A perfect winter’s morning enabled Derwent Sailing Squadron race officers to conduct three races today for the SB20 division of the Clean Lift Winter Series on the Derwent, producing three individual winners in a day of close racing.
Conditions were arguably the best this winter, with a bright sunny morning, a fairly constant, albeit chilly, NW to NNW breeze that increased from 8 to 12 knots before easy back to 8 knots later in the morning.
While this did not affect the one-design SB20 racing, it did give a winning advantage to the faster boats in the mixed divisions, with line winners taking out first place on handicap in all three.
The first race for the SB20s was a thriller, just 47 seconds separating the first six boats to finish, with Balios (Matthew Pilkington) beating Wedgewood (David Graney) home by 16 seconds and Mind Games (Phil Reid) just one second further astern.
State champion Nick Rogers, in Karabos, won race two (race 8 of the Winter Series) by just nine seconds from Brainwave (Scott Brain) with another 20 seconds to Mind Games.
Biggest SB20 win of the morning came in race 9, with Kirsty Skinner steering North Sails to a commanding 42 second win from Balios and Nautilus Marine Insurance (Hughie Lewis). Handicap winners of each race were Balios, Brainwave and North Sails.
Heading into the final race day for the DSS Winter Series on Sunday, September 7, Karabos and Brainwave are equal on 17 points, with North Sails on 18 points. Nautilus Marine heads the PHS leader board on 19 points, with Brainwave on 21 points and North Sails on 27 points.
Division 1 saw a boat-for-boat duel between Toby Richard’s narrow-hulled, Fred Barrett-designed X & Y, and Wayne Banks-Smith’s broad-beamed Farr 40, War Games. X & Y got the gun by just 23 seconds and took first place outright from War Games and Planet X (Mick Rowley).
With X & Y a casual entry today, the winner’s point in the penultimate race of the Winter Series went to War Games which now places her on a net 4 points, three ahead of Fred Barrett’s sports boat, Fang to the Max, on 7 points, both well clear of Winstead Wines (Neil Snare) on 14 points.
The syndicate-owned Wildfire took the double in Division 2, winning on corrected time from Vasco (Graham Harrington) and Rousabout (Derek Inglis). After four races, Rousabout is on a net 5 points, Wildfire 7 points and Vasco 8 points.
It was much the same story in Division 3 where Vistula (Greg Biskup) sailed away from the fleet and scored a very comfortable handicap win from Serenity (Graham Hall) and Ragtime (Tom Kirkland). Going into the final day, Vistula and Serenity will be equal on 4 points with Ragtime on 9 points.