Light winds foil BMW Sydney Winter Series

Peter Campbell reports from down under

Sunday June 1st 2003, Author: James Boyd, Location: Australasia
The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s BMW Sydney Winter Series drifted into an official winter mode on the Harbour today with 90 of the 160 boat fleet retiring in the near windless weather.

While most of the bigger and faster boats in Divisions A and B managed to sail the shortened course, the conditions played havoc with the smaller boats.

There was only one finisher in Division E, while only three boats in Division G and four in Division F managed to finish within the time limit.

Many skippers said they had drifted back and forth across the starting up to four times before picking up a light breeze – or deciding to call it quits.

Fastest boat around the course, Bob Steel’s 2002 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race winner, Quest, won Division A getting the gun as some boats in Division G were still trying to start - two-and-a-half hours after their time sigal!

Quest took 1 hour 57 minutes 49 seconds to sail the shortened course, but some finishers took almost five courses.

Quest finished 21 minutes ahead of the next boat in Division A, the casual entry Weapon (Robert Skinner) which was closely followed by Terry Mullens’ Fitness First Sting.

Division A saw the Australian racing debut of Andrew Short’s new Volvo 60, djuice, which he sailed across from Auckland during the week. Djuice, the Norwegian entrant in the 2001-2002 Volvo Ocean Race, finished 11th today.

Division B produced the largest number of finishers, 20 out of 28 starters, with Sean Kirkjian steering Lady Ann to its second win of the BMW Sydney Winter Series. Big Kahuna (Dean Harrigan) placed second, just ahead of CYCA Commodore John Messenger in his Sydney 38, Utopia.

On a day in which big margins were the norm, veteran yachtsman George Girdis steered Marloo to a 29 second win in Division C from The Amateurs (J.Gibson/J.Ditzell/B. Langley), third going to Very Tasty (Christopher Sigar).

Division D saw only seven finishers from 24 starters, with Don Young’s Forshore taking the honours from Michael Phillips’ Redeemer and John Stuckey’ Ucan’tTakeitWithU.

Just one boat, the syndicate owned Felice, finished in Division E, taking 4 hours 41 minutes to sail the course, while in Division G there were only three finishers, Sirocco (James Stevens), Cartwheel (Russel Debney) and Clewless (Guy Irwin/Paul Lyons), in that order.

The non-spinnaker Division J also was heavily depleted by the lack of win, just four boats finishing with A Bientot (John S Walton) winning from Starstruck Daveau (Ken Davis) and Tanami (Lance Peckman and Bruce Foye).

After more than four hours of sailing, 11 boats from 24 starters finished in Division F, with only four minutes 25 seconds separating them. Marigot Bay (Gregg Davern) won from Naughty Call (Greg Watson) and Youngstar (Garry Corstophan) in a close finish.

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