Another tight battle was going on between Lithium and CheckMate, they were met at the beacon inside Rottnest Island by Hugh Warner’s Ocean Ranger III, the Elliott 35ss had been gaining ground through the night on the run back in a dying breeze. In the crew of Ocean Ranger III was 18-year-old Grayson Downs who has come through the youth sailing programmes at RFBYC. New to the long-distance events he was finding his sea legs in the race but got on with the challenge, it’s great to see young sailors getting involved in ocean racing in WA.
All three yachts were together at the turn are sailed close on the final beat to the finish. CheckMate arriving first but Wayne’s team on Lithium placed ahead on corrected time with a 4th in the IRC result and 2nd in PHS in Division One.
It was a lonely sail back for Simon Torvaldsen’s Atomic Blonde (JPK 10.80) who placed first in Division Two IRC. The only double handed team in the race was Kraken who followed her over the line, Todd and Dubbo hanging in to complete the race on their Jeanneau Sunfast 3300, even though the conditions were not what they ordered. They placed third on IRC in their division behind Salacia II, an offshore icon built in 1971 and owned by Ross Norgard from Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club.
The last yacht over the line was Winston Scotney’s Corniche, she sailed further out to sea for the later part of the leg south and this did not pay off for the team. The Warwick 46 completed the race in 1 day, 9 minutes making it home in time for Sunday dinner.
David Davenport’s Crush is new on the scene in WA and the crew have been working hard to get used to their larger boat, previously competing on a Sunfast 3600. The team were first over the line in 19h, 6 minutes. Owner/skipper Dave comments “Our first blue water race went really well, with crew working hard to keep Crush going. We had a really good start and upwind leg and arrived at Courtesan in the Bunbury harbour ahead on IRC. Our reefs and sail changes had gone well, given they were our first ones we had completed on the racetrack, and in breeze, and apart from some concerns about weed on rudder which we could not resolve on our beat down, we were in good spirits. On the way home our prop was spinning and vibrating through the boat and rudder and we could not get it to stop. Despite this, the crew were tireless in their efforts to try and get some that extra speed that finally eluded us. We were very happy we had made it back in good shape, first over the line, second on IRC overall, and we learnt a huge amount about managing the boat, 15 crew, food, water, rest and hydration. It was a tough first blue water outing and we are happy to have been a part of this event and looking forward to the 75th year event!”.
Visit the event media page for results and the race replay.