Rob Hanna has sailed Shogun V to successive wins in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Blue Water Pointscore Series (BWPS), this morning being declared winner of the Newcastle Bass Island Yacht Race, the third race of the series.
In September, Hanna sailed his TP52 to victory in the Flinders Islet Race, the second race of the series, making him a serious contender for the six-race BWPS. The Victorian missed the opening Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race in July, so is not among the overall top three at present, but once a drop comes into play, he will move well up the leaderboard.
On corrected time, Shogun V had a big win over Darryl Hodgkinson’s canting Cookson 50 Victoire, which he beat by a just under an hour. Line honours victor, Matt AlIen’s Ichi Ban, was third, a further 17 minutes adrift.
Shogun V was also first overall in ORCi from Victoire and Paul Clitheroe’s TP52 Balance, while Victoire claimed the goods in PHS from Shogun V and Ichi Ban.
Hanna was unavailable for comment on his second successive victory, but is no doubt pleased with Shogun V’s continuing solid performances over the past couple of years.
In taking line honours of this inaugural 200 nautical mile race, Ichi Ban also takes credit for creating a record. The Carkeek 60’s name translates to ‘number one’ in English, so she has lived up to her name, taking honours at 15.52.49 hours on Saturday to create the record of 20 hours 52 minutes and 49 seconds.
Ichi Ban made good time, clocking a regular 13 knots on the reach to Newcastle and 10 knots upwind heading back to Sydney. Shogun V also made good time, sailing to second over the Rushcutters Bay finish line, only 1 hour 5 minutes and 5 seconds in arears of Ichi Ban.
“It was a faster trip to Newcastle than I thought it would be. Our modelling showed 24 hours and I thought it would take longer,” Allen commented this morning. “We carried our masthead Code Zero up and we made good time coming back too, he added.
On creating the record, Allen said: “It’s always nice to have a record. It was quite a quick time because of the wind strength and direction, so it will be difficult to beat.”
Ichi Ban is about to go under the knife and Allen says he is hoping it will help make up time on the very fast Shogun V. “They were a mile ahead on corrected time, but I’m hoping our modifications will help bridge the gap a bit,” he said.
Principal Race Officer Denis Thompson was correct in his pre-race assumption that the fleet would enjoy a nice reach to Newcastle, while a north-easterly would allow the fleet to ‘fly’ to Bass Island, located 1 nautical mile south-east of Flinders Islet on the NSW South Coast.
Ichi Ban rounded Bass Island first, according to Patrice’s navigator, Richard Grimes. “Shogun was next, then Balance, Victoire, Patrice, Celestial and Frantic (Mick Martin’s TP52),” Grimes said from Tony Kirby’s Ker 46 at midday on Saturday.
“We’ve had a fast run to Bass; we’ve done about four peels from A4 to A2 to A4 and back in 20-22 knots. We’re sailing in 16-20 knots from the north-north-east now. This has been a quick race and we should be back in the Harbour in six to eight hours, depending on wind strength,” he said.
At 18.30 hours, Grimes reported back: “We’re coming up to Coogee. It’s sunset, we’ve got a clear sky and a mild night. We’re just having coffee. The breeze has dropped off to 15 knots and clocked further left, there’s not much current; we’ll see what happens in the Harbour.
“Ichi Ban and Shogun had a great race. Now we’ve got Victoire, Balance and Frantic in front of us. Celestial is about one mile behind us. They’re sailing really well – they’re all over us like a rash,” Grimes said of Sam Haynes’ Rogers 46.
Denis Thompson got the yachts off on time at 1900 hours on Friday evening. “We had 16 starters who enjoyed a nice little easterly breeze of 8-10 knots, allowing them to get off the line quickly,” he remarked.
It was not all clear at the start though. “We heard some shouting and saw St George Midnight Rambler doing circles (by all accounts a penalty turn), but we couldn’t see what it was about,” Thompson said.
Sam Haynes’ Celestial was the overall BWPS leader going into Race 3 of the BWPS. The Rogers 46 finished the Newcastle Bass Island Yacht Race in fifth place overall, just enough to keep it in the lead over Victoire, Ichi Ban and Paul Clitheroe’s TP52 Balance.
In effect, the race has dissolved the four way tie between Tony Kirby’s Ker 46 Patrice, which has dropped down from a Series second place to sixth overall after finishing this race in sixth place, Ichi Ban, Balance and Victoire, although the leaderboard is still exceptionally close.
At 9.20 hours (Daylight Saving Time) only Roger Hickman’s defending BWPS champion, Wild Rose, remained at sea, but due to finish today.
The next and fourth race of the BWPS is the Cabbage Tree Island Race on Friday, November 7, for the 52nd Halvorsen Brothers Trophy, starting at 1900 hours.
Find full results on the CYCA website at: http://www.cyca.com.au/sysfile/downloads/2015_summer/14_15_Summer/series.htm
By Di Pearson, CYCA Media