Summer chill for Combined Clubs fleet on the Derwent

Bellerive Yacht Club’s Jeff Cordell and his Mumm 36, Host plus Executive, have emerged as the top performing yacht in Group 1 of the pre-Christmas racing for the Combined Clubs Harbour Series.

Host Plus Executive did not win a race on the Derwent yesterday, settling for second placings in two of the three handicap categories in each of the two windward/return races. However, consistent placings in the nine races sailed so far, including several wins, have seen the well-sailed Mumm 36 head the PHS category, share equal first in the AMS category, and be a close second under AMS scoring.

For crews who dressed for the weather, a maximum of 13 degrees on a ‘summer’ afternoon, it was a perfect day for the final pre-Christmas Combined Clubs Harbour Series. The sou’easterly breeze kicked in at 17 knots, gusting to 23 knots and Derwent Sailing Squadron race officers set excellent courses on the Derwent that provided tactical windward legs and long spinnaker downwind legs.

This was the fifth day of Combined Clubs Harbour racing for 2014, with crews enjoying fast and exhilarating spinnaker runs for both the mid-river fleets and the two groups that sailed a long harbour race.

X&Y, Toby Richardson’s fast Barrett 38 was one boat to encounter spinnaker problems , with the big blue sail ‘going prawning’ at the leeward mark in the first race for Group 1. X&Y retired from this race but was back for the second windward/leeward race.

After nine races for Group 1 yachts, Host Plus Executive holds a one point lead in the PHS category from Paul Boutchard’s J35, Mem, which notched up a first and third yesterday. Third overall is Stephen Boyes’ Farr 40 Wired which took line honours in both races yesterday.

Another Bellerive yacht, Harold Clark’s Farr 1104 Invincible, continued its dominance of the AMS category in Group 1, winning both races on corrected time yesterday. This gives Invincible a three point margin over Host Plus Executive, going into the New Year racing.

Don Calvert’s Castro 40 Intrigue won both races under IRC scoring to share first place overall after nine races from Host Plus Executive.

Division 2 also sailed two windward/leeward races with Derwent Sailing Squadron Vice Commodore Steve Chau and Scott Brain’s Young 88, Young Lion, holding the overall pointscore with a second and a fourth place.

Rousabout (Graham Inglis) won the first race on corrected time from Young Lion and Hot August Night (Nat Morgan) which went on to win race two, with Rousabout second and Trouble (Dave Willans) third.

Launceston to Hobart Race veteran Kaiulani (Malcolm Cooper) won the Group 4 race yesterday and is now only point behind pointscore leader Chicas (John Lewis) which placed fifth in the race. Kaiulani won yesterday’s race from John Hunn’s Atilla and Charles Peacock’s Serica.

In Group 6, Peter Bosworth’s Astrolabe won today’s race to take the overall pointscore lead, three points ahead of Nigel Johnson’s Ingenue with Kamehameha (Frank Chatterton) just one point back. Second to Astrolabe today was Tom Kirkland’s Ragtime, third going to Don’t Bug Me, skippered by Peter Bugg. A fleet of 12 yachts raced in Group 6, the largest in the Harbour Series fleet.

– Peter Campbell 

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