Please select your home edition
Edition
RS Sailing - 2017 Apr - 728x90

Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship - Overall

by Di Pearson, MHYC media on 27 Nov 2011 26-27 November 2011

Marcus Blackmore’s Hooligan, Darryl Hodgkinson’s Victoire and Peter Sorensen’s The Philosopher’s Club have been announced as the winners of Middle Harbour Yacht Club’s 34th Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship (SSORC) early this evening.

Following a Passage Race yesterday and three windward/leeward races offshore today, Hooligan, a TP52 came out on top in Division 1, beating overnight leader, Terra Firma, the Cookson 50 owned by Victorian Nicholas Bartels, by one point after winning the final two races.

Hooligan, from the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, has become ‘the boat to beat’; her latest claims to fame include being named the Audi IRC Australian champion in Class A in August and winning the 2011 Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race.

“Terra Firma gave us a bit of curry. They were leading us when the first race was abandoned today. Going into the final race, we were on equal points,” Blackmore said.

Blackmore, who had winning America’s Cup yachtsman, Grant Simmer, calling tactics, and other sailors of note, such as Richie Allanson aboard, admitted the crew work was a bit rusty. “We’re not at the same level we were at Hamilton Island, but this regatta has been good to sharpen us up for the Rolex Trophy in a couple of weeks,” he said.

One of the regatta favourites, Stephen Ainsworth’s Loki, was forced to retire from today’s opening windward/leeward race, which was abandoned after Loki hit a mark that was being moved at an inopportune time, meaning the Division 1 yachts sailed three of the intended four race series.

The Reichel/Pugh 63, with noted sailing master Gordon Maguire at the helm, was travelling at 20 knots plus and could do nothing to avoid the moving mark.

Owner of the champion Reichel/Pugh 63, Stephen Ainsworth, said after retiring back to the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, where he is a member: “Thankfully it’s ok – a couple of heavy rope marks. We blew out our No. 4 spinnaker earlier today too, so we didn’t want to risk further damage with other major races and the Hobart coming up.”

One of the main favourites to take out the Rolex Sydney Hobart overall win this year, Loki, which was leading the race on water at the time, was retired, her owner keen to assess the damage, advising race officials at the time, “It’s prudent for us to retire.”

The best competition today came in the Division 2 yachts. Darryl Hodgkinson sailed his Beneteau 45, Victoire to a one point victory over MHYC entry, Rob Reynolds DK46, Exile and a further five points to third placed Paul Clitheroe’s Balance.

With three winners from the four races, and the finishes culminating in only seconds between the top boats, Hodgkinson, who is also an odds on favourite to win the Sydney-Hobart overall, said “I am surprised and amazed we won.”

Sailing to a good on water lead over all of his opponents at the first windward mark in Race 2, Hodgkinson was overtaken at the windward mark the second time. “We had a half broach,” he explained. “It was blowing 27 knots from the west and Sean Kirkjian (tactician) asked to take the helm for the gybe downwind, because it was quite hairy.

“It all went wrong from there; the brace jammed, we laid over, the boom was in the water and Danny (McConville) who was below decks at the time, said he saw fish!”

However, luck was on Hodgkinson’s side. As he came into the mark on starboard tack, fellow Beneteau 45, Balance, came down with no rights and tried to slide inside Victoire to overtake him around the mark, forcing Victoire to change course. Clitheroe responded immediately, executing a 720 degree penalty turn, giving his rival the upper hand.

Victoire, which won Class B of the IRC Australian Championship in August, and has a big lead in the CYCA’s Blue Water Point Score, went on to win the race, and Race 4, the last of the series, at which point the wind had eased to around 8 knots.

Exile won Race 3 between times, after ripping a spinnaker in the high winds that peaked at around 28 knots with big shifts and the pressure up and down.

In Division 3, the racing was just as close. However, it’s hard to beat the likes of skiff and yachting champion, Peter Sorensen, who has skippered The Philosopher’s Club to two IRC Australian Championship wins among his other victories.

‘Sorro’, a Middle Harbour Yacht Club member, said he had trouble keeping Andrew Hurt’s second placed Onya and third placed Jason Antill’s Even Finer at bay.

“You better believe it, the competition was tough – it was a hard series, especially today,” Sorrensen said. The westerly was hard to sail in downwind, there were lots of broaches and the wind was so up and down and shifty,” he added.

“This is a great regatta, there were four different winners in the four races – it doesn’t get any better than that,” Sorensen ended.

In the small Sydney 38 fleet, Mark Griffith’s Old School, was the victor.

Full results, photos and more at www.ssorc.mhyc.com.au

Related Articles

David Staley new Sailing Manager
At Middle Harbour Yacht Club Middle Harbour Yacht Club (MHYC) is pleased to announce that high profile Victorian sailing administrator, David Staley, has joined the Club as its Sailing Manager. Posted on 30 Apr
MC38 MHYC Autumn Regatta overall
Maserati shows the way Neville Crichton's Maserati put in a fine performance in light easterly winds on Sydney Harbour on Sunday April 23, playing the points game to mess up Leslie Green's chances of collecting yet another MC38 class win with Ginger. Posted on 23 Apr
MC38 MHYC Autumn Regatta day 1
Light air debut for new owner A light air day one of the final act of the MC38's 2016-17 season pointscore went to Leslie Green's Ginger by the slimmest margin. Posted on 22 Apr
Sydney Harbour Regatta overall
More rain and confusing conditions More rain and confusing conditions on the final day of the annual Sydney Harbour Regatta, hosted by Middle Harbour Yacht Club, but in the end, those who could run the gamut of conditions succeeded. Posted on 5 Mar
Sydney 38 OD International Championship overall
Ikon38 walks away with the trophy Kirwan Robb and his Ikon38 crew from Victoria have walked away with the inaugural Sydney 38 OD International Championship trophy at Middle Harbour Yacht Club's Sydney Harbour Regatta this afternoon. Posted on 5 Mar
Sydney Harbour Regatta day 1
Tough day doesn't faze 90 year-old Gordon Ingate The 'main event' got underway at Middle Harbour Yacht Club's 12th anniversary Sydney Harbour Regatta today, and everyone came ashore with a story to tell when big breeze accompanied a big swell on the Harbour. Posted on 4 Mar
Sydney 38 OD International Championship day 2
Ikon38 maintains lead at Sydney Harbour Regatta Big conditions on Sydney Harbour pulled racing up short by one race today when 30 knots was registered on Sydney Harbour, but it was water off a duck's back for Kirwan Robb and his Ikon38 crew, who continue to lead. Posted on 4 Mar
Sydney 38 OD International Championship day 1
Ikon38 makes it three from three in Sydney Kirwan Robb's highly fancied Ikon38, is looking slick at the end of Day 1 of the Sydney 38 OD International Championship at Middle Harbour Yacht Club, winning three from three races today to be named 'Boat of the Day' and cart off the North Sails prize. Posted on 3 Mar
Entry extended as new sponsor announced
For 2017 Sydney Harbour Regatta With entries at a record high of 170, Middle Harbour Yacht Club announces a new major sponsor has joined forces with the Sydney Harbour Regatta, NSW's largest keelboat regatta, and officials could not be more pleased. Posted on 22 Feb
Sydney Harbour Regatta preview
Class championships to feature Battle lines will be drawn when a variety of classes hold their championships at NSW's largest keelboat event, the Sydney Harbour Regatta, to be hosted by Middle Harbour Yacht Club over the weekend of 4-5 March. Posted on 18 Feb