Rod Pearse’s Dehler 41 cruiser/racer Ultreya upset the regular offshore racing fleet today in winning the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron’s historic Gascoigne Cup sailed in strong north-westerly winds between Sydney Harbour and Botany Bay. However, Ultreya’s victory is provisional as a number of yachts are expected to seek redress because of a mix-up at the start of what was also race three of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Grant Thornton Short Ocean Pointscore.
Race officer David Reid said that Division 1 and 2 starts had been five minutes early as the race had included a multi-hull division, in which there had been no starters.
“For the first time in 26 years we made a mistake in the (countdown) to the start and I expect there will be protests against the race committee from yachts seeking redress,” Reid said after sending the fleet south to Botany Bay, rounding the Captain Cook buoy.
“Adding to our woes, we had steering problems with the mark laying boat and it would have been impossible to lay a leeward mark directly offshore for the west to north-westerly breeze,” he added.
The course south to Botany Bay gave the fleet a fast spinnaker reach and a work back to the Harbour, with Southern Excellence (Andrew Wenham) leading the fleet home, although not an entrant in the Gascoigne Cup.
Results from the RSYS show Paul Clitheroe’s Balance as first boat to finish among the Cup entrants with Ultreya taking first place on PHS handicaps from Ceilidh (Peter Williams) and Much Ado V (John and Michael Stephens).
Both Ultreya and Much Ado V, a Ker 11.7, are regular competitors in the RSYS Division 1 fleet rather than the Short Ocean Pointscore series.
Their performances were impressive against the more offshore-orientated boats, including several entrants for the 70th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
The Thelma Plate for Division 2 went to Soundtrack (John Amos) on corrected time from Crosshaven (Justin Pelly and Sean Rahilly) which had fastest time in this division. Third place went to Damien Parker’s Alpha Carinae.
The RSYS’s results for the Gascoigne Cup under IRC scoring saw Imagination (Robin Hawthorn) score a narrow win from Just a Dash (Philip Dash) and Nine Dragons (Bob Cox).
CYCA results show Southern Excellence taking first place the PHS scoring for the Gascoigne Cup race from Ultreya and Imagination while under the rated IRC scoring first place went to Imagination from Just a Dash and Nine Dragons.
IRC Division 2 went to Crosshaven from Saltshaker (Peter Franki) and Soundtrack (John Amos).
From Peter Campbell