Third time Ocean Pointscore Series winner
CYCA member and Sydney jeweller Julian Farren-Price has claimed his third successive win in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Ocean Pointscore Series with his Cookson 12 About Time, after claiming the IRC win in the Lion Island race – the last of the series.
His series scorecard shows five wins and two second places with his worst results - a third and a fourth place, able to be discarded. About Time finished seven points clear of Merlin (David Forbes), holding onto the series lead which he established after Race 2. Paul Clitheroe’s Beneteau 45 Balance placed third 8.6 points adrift of Merlin.
The nine-race Ocean Pointscore Series commenced in September last year with the Lion Island race and includes the Australia Day race to Botany Bay and the 63 mile Sydney Newcastle race.
“It’s magic effort,” an elated Farren-Price said. “I’m very thrilled with the final result. This has been one of the most cohesive Ocean Pointscore series ever. Nothing went wrong with the boat all season.
“After owning her for 13 years, the boat’s proven to be very reliable, no major weaknesses and able to perform well in all conditions.” About Time also claimed the overall series win under ORCi, the first time this division has been scored in the Ocean Pointscore Series (OPS).
Describing today’s race, Farren-Price said “there was definitely moments where the race was won or lost.”
In the light and fickle conditions at the start, the fleet was split across the eastern and western shoreline, with About Time opting for the east hoping to pick up the breeze when it swung right.
“It was tricky getting out of the Harbour – there was a big break running off South Head which made it rather bumpy going out and coming back in. We were the fourth boat out and in a group with Merlin, Upshot and Never A Dull Moment,” Farren-Price continued.
“We opted to go offshore and found some good breeze but it was oscillating between north west and north east. We saw 10-13 knots most of the way and some patches of eight knots. We held our Code Zero up to Lion Island and were in front of AFR Midnight Rambler.
“After we rounded the Island, we were level with AFR and then she just took off. Coming home there was some nice angles that suited our fractional spinnaker. It was a really pleasant day and a great way to end the season,” Farren-Price concluded.
AFR Midnight Rambler, the Ker 40 owned by Ed Psaltis, Bob Thomas and Michael Benscik, finished second under IRC and ORCi to About Time.
Michael Benscik described today as “a race of mixed fortunes. We stuck to the western side of the Harbour and got some breeze while About Time was becalmed on the eastern side shortly after the start.
“We opted for a more inshore line and it was beautiful sailing conditions – 10-15 knots of breeze flicking between north west and nor’east, where it eventually settled.
“About Time was just in front of us at Lion Island and once we got around we just shot off – averaging 14 knots of boat speed. We held a shy spinnaker through the Heads
“Congratulations to Julian and his crew – they thoroughly deserved the series win. They’ve been consistent all season. It’s been great racing against them,” Benscik added.
It was a battle of the 52 footers for line honours with Wayne Keavy’s Elliott 52 Upshot clinching the victory from David Forbes’ Kaiko 52 Merlin by just two seconds, crossing the line at 15:13:35.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the race today – it was a bit light at the start but once the northeaster kicked in it created some perfect angles for us,” Forbes said. Merlin also placed third in IRC behind About Time and AFR Midnight Rambler.
Principal Race Officer, Robyn Morton, described the start at 1000 hours as: “Light but we were able to get the fleet away in four knots of north north easterly breeze. It was looking almost like a glass out shortly before the start but then the puff of breeze came in.
It took the fleet around just under an hour to get out of the Harbour but there was breeze offshore which brought the fleet home in time for dinner and celebratory drinks at the CYCA.
Last home was James Cameron’s Hick 35 Luna Sea, which finished at 16.49.27. Cameron purchased the former AFR Midnight Rambler that won the 1998 Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, last year and campaigned her in the CYCA’s Blue Water Pointscore.
Tim Cox’s DK46 Minerva won the PHS division of the OPS on countback from Matthew Prentice’s Beneteau First 40.7 Ticket of Leave with Noel Cornish’s Sydney 47 St Jude third.