Rockingham Race Weekend enjoys ideal conditions

Rockingham Race Weekend was blessed with ideal conditions for the two-day event hosted by Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club. The event is part of the Farrawa Cup Series.

Day one was the Dolphin Race which began with an early start off Fremantle Harbour in a moderate south westerly wind. Yachts raced in four divisions with the Double Handed class off first. The breeze built to a steady 15-18 knots as the fleet raced south, weaving it’s way around the marks of the course, between the islands and the coastline.

The impressive Division One yachts including Walk on the Wildside and Sue Sea, hunted down the other divisions as they neared the sheltered waters of Cockburn Sound for a lap of the bay. The impressive TP 52, Calm relished the upwind conditions and then the flat water of Mangles Bay, finishing in only 3hrs13min. The stand out of the race was the GP42 Black Betty who was hot on her heels, crossing the line 20mins later. This wasn’t enough to win the race on corrected time with Astrid and Tony Mitchell’s Calm placing overall first with 20 seconds to spare. A nice tribute to Tony after his recent passing.

Some great racing was seen between the strong fleets in divisions two and three as the yachts enjoyed the freshening conditions on the mostly upwind race with a few tight spinnaker reaches. It was a close finish on corrected time in Division Two with Robert Halvorsen’s Giddy Up taking first place both across the line and on IRC. Completing the podium positions, there was a narrow margin between Wasabi, Paul Arns, second and This Way Up, Bryan Thurstan, third.

Division Three was won by Mark Nagle’s team on Without Fear, with Dynamic, Laurie Flynne, not too far behind them both over the line and on IRC corrected time. After a great evening ashore at The Cruising Yacht Club of WA, sailors raced a very competitive windward-leeward series in Mangles Bay, a great light wind warm-up before the race back to Fremantle. The WA coast turned on its best with a moderate south westerly breeze to send the yachts, spinnakers up, on a downwind run to the finish off South Mole.

In the Double Handed class, Fifty Four had a win across the line on both days but lost to Lamotrek on IRC corrected time in the race back, and Lamotrek won the event overall. After some tight racing in Division Three on the windward-leeward course, Dynamic managed to stretch her legs and get away from her rivals but the Beneteau First 34.7 was unable to catch the Swarbrick 10.2 Without Fear which completed the race in just under 4 ½ hours. Overall IRC for the weekend series was won by Laurie Flynne’s Dynamic. Simon Prosser’s Sante did well in the Gordon Craig Ocean Race and won Division Two on IRC over This Way Up; both are RFBYC boats. Skipper of This Way Up, Bryan Thurstan commented that his team were very pleased with the weekend. They performed well on Saturday and were happy with their efforts on Sunday. The new team is still working on downwind techniques but managed to have an overall win on IRC for the Rockingham Race Weekend.

Gary McNally and team aboard Black Betty also had a great day on Sunday, finishing nearly 8 minutes ahead of their fellow GP 42 Dirty Deeds. The strong effort resulting in a first place on corrected time. The team commented that, “Everyone agreed that sailing in Cockburn Sound is a very rewarding and pleasurable experience due to it’s steady breeze and flat water, the Mediterranean conditions the GP42 class was meant for. Mediterranean dreams aside, we will be back next year, to win the Dolphin Race”. Well done to the team for winning overall IRC with a 2, 1, 1 over the two day series.

The Rockingham Race Weekend was a fantastic event and RFBYC Offshore thanks all volunteers and race officials for their assistance. A special well done to the The Cruising Yacht Club of WA for putting on a great show ashore. The Farrawa Cup Series will conclude with the 67th Bunbury and Return Ocean Race in January 2015.

For full results, visit the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club website,

Susan Ghent
RFBYC Offshore Administration

Cyclops Marine
JPK August 2023
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