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The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Land Rover Winter Series 2014 - Jill McLay Ladies Day Winners with Commdore Howard Piggott - L-R: Dinah Eagle (Wax Lyrical),Grace Franki (Saltshaker), second from right, and Lisa Wilkinson (Out of Sight) far right
Mister Christian wins Great Veterans Race for second consecutive year

The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Land Rover Winter Series 2014 got off to a flying but damp start today with David Slater’s Mister Christian winning the Great Veterans Race and 39 yachts competing in the Ladies Day race.

The secret weapon onboard Mister Christian was Salter’s good mate Sir James Hardy OBE – the duo have sailed together on various boats over the past 35 years.

“We shared the driving today – Jim’s slowly getting the hang of it,” Salter laughed this afternoon.

“The two bottles of Sir James Brut de Brut also helped us on the run. We had to work hard for the win today – the handicapper wasn’t kind to us after winning last year.

“It was terrific fun – testing conditions but with not too much weight in the breeze. My compliments to the Race Committee for sending us on the full course - it allowed all the boats to sail to their handicap,” Salter added.

“Success comes to all those who fight for it,” Sir James chimed in.

“It’s a pleasure to sail this race as it keeps the heritage and the legend of Sydney Hobart races alive. This boat holds lots of sentimental value: 1965 was Mister Christian’s first Hobart and it was mine too, plus she is Peter Kurts’ first offshore racing yacht,” Salter concluded.

Salter has owned Mister Christian for the past six years and regularly campaigns the boat in Sydney Amateur Sailing Club races and early last year, she cruised to Tasmania and back to participate in the Australian Wooden Boat Festival.

The Great Veteran’s Race, is the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s annual tribute to those classic Sydney Hobart race yachts that sailed south in the 1940s, 50s, 60s and 70s, and early 80’s, and Salter will have his name engraved on the Windward Trophy for the second year in a row.

Syonara (Greg Maughan) finished second to Mister Christian with Southerly (John Sheridan) third.

Race Officer Denis Thompson got racing underway at 11:00 in a light southerly with a total of 15 ‘Veterans’ gracing the start line; and the 39 competitors in the Ladies Day race starting half an honour later.

The Bureau of Meteorology had predicted a chance of showers but by 9am the rain clouds had well and truly rolled in over the Harbour making wet weather gear compulsory for sailors.

“There were a few holes in the breeze but it hung in around 10 knots for most of the afternoon. A good sail was had by all, considering the weather,” Thompson said.

Dinah Eagle (Wax Lyrical) won Division 1 Non-Spinnaker from Nicky Souter (Aftershock) and Mary King (St Hilliers Quest).

“We had a clear start with Southern Excellence II chasing us up the Harbour. The last minute decision to out the big jib up was the right call,” Eagle said.

“We weren’t able to run Inkonkoni down until the second time around the top mark, so there was good competition amongst our division. I couldn’t have done it without the crew and Les calling tactics.

“Thanks to Les and Cathie (Goodridge) who let me helm and I look forward to campaigning the boat with them throughout the Land Rover Winter Series, in preparation for being selected as a crew member for Wax Lyrical’s 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart campaign,” Eagle concluded

Wax Lyrical were the lucky recipients of the Noakes Group Lift and Stand Package.

Lisa Wilkinson (Out of Sight) had a double win today – taking Division 2 Non-Spinnaker honours and being named the lucky winner of the Range Rover Evoque test drive for a week.

“The conditions really suited the boat. We had good breeze which helped us chase down the fleet after we started 41 minutes behind them. At times we couldn’t see the city through the rain showers but I was busy concentrating,” Wilkinson said.

“I’d hoped to win the Land Rover for the week as we are considering purchasing one,” she added. Jean Sirett (Anna) finished second to Out of Sight with Ann Penty (Great White) third.

This is the third time that Grace Franki (Saltshaker) will have her name engraved on the Jill McLay trophy after she secured the Division 2 Spinnaker win.

“The race was exciting at times with the wind very changeable. I had to really concentrate with my closest rival, Bryony (Devil’s Lair), breathing down my neck.

“She (Bryony) was trying to push us out on the last run down to Sow & Pigs but we had a good run with our spinnaker,” Franki added.

Byrony Gregory (Devils Lair) finished second with Angela Farrar (Clewless?) third. All divisional winners will have their name engraved on the Jill McLay trophy. The Ladies Day race is a tribute to Jill who was a long-term employee of the CYCA and passed away from cancer.

Results in Division 1 spinnaker are subject to protest with Next lodging protests against Vanguard and Brindabella for failing to sail the correct course.

Whilst the Ladies Day race does not count towards a yacht’s overall series pointscore, there will be one overall winner of the Ladies Pointscore Series – a new initiative for this year’s Land Rover Winter Series. This series encompasses both the opening and closing Ladies Day races, with the winner being the yacht that is best placed after the two races.

The Land Rover Winter Series pointscore commences next Sunday, 4 May, with ten races for nine spinnaker, three non-spinnaker and a one design division (for Sydney 38s should sufficient entries be received). The pointscore series will consist of ten races, with up to three drops allowed, if all ten races are completed.

Block entries for the season will be accepted up until 12 noon, Thursday 25 May with casual entries being accepted throughout the season.

Go to http://www.cyca.com.au/sysfile/downloads/2014_winter/index.htm for full results

Photo : Brett Hemmings, www.sailpix.com.au
Conditions_www_sailpix_com_au.jpg Rain_showers_blanket_the_fleet__Credit_Brett_Hemmings,_www_sailpix_com_au.jpg Jill_McLay_Ladies_Day_Winners_with_Commdore_Howard_Piggott__Credit_CYCA_Staff.jpg Grace_Franki_won_Division_2_Spinnaker__Credit_Brett_Hemmings,_www_sailpix_com_au.jpg David_Salter_s_Mister_Christian_won_the_Great_Veterans_Race_for_the_second_consecutive_year__Credit_Brett_Hemmings,_www_sailpix_com_au.jpg