It was another picture perfect winter’s day on Sydney Harbour for the 63 competitors in the Closing Ladies Day race of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Audi Winter Series.
A beautiful 15 knot westerly breeze, combined with sunshine and almost spring like temperatures brought a fun and colourful end to the Audi Winter Series 2012.
Two crew members L’Altra Donna were one of the more colourful sights of the day resplendent in glittery purple leggings and wigs; whilst onboard Wine Dark Sea, the ‘bowdame’ (otherwise known as Mick Lynch) was sporting a purple wig, Dame Edna styled spectacles and pearls.
Arthur Lane had high praise for Maureen Mitchell, who helmed his Beneteau Oceanis 46 Inkonkoni, to a win in Division A non-spinnaker. “She had total control of the boat,” Lane said.
“It was a really good race for us. We recovered from a bad start and I got my act together,” Maureen Mitchell said. “It was the right breeze for the boat to do well. We didn’t have any close encounters with other boats as they were all behind us. It was nice not seeing anything in front of us – we’ve had Baltic Lady or InCahoots around us all season.”
Dinah Eagle helmed Nocturne to a win in Division A spinnaker, repeating her 2010 success. “We crossed the finish line at full speed and the crew joyously erupted. It was really close racing with Next, Papillon and Cyrene 3. We had managed to overtake each of them, catching Next at the last mark before the gate,” Eagle said.
“Our success today was due to our navigator and owner of the boat, Gerard Kesby, calling the wind really well. Gerard’s also allowed me to helm throughout the winter series. The crew work was excellent with Michelle Wassell doing a fabulous job on the main.
“According to the crew, it was a glorious site to see all of the fleet behind us, however I didn’t get the chance to look back as I was concentrating on the action at the front,” Eagle added.
For Alexandra Deakin, there were a few tense moments at the start of the race but she took control of One More No More and came away with the win in spinnaker Division B. “The westerly breeze kicked up at the start and I thought it was going to be a hairy race for us but it soon calmed down.
“There were lots of boats ahead of us as we made our way up to the first mark. The first kite run was quite shy and I had to keep enough height to make the mark. Steering was tough as I had to make sure that we didn’t round up.
“On the second leg of the course we got held up by Loki and their boom came a little too close at one stage. The second kite run was much better for us and we managed to catch the rest of the fleet, overtake them and then hold them off as we rounded the Island and onto the finish line.
“I’d like to thank Ian Guanaria for letting me take control of the boat and thanks to the CYCA for conducting the ladies day races as it’s a great opportunity for us to steer,” Deakin added.
Alexandra was also the lucky winner of the Audi Drive weekend and has the opportunity to experience the luxury of an Audi of her choosing for a weekend. Four year old Alice Holstein was chosen to assist in the drawing of this great prize.
For Lia Darby, her first race as a skipper was a challenging one but she managed to take the Division B non-spinnaker win, overcoming a broken outhaul. “It was a challenge to get to the start line. I had some trouble coming out of the marina and the broken outhaul meant the foot of the sail was loose on the boom. We managed to repair it and make our start time event though we were very shorthanded – just three of us onboard.
“Given that it was my first time as the skipper, I’d spent all week reading up all the racing rules. My aim was to avoid trouble and to make clean turns at the marks. As the day wore on, I got more aggressive and competitive.
“I enjoyed the reaching leg and we had a rather dramatic end to our race. We had to tack right on the line to avoid another board that was on starboard. As we were approaching the finish line I knew that we would have to tack but I waited until the last second to do so and that second was the difference between us and Takana on the line,” Darby recalled.
All divisional winners will have their names engraved on the Chris Lee memorial trophy. The trophy is dedicated in memory of Christine Lee who was a Vice President of the CYCA Associates Committee and a member of the House Committee and actively sailed with her late husband Geoff.
Results in the Sydney 38 Division were finalized last Thursday evening after the protest between Livewire and Next was heard, resulting in the disqualification of Livewire from Race 10. Thirlmere (Sally Warneford and Larry Jamieson) was declared the Sydney 38 Division winner, with Next (Richard Holstein and Stewart Kellie) second and Outlaw (Alan and Tom Quick) third.
All divisional winners and placegetters in the Audi Winter Series 2012 will be congratulated on their season performance at the series prize giving, Friday 20 July, at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia.
This is the first year Audi Centre Sydney has been naming rights sponsor of the Audi Winter Series, taking over the sponsorship from Audi Australia. The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia would like to thank Audi for its continued support of the Club, its Winter Series, Youth Sailing Academy, the Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race and the sport of sailing in Australia.
For full results head to Audi Winter Series Results
- Jennifer Crooks/CYCA media
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