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Thread: Ichi Ban tops Australian Yachting Championships 2020 leaderboard

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    Ichi Ban tops Australian Yachting Championships 2020 leaderboard

    Day 1 of the Australian Yachting Championships, hosted by the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania (RYCT) kicked off at 10.30am today on the River Derwent as planned, but in a very light 5-7 knot breeze.

    Topping the Division A leaderboard is Matt Allen’s defending champion, Ichi Ban (NSW), fresh from her Rolex Sydney Hobart win. Allen scored three wins from three races with his TP52.

    Bob Steel and Craig Neil’s Quest (NSW), a TP52 that has twice won the Sydney Hobart, is in second place, with best results of second in Race 1 and third in Race 2. Zen (Gordon Ketelbey, NSW), a third TP52 and winner of yesterday’s King of the Derwent Race, is third overall.

    Aboard Division A yacht, Celestial (NSW), owner Sam Haynes revealed a couple of secret weapons on board his TP52. “A couple of Sydney Hobart guys got off and Alby Pratt (from North Sails, a Championship sponsor) and Cameron Miles replaced them. They are pretty handy,” Haynes said.

    Like others who have just done the Sydney Hobart, of which Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania is the finishing partner, the CYCA yachtsman commented: “We’ve taken weight out of the boat for the Championships – around 100 kilos and different sails – and got a new IRC certificate.

    “Thanks go to the organisers,” Haynes added, “They’re doing a great job.”

    all images © Beau Outteridge/Aus Yachting

    In Division B, a local boat in Greg Prescott’s Farr 40, 2 Unlimited, is in the top spot with a pair of wins on his scorecard. In second place is Keiran Mulcahy’s King 40, Soozal (NSW). Mulcahy bought the boat with his wife just before Christmas and it is the talk of the town.

    Mulcahy, who has his 24 year-old son sailing alongside him, commented: “It’s nice to have Patrick sailing with me. We got good starts, but I was called back twice for starting early. In Race 3, we sailed through the fleet though,” said Mulcahy, who won Race 1 and scored second and third places in Races 2 and 3 respectively.

    Anthony Kirke is here from Western Australia with his Farr 40, Enterprise, also having taken part in the Sydney Hobart.

    “This is the first time we’ve been in the Championships. We’re finding 2 Unlimited and Soozal, the Farr 40’s, hard to beat. We’ve got a couple of Tasmanians on board and their local knowledge will help in the Passage Race tomorrow,” Kirke admitted.

    Drew Latham, the new owner of the MBD 36, Whistler (Tas) has started well, leading Division C by two points from the Queensland entry, Ocean Crusaders owned by John Warlow.

    On Tasmanian Division C entry, Midnight Rambler, owner Ed Psaltis did not have the day he would have liked.

    “Not enough breeze for us,” Psaltis commented. “The boat (a Sydney 36) is good, but it needs 10 knots to get going.” The philosophical yachtsman added, “It’s meant to be a hard southerly for tomorrow’s passage race. It’s meant to blow like stink. The race and those conditions will suit us.

    “The committee did a great job today. They got three races in, in a mainly 6-8 knot breeze. The second race we saw 13 knots for a short time though,” Psaltis ended.

    RYCT Commodore, Tracy Matthews remarked, “It was fantastic sailing today. Competitors sailed in a steady light breeze. To see our local boats on the course amongst some of the best sailors in the world is fantastic.

    “To see the speed of some of the bigger boats is amazing. And we saw the sweetest spinnaker drop we’ve ever seen – on Ichi Ban – it was as smooth as silk.

    “We got the three races in, with only one General Recall and a couple of individual recalls. It was tight at times at the boat end of the start, but it was a good day enjoyed by all,” the Commodore ended.

    Tomorrow, the RYCT plans a passage race. The three-day Championships conclude on 5 January with windward/leeward races.

    Australian Sailing thanks its regatta partners: Tasmanian Government through Events Tasmania, and North Sails (Official sailmaker for the 2020 Australian Yachting Championships).

    For all information including Notice of Race, please visit:
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    Aussie Yachting Championships Wrap Up

    Australian Yachting Championships 2020: Winners decided

    Matt Allen has claimed a third successive Australian Yachting Championship title today in Hobart, with Ichi Ban claiming victory in four races and finishing third in Race 5, with Race 6 abandoned for Division A. Hosted by the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania over three days, Allen, who won Division A with his TP52 from another TP52, Zen (Gordon Ketelbey) and the RP66, Alive (Phillip Turner), arrived at the Championships having won the 2019 Rolex Sydney Hobart.

    “Our aim for the last six months was the Sydney Hobart, Blue Water Pointscore and this event,” he said, having won all three. “It was also nice to be part of the winning Southern Cross Cup team (sailed in conjunction with the 2019 Rolex Sydney Hobart) with Gweilo (Matt Donald/Chris Townsend’s TP52) and St Jude (Noel Cornish’s Sydney 47) too.” “We couldn’t be happier. To defend the Championships successfully is a real thrill. It was the best fleet in some years. And to sail in the challenging conditions on the Derwent, you had to be on your game all the time. It was great to see support by Sydney Hobart boats and the locals.”

    The Sydney yachtsman acknowledged his competition: “It was a real tussle, including yesterday and today with Zen. We had really tight racing with them and the big boats – Alive and Chinese Whisper (David Griffith). It was great to see Chinese Whisper hit her stride today – she took off and was just gone,” he said of the boat that won Race 5.

    Allen said, “The Championships were well organised and well run by the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania. They went all out and put on food for us every afternoon, making it easy to catch up with the other crews.” Others concurred, made to feel very welcome at the Club.

    In Division B, two Farr 40’s fought throughout for the overall win. The local favourite, Greg Prescott with 2 Unlimited, and Western Australia’s Enterprise, owned by Anthony Kirke, stayed within three points of each other throughout. Keiran Mulcahy’s Soozal (NSW) was always in the mix too.

    Following today’s two races, 2 Unlimited prevailed by two points with a drop in place. So close were the two, they finished equal second in Race 5, and then Enterprise won the final race from 2 Unlimited. Soozal came in third overall, two and a half points behind Enterprise. “The competition was fantastic; very close the whole time, basically the same as it was in the Sydney Hobart,” Prescott said.

    “They’re good friends on Enterprise; in fact one of the crew is staying with me. Those guys pushed it all the way. After Day 1, we decided not to cover each other all the time. Soozal is pretty good and had Chris Nicholson on board, so we had to watch them.

    “One of my best friend’s is Twirler (Darren Jones) and I saw one of my other friend’s, Steve McConaghy at the dock, so it was good to have them with me. And my son Lachlan, who also did the Hobart with me.

    “We’re very happy we had such a great regatta and a great few days of sailing. And it’s a good thing for mainlanders to bring their boats to Hobart for a bit more sailing,” Prescott ended.

    A similar situation occurred in Division C, between John Warlow’s Beneteau First 40.7, Ocean Crusaders (Qld) and the local boat, Drew Nathan’s MDB Whistler, which finished one and a half points apart in first and second place respectively. The Queenslanders prevailed over Whistler, with another Tasmanian boat, Shaun Tiedemann’s Sydney 36 C/R, Philosopher (Tas), rounding out the top three with a drop in place. Warlow commented, “We’re pretty happy. We weren’t sure how we’d go, but thought we’d have a crack anyhow. The competition was fabulous and the fact that the win came down to the wire was incredible. The Tasmanians gave us a hard time,” he said of Whistler and Philosopher and Midnight Rambler sailed a great race yesterday.

    “We’ve had a ball here with everyone else and stayed together as a team. It was a huge amount of fun.”

    RYCT Commodore, Tracy Matthews, thanked all competitors, the race committee and the volunteers for making the regatta a success.

    Australian Sailing thanks its regatta partners: Tasmanian Government through Events Tasmania, and North Sails (Official sailmaker for the 2020 Australian Yachting Championships).

    all photos © Beau Outteridge/AYC

    Final day to decide Yachting Championships

    Today’s two windward/leeward races will decide the Australian Yachting Championships 2020 in Divisions B and C, while 2017 and 2019 Rolex Sydney Hobart winner, Matt Allen and his Ichi Ban look set to replicate their wins of the past two years. Ichi Ban has won four races straight, so is poised to win Division A, while second and third places will be decided on the race track today.

    Zen, Gordon Ketelbey’s TP52 (NSW) is sitting in second place on 14 points, with local boat, Alive, Phillip Turner’s RP66 representing Derwent Sailing Squadron (DSS) one point adrift. The Tasmanian boat has been at her best this past season. Having won the 2018 Rolex Sydney Hobart, she looked set to do so again in 2019, but ultimately finished fourth overall behind three TP52s and then took line honours in the King of the Derwent three days ago.

    Division B is being led by a Tassie entry, Greg Prescott’s modified Farr 40 2 Unlimited, representing the Australian Yachting Championships organiser, Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania (RYCT) and DSS.
    2 Unlimited has a two-point buffer over the new kid on the block, Keiran Mulcahy’s Soozal. He purchased the King 40 named 2009 World Sailing Boat of the Year late last year, and won Division 2 of Middle Harbour Yacht Club’s Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship in Soozal’s debut in Australia.

    In a good mix of Australian states, Western Australia’s Enterprise, a Farr 40 owned by Anthony Kirke from Fremantle Sailing Club, is in third place. However, the West Australians, who won Division 4 in the 2019 Sydney Hobart, are on equal points with Soozal, so the top three will come down to the wire. “We beat the other Farr 40 (Enterprise) home by six minutes in the Passage Race. The boat and crew are sailing well,” 2 Unlimited’s tactician, Steve McConaghy, commented. With corrected time applied, 2 Unlimited beat her rival to the win by 8 minutes.

    A Queensland entry has risen to the top of the pack in Division C, but John Warlow and crew on Ocean Crusaders will have to be at their best to win Division C. The Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron crew are in form, having finished third in Division 6 of the 2019 Sydney Hobart, but have Drew Nathan’s MBD 36, Whistler hot on their tails and sharing the lead points.

    Whistler, recently bought by gun Sharpie sailor, Nathan, is a great boat in light air on windward/leeward courses. “It suits us,” Nathan, from DSS said yesterday. And light airs are predicted for the River Derwent course area today. Behind them, similar Sydney 36’s from Tasmania, Philosopher (Shaun Tiedemann, DSS) and Midnight Rambler (Ed Psaltis, RYCT) are still in the picture. Respectively seven and seven and a half points off the lead, just half a point separates the pair which regularly scrap in local events.

    Tasmanian yachts have come out in force for the Championships, many sailing against the best in Australia for the first time. Among them are Brent McKay’s Rad from Kettering Yacht Club (KYC), Alice Grubb’s Rigged from DSS, Ambrose Coad’s The Dog House from KYC and Will Justo’s Groove (DSS).

    Australian Yachting Championships 2020: Be careful what you ask for

    After yesterday’s light airs, some yachties were heard saying “Geez we’d love some more breeze”, and as the old saying goes, ‘be careful what you ask for’, as Day 2 was a completely different beast, with sudden high winds testing competitors and boats. For local sailor Drew Latham, who is new to yacht racing, the conditions were about as difficult as they could get. Latham, from the Derwent Sailing Squadron, bought the MBD36 Whistler in July. He is more at home on a Sharpie. “Today was about survival. It was a pretty challenging day. We had to drop the main down once because it was too gusty. It’s an inshore main with just one reefing point,” Latham explained.

    “Coming back from Clifton Beach to the Iron Pot was the hardest part of the day. We saw 41 knots and were sailing on a short deep sea. We broke the headsail halyard and the heady went over the side. We had to get it back and run it off a kite halyard. “We’ve dropped off the Division C lead. Midnight Rambler (Ed Psaltis, Tas) and Ocean Crusaders (John Warlow, Qld) had the best day, I think.”

    As Ed Psaltis predicted yesterday, his Sydney 36 Midnight Rambler was at her best today and they won the race, but Ocean Crusaders leads the division after finishing third. Whistler is in second place, but on equal points with the leader. Latham says tomorrow’s return to windward/leewards will be just the ticket. “We had a really good day yesterday; the boat likes the lighter weather and it suits us better,” he said.

    Life was not so simple on the TP52, Quest. Sailing Master, Mike Green, explained: “The wind got up to late 40’s and we were doing 29 knots of boat speed. “It was variable at the Iron Pot – the breeze was from every direction and every strength. “We rounded the Iron Pot in strong winds, gybed, got the spinnaker sheet caught and wiped out in 35 knots. The runners tore the main to shreds and we blew up the A2 spinnaker. We’ve had to apply to use our offshore main and a different kite,” Green said. “We lost Micky Slinn over the side, but he was still hanging onto the sheet. Three guys dragged him back on board. He’s got a big dent in his leg from the lifelines now.

    “Bob (Steel) was steering and we laid it right over, along with Celestial (Sam Haynes’ TP52) and Chinese Whisper (David Griffith’s JV62), which also broke gear. But Zen (Gordon Ketelbey’s TP52) avoided it somehow and Alive (Phillip Turner) sailed extremely well. “The day was worse than anything we saw in the Sydney Hobart – 60 percent stronger and it happened so quickly,” Green, from NSW observed. Others agreed.

    Ketelbey from NSW told how they kept up with Ichi Ban, until the Derwent: “We were with Ichi Ban all the way. We were 100 metres from them at the Iron Pot, but reaching down the Derwent they took off and left us.” “It was pretty wild. We didn’t have a reefing main, so had to sail with it full. We saw 46 knots on the wind instruments. We tore the main and broke battens and there were a few bruises.”

    Ichi Ban left the day with four straight wins in Division A, while Zen and Alive, a RP66, are fighting for second place, just one point apart on 14 and 15 points respectively. Greg Prescott’s Farr 40, 2 Unlimited, added a further win to her scorecard and the Tasmanian boat leads Division 2 by three points from Keiran Mulcahy’s King 40, Soozal (NSW).

    In other news, well-known local sailor, Colleen Darcey, had a fall on Young Lion in Division 3, She was transferred to hospital for assessment for possible broken ribs. RYCT Commodore, Tracy Matthews, said there was a medically trained crew member sailing on Young Lion who attended Darcey until the mark boat took her ashore to Cremorne where an ambulance was waiting. The Commodore said, “The mark boat monitored the fleet whilst in the race area and after dropping Darcey ashore, provided a sweep of the fleet for the return to Hobart.”

    Division A yachts contested a 50 nautical mile course to the Isle of Caves, passing Betsey Island, after starting off RYCT on the River Derwent, where they also finished. Divisions B and C were on a shorter 36nm race to a laid mark and then on to Clifton Beach. Racing started at 10.30am.

    Competitors return to windward/leeward races for tomorrow’s final day of the Australian Yachting Championships 2020.

    Full results:

    By Di Pearson/Australian Yachting Championships
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