Australia’s senior yacht club, the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron began its 153rd season of summer racing on Sydney Harbour today, introducing another huge season of sailing on this grand waterway.
Other clubs, including Middle Harbour Yacht Club and Sydney Amateur Sailing Club, will start their harbour racing next weekend while the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s first short ocean racing is scheduled for next Saturday, September 12.
Major events on the Harbour over the summer include the CYCA’s Big Boat , Challenge, Sail Sydney, the fnish of the Clipper Round the World Race leg from Albany in Western Australia, the start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, the Farr 40 Australian and World championships, and the spectacular Extreme Sailing Series.
Although the RSYS began its 2015-2016 racing season today, the Squadron’s traditional Opening Day will be held next Sunday with a colourful parade of sail and a garden party on the lawns at Kirribilli.
In today’s racing Charles Curran’s Sydney led the Division 1 fleet around the Harbour course to take line honours, but it was former Admiral’s Cup skipper Graeme Lambert who won the race on corrected time with his Sydney 36CR, Too Impetuous.
Jackie Clare (Geoff Davidson) finished second, third place going to Sydney.
In Division 2, first place went to Elipse II, Brian Bergin’s Elan 35, from Peter Davenport’s Dufour 40 Arctorus II, third to Ambitious, David Matthews’ J35.
Til the Fat Lady Sings, David’s Smith’s Sayer 25 outsailed the fleet in Division 3, but placed only 7th on corrected time, the winner being Mingara III, Philip Crane’s Nantucket. In second place was John Jeremy’s East Coast 31, TIngari, third to Jim Dunstan’s Currawong 30, Zeus II.
A fleet of 14 Etchells turned out for the opening race, with Richard Hammond taking line honours from with Alchemist by 32 seconds from Ciao (Doug McGain and Michael O’Brien), third place going to Wobbegong (Doug Flynn).
Small fleet contested the Dragon and Yngling classes, with Liquidity (Richard Franklin) winning the Dragons and Miss Pibb (Hamish Jarrett) the Yngling class.
Going into tomorrow’s final race of the CYCA Spring Series, past Commodore Howard Pigggott’s Flying Cloud leads Division 1 from Next (Phil Tompkins) and Chancelllor (Ted Tookers).
SInewave (Greg Mason and Barb Maunsell) leads Division 2 and Solveig (S & D McLean) head the pointscore in the non-spinnaker Division 3.
– Peter Campbell