Estate Master and The Tavern win Rolex Trophies

Martin and Lisa Hill and their Estate Master crew won the Farr 40s, while a bunch of Tasar sailors on The Tavern won every race of the Sydney 38s to each win their class in the Rolex Trophy One Design series' sailed over the last three days.

Sailed in south easterly winds that varied between 14 and 18 knots throughout the day, Principal Race Officer of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia organised event, Denis Thompson, sent the two classes on three windward/leeward races each on the Macquarie Circle.

Estate Master led the Farr 40┬áseries from Day 1, but as Martin Hill said today, it wasn't as easy as it sounds. “We had to fight every inch of the way, especially today. Kokomo (Lang Walker) won the first two races and we knew we had to keep him behind us in the last race to win the Trophy,” Hill conceded.

Hill said the last was a thriller – and Denis Thompson agreed. ” Kokomo tacked to port straight after the start and Estate Master slammed straight on top of him. It was full on match racing, they just kept going boat-for-boat, it was exciting to watch,” Thompson said.

“I got tied up with the Sydney 38s and when I turned around again, Estate Master was in second place and Kokomo was back in fourth. She would have won Boat of the Day, but Easy Tiger II caught a wave and surfed home for fourth, leaving Kokomo in fifth.”

Hill takes up the story: “We split on the last windward/leeward and we picked up a nice left hand shift and got away. Transfusion got first and we got second,” Hill enthused.

“It's all coming together nicely for the Farr 40 Worlds – I'm getting a step closer to winning a Rolex watch,” Hill, the Commodore of the Middle Harbour Yacht Club, laughed.

His wife Lisa was just as thrilled with their win. “We worked hard for hit – I had my head down the whole three days. It was a bit bumpy out there but it was great racing.”

The same top three yachts that led the nine-race series on Day 1 finished the series that way: Estate Master, Kokomo (CYCA) and Guido Belgiorno-Nettis' Transfusion (MHYC).

The Sydney 38's contested six races over two days and Ian and Shane Guanaria's The Tavern could not be beaten. In an almost unheard of circumstance, the crew won six from six races. “Bloody awesome,” said Shane Guanaria, whose father could not make the series. “I rang Dad yesterday in England to say we had won all three races and he was pretty excited. He doesn't know about today yet, but I know he'll be thrilled,” he said.

The Tavern was sailed so well, the crew only had one moment in the entire series when they were not in the lead. “We were second to the top mark in the last race, but we pulled back in front; otherwise we led every race from start to finish,” Guanaria said.

“I made the sails and they helped us win; that's a pretty good feeling,” said Guanaria, a sailmaker with Ian McDiarmid Sails for the past 15 years.

In today's three races, the CYCA member said: “We cleared out in the first race, but the other two weren't as straightforward. Swish (Steven Proud) gave us a run for our money in all the races.”

Swish finished the event second and Gordon Ketelbey's Zen finished Race 6 in second place to claim third place overall.

The Tavern's trimmer, Tom Barker, a 23 year-old ocean racing, match racing and one-design sailor, commented on their win: “We've been sailing together for a while, training for this event and the Nationals early next year. We've still got a few things to iron out, but we're going really well.

“Andrew York did a great job calling tactics and Shane and Ian always have the boat 100 percent prepared and that's really important if you want to win.”

Barker, a product of the CYCA Youth Academy, and Guanaria will leave One-Design behind for the time being as they prepare to step aboard Ed Psaltis and Bob Thomas' AFR Midnight Rambler (the boat Barker was sailing on when he won the 2007 Ocean Racing Crew of Person of the Year) to contest the 2009 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

Martin and Lisa Hill and crew and Shane Guanaria and his crew, received their winning trophies at the CYCA this afternoon.

– Di Pearson, CYCA Media

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