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Boat Holed in Pre-race collision in Strathfield Pittwater to Coffs series

by Georgie Brown on 31 Dec 2000
In a freshening east to sou-east winds and a moderate swell, Race 2 in the Strathfield Pittwater
Coffs Series produced some thrilling match racing between class boats after a general recall,
followed by further recalls in IRC and IMS.

Drama occurred seconds before the race in a collision between the Farr 40, One Step Ahead
and the Cookson 12 Occasional Coarse Language. Occasional Coarse Language was holed
above the water line forward of the shrouds in the collision.

'The hole went right through. We couldn't tack and we probably didn't make any friends in the
start, but we did not want to take in any water,' said Sherman, who was later given redress
following protest. Sherman is confident that the hole will be fixed prior to the race to Coffs
Harbour.

The two IMC-rated Sydney AC 40's Sledgehammer and Davnet were recalled at the start
leaving ultimate line honours winner Nips 'N Tux with 'a glamour start.'

Owner Howard de Torres said, 'Our tactician Bob Fraser picked it perfectly, on the gun and
with clear air.'

Nips 'N Tux lead all the way except for a brief period on the second downwind run when
Sledgehammer and Davnet overtook her. The two Sydney 40's raced with only seconds
between them in a thrilling duel to cross the line 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Sledgehammer's Ron Jones said, 'It was a great race, a real challenge between ourselves and
Davnet. The boats are currently very even on speed and handicap, and this gives them an ideal
element for one design match racing. This means first over the line wins.'

'Davnet put up a great challenge. The conditions were fantastic. We are really looking forward
to taking them on again in the long race to Coffs Harbour.'

It will be Jones third race to Coffs Harbour. 'Last year, there was little sleep for the Sydney AC
40's on the way to Coffs. We were neck and neck the whole way with Loco. Now the boat
has been renamed Davnet, and has a new crew. The boat, however is just as competitive as
before.'

Jamie McPhail, part owner skipper of Davnet agreed. 'We had a great race also,' he said.
'Having Sledgehammer in the race is giving us the opportunity to learn how to sail the boat in all
racing conditions before we race in the Admiral's Cup in August.'

In IMS Division Nips 'N Tux finished the race 7 seconds ahead of the two Benetaux including
yesterday's winner True North (Howard and Susan Piggot) and Koolewong (John McDougal).
Sledgehammer came 4th on handicap, with Davnet 6th.

Future Shock crossed the line more than 10 minutes ahead of her nearest rival to take line
honours in PHS Division. Following the race, the big 17m sloop headed back to Sydney
Harbour, her 4.2m draft being too deep for entry into Pittwater.

Similar to the IMS, the 2nd and 3rd boats had only seconds between them with Gavin Ward's
Abracadabra on 1hr 59min 41 secs with Savage Garden producer John Woodruff proving his
rock and roll crew has got what it takes with a 3rd place over the line on 2hr 0mn 11 secs.

After a sluggish start yesterday's line honours winner in the IRC Division, Infinity III came in
second to Heaven Can Wait. Recent modifications to 50-footer which was launched in 1987
are beginning to pay dividends.

The IRC Division saw a lengthy protest between leading boats over a mark rounding dispute
which delayed results. The final winners on handicap were: Blowfly (Sydney 38), Leroy Brown
(Warren Wieckmann) and the Sydney 38 Rush, a casual entry for the two Pittwater short races.

More details on www.rpayc.com.au

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