Strike 1 to Hodgkinson and Sorensen at SSORC

Victoire and Advanced Philosophy were the outstanding recipients of wins in summer like offshore conditions on the opening day of the 2022 Nautilus Marine Insurance Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship (SSORC) today.

Division 1 of Middle Harbour Yacht Club’s (MHYC) 45th running of the event went to Victoire, Darryl Hodgkinson’s Carkeek 40. Victoire took a little over a minute out of Keiran Mulcahy’s King 40, Soozal and Bob Cox’s DK46, Nine Dragons in the race to Lion Island on Pittwater.

Hodgkinson explained, “I just got back from New Zealand last night and arrived at the boat today. We have a new Code Zero which we used and what a weapon! The wind hiked up to 15-16 knots and the sail was perfect. Holy moly, we flew. We were first out of the Heads and kept up with the TP52s all the way to the Island. Of course they got away from us upwind.”

Heading offshore to Lion Island – Andrea Francolini, SSORC pic

Commenting on conditions, the Sydney yachtsman, a past winner of the Rolex Sydney Hobart said, “It was a lovely day out. Sunny, breeze kicking in from 10-17 knots. The sea was a little lumpy, but nothing worth getting upset about.”

Over the moon with their win and his new sail, ‘Doctor Darryl’ continued, “They can go home tonight and worry about us, but I don’t think we’ll do as well on the windward/leewards tomorrow as we did offshore today.”

Division 2 went to MHYC stalwart, Peter Sorensen’s Advanced Philosophy, which in his words, “Cleaned up,” on his rivals. The Sydney 38 scored a five minute victory over Jack Stening and Colin Gunn’s Sydney 36, Stormaway and over 10 minutes to third placed Foreign Affair, the Farr 30 owned by Matt Wilkinson.

“We even beat Division 1 boats,” a chuffed ‘Sorro’ said. “I’m very pleased with myself and the crew. It’s good to know I’ve still got it at 80 years of age! “

The race started in a 12 -13 knot sou-sou-easterly. As day wore on it went from 145 degrees to 100 degrees on the offshore course, equating to a spinnaker run to Lion Island and a tight reach coming home.

Downwind offshore and conditions couldn’t be finer – Andrea Francolini, SSORC pic

“On the spinnaker run up, we stayed close inshore – that’s the golden rule – stay out of the southerly current. It paid off to go inshore and we went in dead square. Khaleesi and all those big boats (Division 1) went out to sea and when they came back in, they were with us.

“It was one of those lovely days on the water and all worked well today. I’ve got some pretty good guys on the boat and we sailed the boat well. We got there today because we went the right way and did the right things. Tomorrow is another day and a different race format…”

MHYC plans to run three windward/leeward races offshore tomorrow, which may mix the results up.

All information, including full results at:

Seven Islands Race on Sydney Harbour – 21st birthday gift on Renaissance

Andy Forbes Georgia Express got the gun in Division 1 of the fun Seven Islands Race. “We won,” said a pleased Forbes.

The Farr Mumm 36 successfully took on serial winner, Brian Lees and his Adams 10 Contentious and Charles Caskey’s Sydney 36 Cruiser/Racer, Onya to win the race.

“I had crew missing, so we raced with reduced numbers. We decided to go out and have fun, but the conditions were so good, we thought we’d go out and pass everyone we could!

Doing the ‘Rumba’ in the Seven Islands Race – Andrea Francolini, SSORC pic

Forbes said they enjoyed a fantastic run down the Harbour under spinnaker. “Once we got around Birkenhead, it was about ticking the boats off and keeping on going. We caught the last ones in the last 500 metres of the race.”

The fleet enjoyed a breeze of 17 knots that dropped down to 9 knots during the race.

“I was about using the right sails at the right time. We pretty much used the full inventory,” Forbes said, laughing.

“Everyone knows the boat well now, so sail it well together. We sail the boat with a 50/50 male female split and have debrief before and after each race. It was a golden day out and such fun,” Forbes ended.

A family outing on Gary Carless’ Renaissance, turned into a special 21st birthday celebration for his grandson Shannon. The Northshore 369 beat Simon Dunlop’s Ellipse and Chris Skinner’s Martela to claim the Division 2 bounty.

Getting into the Seven Islands Race groove – Andrea Francolini, SSORC pic

“We had three generations of Carless’ on the boat, the youngest, Shannon, turned 21 today,” said a thrilled Gary Carless. “There was myself, two of my sons, two grandsons and my wife Janice on board. We all enjoyed the day and it was a pretty nice way for Shannon to spend his 21st.

“It was a beautiful breeze,” Carless expounded. “We worked out of Middle Harbour, then cracked a spinnaker to Cockatoo and Spectacle Islands and worked back in a lovely 10-15 knot easterly. My family lined up for this race and the Sydney Harbour Regatta each year.

Held on the Harbour each year, the Seven Islands Race attracts a mixed keelboat fleet. It starts off MHYC pursuit style and the first to the finish post back at the Club claims the trophies in each division.

Full results:

Di Pearson/MHYC media

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