The Longboat's Boxing Day raid on Cockburn Sound

The Longboat

The reward for getting your entry to the Cockburn Sound Regatta in on time is a ticket in a draw for a Dhu West rigid inflatable tender. Veteran yachtsman Ole Otness, who has campaigned his Adams designed The Longboat since the regatta was re-vitalised five years ago, was pulled from the barrel and returned home with a brand new tender. At the presentation ceremony on the final day, The Longboat received further good news, collecting the prize for the top boat in the regatta, following three handicap firsts in the Premier Cruising division and winning a weekend for two plus a personalized wine tour at Wignalls in Albany.

The tone for the Regatta hosted by Rockingham’s Cruising Yacht Club was set right from the feeder race on Boxing Day, when 26 yachts turned up at the Fremantle start line to enjoy perfect conditions in the southbound race. As expected, Garth Curran’s Walk on the Wild Side won line honours but had to work hard to beat Sue Sea and Optimus Prime to the line. The S&S34 Huckleberry, sailed by Phil Somerville won on handicap with Prime Factor, sailed by Max Pallaschi in second and Laurie Flynne’s Dynamic third.

Overall IRC results for division 1 were remarkably consistent throughout the regatta, with Dynamic finishing clearly ahead of Ryan Binedell’s S97 Low Flying Duck and Max Pallaschi’s Prime Factor.

Premier Cruising’s IRC trophy went to Lithium, ahead of Ole Otness’ The Longboat and Barry Walsh’s new Beneteau 44.7, Twitch, competing in her first race since arriving in Perth from Melbourne last month.

There were many boat for boat battles in the seven participating fleets, which added a great deal of interest to the results, but on handicap, overall placings were in doubt right to the final race on Wednesday morning. The popular Prime Factor won division 1, while in division 2 victory eventually went to Toby Byrne’s little J70 Jedi which showed remarkable downwind speed at times. With a first and fastest in the last race the boat captured the series win overall.

John Percy’s Bonanza finished second in the last race to cement a win in division 3 and by virtue of a first and fastest performance in the last race, Graeme Martin won the Jib and Main A Division by a single point. The Jib and Main B Divisions was won by Huckleberry and Darryl Brown’s big cat Just a Pussy won the Multihull division on a countback when it was locked on equal points with Greg Hill’s Whip It.

A feature of the regatta was the excellent handicapping. Going into the final race, there was not a single division which had a predictable certain winner. Division 2 began the final race with four boats separated by a single point! As usual at this time of year, winds were reliable, though a little lighter than normal.

The Kwinana Industries Council, the consultative body incorporating all major industries in the area, again sponsored the Cockburn Sound Regatta as part of its community support program supporting a healthy Cockburn Sound.

– Bernie Kaaks

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