The Tasmanian designed and built yacht Silicon Ship has won the Royal Hobart Regatta’s centenary race for the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy, repeating the performance of the inaugural winner 100 years ago, the Tasmanian One Design class boat Weene on Hobart’s River Derwent.
Designed and built by Walter Knoop and owned by David Wyatt and Gordon Clark from Bellerive Yacht Club, the 32-footer won the historic trophy against the entire fleet in the Combined Clubs Harbour Series race, as the yacht with the fastest corrected time over all four groups.
Scotsman Sir Thomas Lipton, a self-made merchant, creator of the Lipton Tea brand, and a yachtsman who was one of the most persistent, but unsuccessful challengers in the history of the America’s Cup, presented the ornately sculptured, silver trophy to the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania in 1914 as a ‘Perpetual Challenge Cup’ for the Tasmanian One Design Class.
Weene, the original yacht built to this rule, won the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy for nine successive years, from 1915 through to 1921, and again in 1937, 1940, 1941 and 1942, when owned by the Batt family. Weene is now owned in Sydney, still racing at the age of 101.
Race officer Biddy Badenach set a course with long windward leeward legs and two turning marks close inshore off Sullivan’s Cove and the Regatta Grounds, providing a fine public spectacle of yacht racing on the Derwent.
Silicon Ship, which last December placed third in the Launceston Hobart offshore race, won Group 2 of the Combined Clubs Harbour Race with a corrected time score of 1 hour 21 minutes and 01 seconds, with all four groups sailing the same course.
In Group 2, Silicon Ship won from Rousabout (Grahame Inglis) which had second fastest corrected time in the fleet, third place going to Trouble (Dave Willans).
In Group 4, the PHS winner was Hornet (Neville Georgeson) from Miss Conduct and Eliza (Kevin Jacobson) while in Group 6 Serenity (Graham Hall) won from Astrolabe (Peter Bosworth) and Another Toy (Greg Rowlings).
Group 1 attracted a strong fleet although missing a couple of yachts that raced in the weekend’s long Bruny Island Race. The Farr 40 War Games, skippered by Wayne Banks-Smith led the fleet around the course and finished second on corrected time in PHS Group 1 to Gary Cripps’ Sydney 38, Ciao Baby II. Third place went to Mem (Paul and Michelle Boutchard)>
Under IRC scoring in Group 1, War Games won IRC from Jeff Cordell’s Mumm 36 Host Plus Executive, third place going to Toby Richardson’s X&Y.
The AMS scoring for Group 1 produced the sixth win out of 10 races this season for Harold Clark’s Farr 1104, Invincible, beating the Mumm 36’s Tas Paints (Ian Stewart) and Host Plus Executive.
– Peter Campbell