Exile storms into IRC contention going into the final day of the 2014 Club Marine Pittwater & Coffs Harbour Regatta - Mark Griffith’s Sydney 38 Old School equal leader in ORCi
Rob Reynolds DK46 Exile has stormed into IRC contention on day one of the two days of racing in Coffs Harbour as part of the five race Club Marine Pittwater & Coffs Harbour Regatta. Exile, with a first and a seventh today, has positioned themselves nicely at the top of the leader board with another two races to round out the regatta tomorrow.
Exile, the leading IRC boat after its 2nd place overall in the Pittwater to Coffs race carries the double points plus his results today to end the day on 10 points, four points clear of his Middle Harbour mate Bob Cox and his DK46 Nine Dragons with the Hudson/Murphy/Lockley Farr 45 Pretty Woman on a lone point back in third on 15 points on the overall IRC leader board.
Andrew Byrne’s Sydney 38 The Goat took IRC boat of the day honours with a fourth and a first today to move into fourth position on the IRC ladder on 21 points. They are also equal leaders with Exile on 14 points in the PHS division and parallel Australian PHS Championships. Pretty Woman sits in third on 19 points.
Mark Griffith’s Sydney 38 Old School punched above his weight today sailing a couple of smart races with Steve McConaghy calling the shots as tactician shares the lead in the ORCi division with Pretty Woman on nine points. The 2013 ORCi regatta winners, the Tinworth/Waterhouse Beneteau 44.7 Le Billet is third on 13 points picking up their first podium of the regatta.
Competitors woke to a warm and humid day and overcast conditions in Coffs Harbour, with a 10-15 knot ENE forecast by Predictwind. Race Officer Stephen Merrington wasted no time getting the competitive 13 boat fleet underway on time at 1100hrs to begin the first of four races over two days. The course for race one was a four nautical mile windward/leeward course with the windward mark set at 060.
The fleet got away to a clean start in an 8 knot ENE in a bumpy seaway with the DK46 Rob Reynolds’ Exile out of the gates first at the pin end closely followed by Grant Pocklington’s Sydney 39 Hussy and Bob Cox’s Dk46 Nine Dragons.
Exile took the spoils in race one overtaking Nine Dragons two thirds of the way on the run to the finish to claim line honours in a tight finish time of 38mins 48secs followed by Exile and Perpetual Mocean with nothing separating the top three.
Exile also took IRC handicap honours in a corrected time of 45mins 52secs from Old School with Nine Dragons third. In PHS, it was The Goat first in a corrected time of 44mins 36secs with a 20 second win over Toy Box 2 with Exile picking up third. The ORCi division showed Old School from the Beneteau 44.7 Le Billet and Toy Box 2 in third.
Race two started just after midday with an 18 nautical mile reach to South Solitary Island with a spinnaker finish back in the Harbour. The race started in 10 knots with the fleet away to a clean start. Exile had another perfect pin end start to lead the way to the majestic top mark. The fleet reached all the way up the beaches before tacking to port to head for the island.
As they rounded the top mark with the breeze clocking a little more left to the North East and building to 15 knots, it was the 49 footer Perpetual Mocean making the most of its waterline length to lead from Pretty Woman, Exile and Nine Dragons.
It was a colourful parade as the fleet made their way back to the finish line under spinnaker with a close battle between Perpetual Mocean and Pretty Woman. It was Perpetual Mocean who took the spoils with a 12 second win in a time of 2hrs 42mins with Nine Dragons in third.
In IRC, The Goat won on handicap in a corrected time of 3hrs 13mins 30secs with a 20 second win over Le Billet whilst Ian Box’s Xp44 Toy Box 2 finished third. The PHS fleet had Le Billet on top with a very close six second corrected time win over Toy Box 2 with The Goat in third. Victory in the ORCi division went to Le Billet in front of Old School with Pretty Woman finishing in third.
So it all comes down to the wire with all divisions still up for grabs to determine the overall winners with two races on the final day of the 2014 Club Marine Pittwater & Coffs Harbour regatta. The crews of The Goat and Exile will need to hold their nerve and sail well tomorrow to see if they can be crowned 2014 Australian PHS champion.
Predictwind.com forecast light 5-10 knot winds from the South East building to 15 knots in the afternoon for the final day of the regatta. Racing is scheduled to start at 1100hrs.
A huge congratulation to Laurence Pidgeon's Jutson 39 Sweetheart who finished last and arriving safely at 9:45pm last night. They travelled the 226 nautical miles double handed in nearly 57 hours!
With the completion of all the boats in the Pittwater to Coffs race last night the PHS results were declared today with Syd Fischer’s Ragamuffin officially declared the overall winner in a time of 34 hours 1 minute 18 seconds, 11 hours ahead of Exile with Pretty Woman third. They were also the Division One winners. In Division Two, it was the Hanse 385 Out of Sight skippered by Mark Gorbatov who finished last night in a time of 46 hours 40 minutes ahead of the Elan 37 Koko skippered by Roy Leslie with Astral, a brand new Dufour 36 skippered by debutant owner Andrew Butler
Photo : Damian Devine