Botany Bay Race – About Time back in the winner’s circle

Julian Farren-Price and his Cookson 12, About Time, are back in their comfort zone of the winner’s circle after taking the double in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Botany Bay Race today, with victories in both IRC and ORCi.

Farren-Price, a Sydney jeweller, has won nine from 12 Ocean Pointscores with his reliable About Time, just missing out last season to Midnight Rambler. Today he beat Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race hopeful, China Easyway, the Jarkan 12.5 owned by Travis Read, by two minutes. Nine Dragons, the DK46 owned by Bob Cox, slotted into third place.

Under ORCi, it was About Time from China Easyway and another Sydney Hobart contender, Philosophers, the Cookson 12 owned by Gordon Ketelbey and Peter Sorensen, who skippered her today.  PHS went to Esprit, the Archambault 32 owned by Greg Wilkins. Les Goodridge’s X-50, Wax Lyrical and Ted Tooher’s Beneteau 47.7, Chancellor, shared second place.

Robyn Morton, the Principal Race Officer, said she and team felt for the 20 starters who waited around for the breeze to fill in for Race 2 of the CYCA’s Ocean Pointscore Series.

“We were supposed to get them away at 10am, but there was a glass out on the Harbour. Instead, we were 50 minutes late and finally a 6 to 7 knot east/nor’ easter allowed us to start the race at 10:50am. It was frustrating for everyone, but at the least the fleet got away cleanly,” Morton said from the CYCA’s start boat this morning.

Julian Farren-Price commented, “The race committee did the right thing. We milled around, but it was worth the wait, because in the end, it was a beautiful sail, Rolls Royce conditions.”

A spinnaker run to Botany Bay in around 9 knots suited About Time down to the ground, as did the sail home.

“We had a lovely spinnaker run to Botany Bay, we were very lucky to be able to sail square, we don’t sail with asymmetricals. We were as lucky on the return, as it wasn’t hard on the wind, we sailed slightly cracked sheets, just off the breeze in around 8 knots. My crew’s work was 10 out of 10 – no mistakes.

“We had a ding dong battle with Philosophers – we were no more than 50 to 100 metres apart coming back. If it had been hard on the nose, they would have walked away from us – that’s their party trick. They have a more powerful boat with bigger gear.”

Farren-Price said he had never seen so much wildlife, as competitors have been party to in their two races to-date.

“Dolphins offshore and even in the Harbour, but the whales, I’ve never seen so many or so big.  They were tail standing, breaching, jumping right out of the water,” he said. 

Mid-afternoon, Morton had reported that the Rolex Sydney Hobart reigning champion, Balance (Paul Clitheroe) had rounded the Botany Bay mark first at 12:22pm, followed by Victoire (Darryl Hodgkinson), Celestial (Sam Haynes) and the V70 Maserati (Jim Cooney).

“Apparently the breeze is still around 7-8 knots, despite a forecast for 25 knots,” Morton said. “If it stays that way, it’ll be a long day out for the heavier and small boats.”

However, it was Maserati that came flying home to take line honours from Balance and Celestial at 1:47:51pm.

The next race in the Ocean Pointscore Series is the Port Hacking Race, starting on Sydney Harbour at 10am on Saturday November 12. 

For full results and provisional Ocean Point Score standings log on to:

– Di Pearson, CYCA Media

M.O.S.S Australia
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M.O.S.S Australia
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