CYCA Ocean Pointscore Series winner announced
Julian Farren-Price is the irrefutable winner of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Ocean Pointscore Series after his Cookson 12 About Time was declared the overall winner of the penultimate race of the series, the Sydney Newcastle Race.
With only one race remaining to complete the series, Farren-Price’s remarkable seventh win from the nine races sailed, makes him the undisputed winner. The Sydney jeweller and CYCA member will retain the OPS title he won last season, decided under the IRC rule. He also spearheads the chase for the PHS trophy and is in an enviable position to take the double.
Immediately below About Time on the overall IRC scoreboard, the remaining podium places will come down to Jake, Ray Entwistle’s J/111, and Noel Cornish’s Sydney 47 St Jude, which finished the race second and third respectively. So close on the points table, the final race will decide their fates.
St Jude, which finished the race just over one minute behind About Time, is also the only yacht with a realistic chance of beating Farren-Price for the PHS Trophy.
The 63 nautical race to Newcastle, the longest in the OPS, was sailed in a strengthening southerly breeze, that gave the 24 yacht fleet a lovely spinnaker ride all the way up the Central Coast, but as they say, when things are looking too good, they are too good, and by 3.00pm the breeze, which clocked either side of south as the day progressed, fizzled.
“Up till then it was fantastic; we sailed in 13 to 18 knots until it dropped off to 5 knots and by 6.00pm it had petered out completely and we had a glass-out,” Ray Entwistle said this morning from the Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club, where many other yachts camped overnight.
“We always get such a great welcome there, they’re so hospitable,” Entwistle said of the Club, whose race officials conducted the sked and finished the race, making it a long day and night for them.
“The breeze filled in again around 7.00pm - a really light south-westerly,” said Enwistle, who divulged their tactics were to hug the coast to stay out of the current, where they were joined by St Jude and About Time, among others.
“Noel (St Jude) got through us north of Pittwater and we sailed gybe for gybe to Nobby’s Head with the new Occasional Coarse Language (Warwick Sherman’s GTS43), so I’m exceedingly happy with our little boat – we’re one of the smallest in the fleet.
“The last part of the race was extremely hard – the last hour turned into four,” acknowledged Entwistle, who originally expected to finish the race early afternoon, instead of shortly before 9.30pm, as they did.
“We congratulate Julian and Noel on a fantastic series and great results, they are such good competitors,” Entwistle said of About Time and St Jude’s owners.
Brindabella, Jim Cooney’s perennial Jutson 80, was first over the line at 18.17.32, in the time of 9hrs 17min 32sec, well outside the record time of 5h 26m 15s set by CYCA member Dick Cawse in 2006 with Vanguard.
In the end, six yachts retired when lightening winds got the better of them, and the last of the fleet was still dribbling home towards 11.00pm last evening; a very long day for all.
The ninth race of the Ocean Point Score started on time at 9.00am yesterday morning in an 8 knot southerly. “The yachts reached out of Sydney Harbour and set kites as they turned left around North Head,” Principal Race Officer Denis Thompson said shortly after the start. “The breeze could pick up to 15 knots or so and go a little east of south,” he predicted.
Shortly before midday, Thompson reported: “We’re at Long Reef in beautiful conditions. The fleet’s done a bolt. We can see the lead boats on the horizon - around Cape Three Points (near Avoca on the Central Coast). It’s blowing around 12-15 knots and the water’s nice and flat.” It wasn’t to last.
The final race of the OPS is the Lion Island Race, starting on Sydney Harbour at 10.00am on 17 March.