Vanguard recalled this afternoon “It was probably a wise decision to abandon the race.”

For the team on Superfine, their pre-start manoeuvres were the best of the day. “Our pre-start was great – we had two clean gybes and a spinnaker set and things were looking promising,” said helmswoman Emma Heeley.

“We started successfully and then quickly realized that we were going nowhere as we drifted back over the start line. With steering difficulties in the outgoing tide, the crew made the decision to retire from the race, shortly before the abandonment was issued,” Heeley added.

Even Commodore Linacre and his crew on Vamp had elected to retire from the race and were last seen heading to the Fish Markets, under motor, for a late lunch.

This concludes the Audi Winter Series for 2011. In addition to Musto gear for divisional winners and placegetters; all divisional winners were placed in a draw each week to win an Audi A5 Sportback 2.0T multitronic for the week.  Many happy drivers reported back that they relished the drive.

This is the fifth year Audi Australia has sponsored the Audi Winter Series and the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia would like to thank Audi for their continued support of the club, the Winter Series, the CYCA’s Youth Sailing Academy, the Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race and the sport of sailing in Australia.

By Jennifer Crooks, CYCA media

See Audi Winter Series images

Last Updated ( Sunday, 17 July 2011 )