Jazz Player in fine tune on Derwent

Kettering Yacht Club secretary John Dryden and his young crew of Jazz Player notched up a hard-fought and close Division 1 victory in the Combined Clubs Winter Series on the River Derwent today.

Derwent Sailing Squadron set a challenging course for the 55-boat fleet, starting with a short beat up-river to the first windward mark for three of the four divisions that saw many close port-and- starboard encounters.

Fortunately, good steering and sail handling avoided any collisions but later in the race Division 1 boat Kraken 42S clashed rigs with a smaller boat from another division.

Division 1 sailed cross-river long triangle and two windward/leeward legs; Divisions 2 and 3 sailed windward/leeward legs with Nutgrove Beach the leeward mark; Division 4 had a longer first windward leg to the Government House Mark followed by a spinnaker run down river.

Apart from owner/skipper Dryden, who is also a member of the DSS, the crew of Jazz Player are mostly young former Laser sailors from Kingston Beach Sailing Club. Today’s win following a second place last Sunday.

Despite a late start and spinnaker problems on the reaching leg in the 10 knot north-westerly breeze, Mike Pritchard’s Cookson 50 Oskana took line honours with handicap placings going to Jazz Player by just 13 seconds on corrected time from Greg Prescott’s Farr 40 mod, 2Unlimited and the MBD36 Whistler (Drew Latham).

“We had close racing with the two Melges 32s, Crusader and Cockwomble, after an early encounter with Oskana at the weather mark…but on corrected time we won,” John Dryden said after the race.

Cockwomble was having its first race for new owner Andrew Smith, a former SB20 skipper, placing a close fourth on handicap. The name is a derogatory term means ‘obnoxious or foolish person’ and has a photo of US President Trump on its topsides)

Bellerive Yacht Club member Mark Ballard won Division 2 with his Dufour 36e Performance, 42 South, Zephyr (Ian Johnston) placed second and The Doghouse (Ambrose Coad) third.

In Division 3, Dave Wallans’ Masrm 30, Trouble was untroubled with an outright win in the 17-boat fleet, second going to Hydrotherapy (Jim Thorpe) and Just Jones (David Wyatt).

The Mottle 33, Motley (Stephen Lubach) won Division 4 from Zest (Matt Westland) and Another Toy (Michael Kennedy). The famous Tasmanian racing yacht of the 1970s, Huon Chief, now owned by Michael Farley) had its first race in decades, finishing third in fleet.

Next Sunday’s Combined Club Winter Series Race will be run by The Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania.

– Peter Campbell

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