Cougar II powers to victory in Crown Series twilight

Tony Lyall’s TP52 needed just 34 minutes and 43 seconds to sail the course in tonight’s opening twilight race for the 2015 Banjos Shoreline Crown Series Bellerive Regatta on Hobarts’ River Derwent, winning the Racing Group IRC category on corrected time in a grand display of power sailing.

A fleet of 73 yachts contested the traditional twilight opening race for the regatta which continues on Saturday and Sunday when a dozen SB20 one design sports boats and more than 60 off-the-beach boats join the keelboats in contesting Tasmania’s biggest regatta.

Sailing in 12-15 knot nor’easter, Cougar II rocketed away from Racing Group 1 fleet, but while she won IRC, the TP52 was no match for Bellerive Yacht Club entry Invincible, Harold Clark’s Farr 1104, under both AMS and PHS scoring.

Cougar II won IRC from Jeff Cordell’s Mumm 36 Host Plus Executive and Wayne Banks-Smith’s Farr 4 0 War Games.

Invincible won AMS from Host Plus Executive and her Mumm 36 rival Tas Paints (Ian Stewart) with the two Mumm 36s crossing the finish line just five seconds apart. Unfortunately, the third Mumm 36, Madness was forced to withdraw from the regatta with a damaged rudder.

Under PHS scoring, Invincible took out the PHS category from TasPaints and Host Plus Executive, the margin on corrected time between the two Mumms 36s being just two seconds.

BYC member Dave Willans had an outright win Racing Group 2, winning on handicap from Hot Prospect (Ian Marshall) and L’Etoile (John Dawson).

While the Racing fleets sailed a short windward/leeward course, the Performance Cruising and Cruising groups sailed a course around fixed marks with The Protagonist (Stuart Denney) getting the gun in Performance Cruising Group 1 ahead of Nexedge (John Mills) by less than a minute.

On AMS corrected time, victory went to the Mount Gay 30 Prion (Rod Viney) from Masquerade (Tony Harman) and The Protagonist. PHS scoring gave a win to Fine Cotton, skippered by Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania member Gavin Adamson.

Adamson is co-owner with Janene Frawley of the Mumm 36 Madness and when that boat had to be withdrawn because of its damaged rudder the BYC allowed Adamson to enter Fine Cotton.

Second place went to Hydrotherapy (Jim Thorpe), third to Richard Grant’s Magellan from the Tamar Yacht Club.

Performance Cruising Group 2 went to Smooth Cha Cha (Piers and Sarah Findlay) from the Port Dalrymple Yacht Club, with Mischief (Kif Weber) second and Epoxy Warrior (Ross Mannering) third. Smooth Cha Cha also took line honours in the group.

In Performance Cruising Group 3, Pukana (David Schofield) finished second last in fleet but first on corrected time, winning on handicap from Michelle (David Creese) and Camlet Way (Steve Mannering).

Performance Cruising Group 4 was a non-spinnaker race with Breakaway (Victoria Logan) scoring an outright victory, winning on handicap from Storm Bird (Graeme Evans) and Dynamo (Stephen Davidson).

Racing on Saturday for all keelboat groups, SB20s and off-the-beach boats is scheduled to start at 11am.

– Peter Campbell

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