Shogun and Nine Dragons in form at CYCA Trophy–Passage Series

Victorian yachtsman Rob Hanna made some hasty repairs to Shogun V’s bowsprit and bobstay after an incident in Tuesday’s SOLAS Big Boat Challenge to win Division 1 on Day 1 of the CYCA Trophy–Passage Series today, while Bob Cox is still in winning form after victory in the recent SSORC, taking out Division 2.

Hanna made do with a temporary stainless steel bobstay for his TP52, unable to find a carbon fibre replacement in time. Shogun beat Ray Roberts Farr 55, OneSails Racing by a mere 12 seconds on corrected time in the 18 nautical mile race hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia. Matt Allen’s Carkeek 60, Ichi Ban took line honours from OneSails Racing and finished third overall in Division 1.

“I’m a little surprised by our win, we had a bit of system failure and lost a bit of time with that, and thought it might have cost us the race,” Hanna said. “It was hard steering outside the Harbour for a short time, because of the short cross seas, but we soon got in the rhythm” he said.

“We had a really good start with speed, around one second behind the gun. We were right on Ichi Ban’s stern at South Head, but some of the older TP52’s gave us a good workout. Shogun’s fast downwind, so we had a good run,” said Hanna who also won ORCi overall and is leading the CYCA’s Blue Water Point Score.

Making a return to the Australian sailing scene, Ray Roberts said he was pleased with the former Living Doll’s performance today. “We got our hands on the boat around 10 weeks ago we’ve done some work to the keel fin and strengthened the boat where we thought it needed it,” he said.

“It’s a challenge to come up with the right recipe for a winning boat, but we’re supremely confident in it and it is Hobart-ready. We’ve still got a long way to go in terms of our sails,” said Roberts, the Asia Pacific agent for OneSails who is working with the loft’s Bruce Anson, who runs the Singapore outfit and is racing aboard Roberts’ yacht.

In Division 2, the DK46 Nine Dragons from Middle Harbour Yacht Club overcame a challenge from St George Midnight Rambler, the Ker 40 owned by Ed Psaltis/Bob Thomas/Michael Bencsik, to win by just under one minute. Third place went to Andrew and Pauline Dally’s Khaleesi, a sistership to Nine Dragons – and her owners are members of the same yacht club.

The two divisions combined for the ORCi result with Shogun V first in another close call, beating St George Midnight Rambler by six seconds on corrected time. Ron Forster/Phil Damp’s Beneteau First 40, Ariel, was third overall. 

Occasional Coarse Language 2, the Ker Gts 43 owned by Warwick Sherman scored a solid win under PHS, beating Ariel on corrected time by over one minute. Steven Proud’s Kernan 44, Swish, was third.

The CYCA Trophy Series also did duty as the CYCA’s Ocean Point Score (OPS) Race 5, and it was no real surprise to find Julian Farren-Price in the box seat again with his priceless Cookson 12, About Time. The Sydney jeweller scored a sizeable one plus minute win over Ariel, with Swish third.

However, the tables were turned under ORCi, with Ariel getting the better of About Time, with Swish third. In PHS, Occasional Coarse Language won from Ariel and Swish, which scored a trifecta of third places today.

With the wind in the south-east, Principal Race Officer, Denis Thompson sent the boats on Course 5, a race of approximately 18 nautical miles from Shark Island, offshore to a laid mark and back to the Watsons Bay finish.

“It was clean start and on time at 11.00am; we had L’Altra Donna in the prime position right at the boat end,” Thompson said. “It’s quite lumpy offshore, it’s blowing 15-18 from the south-east, the boats will get a solid workout,” he added.

It was not a good day for defending Rolex Sydney Hobart overall winner, Victoire. Shortly after the start, the starboard runner on Darryl Hodgkinson’s Cookson 50 parted in the middle, bringing their race to an end. “Better now than on Boxing Day,” one of the crew said on returning to the CYCA.

Wild Oats XI (Bob Oatley), Comanche (Jim Clark), Anthony Bell’s Perpetual Loyal and Syd Fischer’s newly hulled Ragamuffin 100 took the opportunity to put in some practice, but did not race.

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By Di Pearson, CYCA Media

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