Festival of Sails 2015: Heaviest Festival day costs owners - Costly day for this pair of Grand Prix racers as the Rating Series experiencede the heaviest day in years
Race officer on the outer harbour Rating Series course, Greg Sinclair, declared today’s conditions the heaviest he’s seen in all the Festival of Sails regattas he’s been a part of.
“I’ve done more than a dozen Festivals and today was by far the windiest I’ve seen, and with a steep, short slop. I’ve never seen a sea-state like it off Curlewis, on the Bellarine Peninsula.”
Rob’s Hanna TP52 Shogun V and Ray Roberts’ OneSails Racing are staging an almighty battle for Rating Series 1 division supremacy.
Hanna had the most expensive day of the pair.
“In the first windward/leeward we buried the bow in a gust of 30 knots…I thought it would never come up. I copped a wave over the head and was washed into the boat. We blew a chute and broke every batten in the mainsail.”
Hanna nursed the 52-footer to the finish, adding a second to his regatta scoresheet. Then the crew swung into repair mode.
“We pulled the main down, pulled all the battens out then took the battens out of the jibs we had down below, taped and tie them together and got to the second start with 90 seconds to spare. Nitro [Noel Drennan] did a masterpiece; otherwise we would have blown our regatta.”
The battle continues tomorrow, Australia Day, when the crew of Shogun V work even harder to hang on to their four point advantage over the Farr 55 OneSails Racing, formerly Living Doll, with two races remaining.
Roberts also has to pull out his wallet post-regatta after blowing a kite in the first windward/leeward. Luckily he owns a sail making loft.
“The guys did a good job of keeping the boat balanced, they handled the conditions really well,” said the skipper. His crew, mostly the same team that took the boat south to Hobart on Boxing Day, includes some European sailors. “They didn’t realise yachting was so big in Australia. They are enjoying the weather too, today’s 21 degrees is the best they get in their summer.”
OneSails won the 16 nautical mile middle distance race on corrected time.
On the tussle with Shogun, Roberts added, “We are pushing each other hard. We are right on the edge given the pressure from the other boats.”
The Rex Gorell Rating Series division 2 fleet completed the same two races, those with the most experienced crew handling the average breeze well into the 20s the best.
The first short course race went to Peter Jackson’s Beneteau First 40 Niche and the second to Bruce McCraken’s Ikon, a former division winner at the Festival of Sails.
Series scores are the tightest of all divisions. Just 0.6 of a point separates first from third with two races to go. Jason Ward’s South Australian Beneteau Concubine and Andrew Corletto’s Shining Sea, also from SA, and both on 12 points and Niche is breathing down their necks on 12.06 points.
The wind at RGYC has eased and tomorrow’s forecast shows a return to more moderate conditions for all Rating Series divisions and Performance Racing.
Full progressive & final results here.
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Lisa Ratcliff - Festival of Sails Media
Photo : Teri Dodds