Words: Liz Rountree
Saturday’s Combined Clubs Long Race this Saturday kicks off a busy month of Summer yacht racing. Crews racing in the 4th round of the series hosted by the RYCT will be preparing for the club’s Bruny Island Race on the 10th of February as well as the BYC’s Crown Series at the end of the month.
With the exception of David Calvert’s team on Intrigue who lead Division 1 IRC and ORC with near perfect scores, results are tight across the board in all divisions. Jazz Player, who leads Div 1 on PHS sits in a solid 2nd place on both handicaps, with Joint Custody just behind on IRC and Sundowner chasing second on ORC with Joint Custody again behind by one point.
Heatwave Fish Frenzy and Dr Who are both within striking distance of podium positions, as well as Zephyr Insurance Masters who missed round 3 due to their Sydney to Hobart campaign. This weekend will be a chance for them to shave a few numbers off their scorecard and climb the rankings.
Gus McKay of Jazz Player secretly hopes that the remaining races this season use some of the Channel courses so the team cam “use some of that home ground advantage!”
A notable absence will be Andrew Jones and Team AdvantEdge, who plan to return to the Derwent in March. But while the big toy will be a non-starter, Jones plans to bring his new sports boat down later in the month for the Crown Series.
Meanwhile, the Fork in the Road will be on the racecourse, but skipper-owner Gary Smith is up in Geelong representing Tasmania at the Fireball World Championships.
In Div 2, IYKYK holds a narrow lead on all three handicaps, with Footloose just behind. The Dog House and Jigsaw sit in 3rd on IRC and ORC respectively, with Arunga and Xcite only a point behind in 4th. Many teams didn’t complete the first race of the season, so this is a chance for scores to shift as more teams put finishes on the scoreboard.
Joie de Vie leads Div 3 with 7 points, but Camlet Way and Astrolabe each sit on 8 and 9 points, making it a very tight competition, and anybody’s game. Astrolabe skipper Peter Bosworth reports that while the competition is exciting, more than a few teams are hoping the breeze will be a bit “friendlier” than the extreme winds Hobart has seen throughout the week.
“Preferably under 30 knots,” laughs Ben Morgan, skipper of Joie de Vie. Adding more seriously, “[We] always look forward to going sailing. And it has been a competitive season which is great – and we would love to encourage more entrants to keep that alive for next year.”
Combined Clubs Hosts: