Winners announced as Sydney Harbour Regatta draws to a close

Middle Harbour Yacht Club’s 10th anniversary Sydney Harbour Regatta came to a close tonight with winners announced after what competitors described as “a perfect day’s sailing.”

Tony Kirby and his Patrice crew dominated IRC Division 1 again. Two wins a second place resulted in an eight and a half point victory over the local favourite, Bob Cox’s Nine Dragons. Matt Allen’s Ichi Ban (CYCA) moving up to take third place overall after a final race thriller.

“Can you believe it,” Kirby said. “Ichi Ban won the last race on corrected time by one second, with us tied for second place with Hollywood (Ray Roberts and his OneSails Racing). How often would you see that happen?”

Commenting on his overall victory, Kirby (CYCA), said: “We’re very happy, especially after last year at this regatta when we didn’t do well at all in the light air. It all came together well this time, the modifications have paid off. It’s good to win against competition of this calibre.”

Kirby spoke for all contesting the three IRC Divisions on the Macquarie Circle off South Head today. “It was much better than yesterday – it was a nice day all day. And the weather was much better than forecast,” he said of the 18-20 knot winds in Race 5. “Winds dropped to 10-12 knots in Race 6, which were still great for racing.”

Phil Dash’s JustADash did the host club proud by taking Division 2 by a large margin of eight points to second placed Adrian Van Bellen’s Jackpot (CYCA) which had just come off with multiple victories at his home Club’s offshore pointscores. Third place went to Robert Alder’s Occasional Coarse Language One (RPAYC) which finished tied for points with Jackpot.

Another local, Peter Sorensen, took Division 3 victory with his The Philosopher’s Club. ‘Sorro’ is often in the winner’s box; however, Matthew Bassett (Local Hero) got the better of Sorro today, winning all three races for second overall, just two points behind the winner.

Justin Brownbill moved up to third overall with Botany Access Cocomo. Keith LeCompte skippered and wife, double Olympian Nicky Bethwaite called tactics. “Today was 10 times better than forecast and 20 times better than yesterday,” Bethwaite said.

“It’s been a great weekend. I was struck yesterday by the buzz going here, and Denis Thompson (Principal Race Officer) is such a pro, which makes a great difference. The regatta was run well and the organisation is terrific. The atmosphere back at the Club after racing is fantastic – and a great opportunity to catch up with people you don’t see for ages.”

New State Champions in four classes

Hamish Jarrett has taken out the Yngling NSW Championship from Karyn Gojnich and crew who led yesterday. Jarrett (Miss Pibb) mirrored Olympian Gojnich’s results of yesterday, scoring 1-2-1 results to take the Championship by two and a half points. Gojnich finished equal third, first and third today to claim second place overall. 

In the Cavalier 28, Craig Mitchell sailed Centaurus into the lead yesterday and stayed there to be crowned new NSW champion after reeling off a second and a win in the last two races of their five-race series sailed on windward/leeward courses. Centaurus beat second placed Brian McConaghy’s U2 by just two points after their neck-and-neck stoush to the end.

Andrew York could not be beaten for the NSW title in the VX-One class. With an almost perfect scorecard of five wins and a third place with his ‘Speedwagon’, York, from a famous sailing family, well and truly earned the title. Fred Kasparek’s Weapon of Choice came into the day second overall and left the same way, eight points adrift of Speedwagon.

Tim Ryan (James) and Ray Entwistle (Jedi) shared first place coming into the final day of the J70 NSW Championship. Jedi got the better of James in the final two races today; you just can’t beat a pair of wins and so it was that James was relegated to second overall by a six-point deficit and Jedi is named the new state champion.

PHS – spinnaker and non-spinnaker

The three PHS spinnaker divisions were hotly contested all weekend. In Division 1, two Sydney 38’s battled it out to the end; Larki Missiris’ CommercialPTFinance and Dan Fitzgibbon’s Another Challenge finished first and second, just three points separating them.

For Fitzgibbon, the silver and gold medallist in the SKUD class at the 2008 and 2012 Paralympics respectively, it was the first major regatta he had sailed with his new program involving disabled and able-bodied sailors racing together. Joining Fitzgibbon for the Sydney Harbour was Liesl Tesch, his gold medal winning crew from the London Paralympics.

“We had such a good time,” Fitzgibbon commented this evening. “It’s great sailing a yacht; Another Challenge is my first foray into yacht racing and I’m loving it. Both the disabled and able-bodied sailors are learning skills from each other. We’ve got some young dinghy sailors and people like me and Liesl – and her partner Mark Thomson.

“Middle Harbour has been so welcoming to us and helpful. It’s a well-organised and run event and we hope to come back next year. We’ve done very well here and nearly won the final race, but we blew up the spinnaker near the finish. That’s yacht racing. To be so competitive at our first major event sailing against a lot of different boats was encouraging,” said Fitzgibbon whose only other big event was the Sydney 38 nationals last month.

Division 2 spoils went to Rob Aldis and his Joie De Vie. Two wins on his scorecard helped Aldis to a three-point victory over Paul Thompson and Brian Moore’s Shibumi after four races sailed on Sydney Harbour. Division 3 went to Douglas Russell’s Gingerbread Man by four points to second placed Darryl Coombs’ Heart of Gold. The racing was spectacular to watch with lots of boat-on-boat competition across the three divisions.

Andrew ‘Half-Ounce’ Parkes put together a gun crew aboard his and Mike West’s Xpress to take out the Production Boats X-Yacht class. Leading by two points coming into racing today, Parkes and his crew including Cameron Percival, Brad Stephens and Alby Pratt took it up another notch. They won Race 3 and tied for first with Ian Box’s Toybox 2 in Race 5, with Box, a past MHYC commodore, taking second overall.

“It started out really light before the breeze slowly filled in,” Parkes said. The pressure was a bit up and down in the first race, 9-10 knots which increased to around 16 up the first beat.

“By the second race it had settled in at 13-14 knots and we did a longer course. We had 15 degree shifts, but the pressure up and down with holes in the course was the hardest part to deal with,” said Parkes who said racing was very competitive, particularly at the starts.

Adams 10 

Rob Clarke sailed KickNChase to victory in the competitive Adams 10’s, defeating Mitch Miller’s Rock Solid and Matthew Watt’s Gogo by nine points when the latter two finished on equal points, Miller taking second place on countback. However, the biggest celebrations came from new owner Pat Delany and his Powderhulk, named for the bay he lives in.

Finishing fourth overall, Delany and his crew were celebrating at Middle Harbour Yacht Club like there was no tomorrow. The CEO of Fox Sports, Delaney says buying an Adams 10 was the best decision he has made for some time.

“I sailed the boat for the first time at Xmas. This has been a challenging regatta, but we won the last race, it’s been a real learning curve,” said Delany who had not sailed for 20 years.

“The reason I bought the boat is because I have an intense job. Sailing here at Middle Harbour is a great release. We’re having a wonderful time. I would tell anyone in an intense job to buy an Adams 10 – what an investment for 30 grand to get out with your mates – you can’t beat it,” he said.

At 6.00pm this evening, long-term sponsor Helly Hansen held a raffle and Sarah Parker was the lucky winner of $2000 worth of Helly Hansen product.

The official prize giving presentation will be held tomorrow evening from 6.30pm for a 7.00pm start. All divisional winners will go into a draw to win a trip for two to New Zealand for a six-night luxurious cruise around the Bay of Islands courtesy of Air New Zealand and Island Escape Cruises. The package is valued at over $9000.

A second draw will reward a lucky winner with an antifoul and lift courtesy of Sydney City Marine, while a third draw winner will receive a three-night holiday escape to Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays for two, courtesy of Hamilton Island. Accommodation at the Reef View Hotel includes a full buffet breakfast. (Airfares are not included).

Middle Harbour Yacht Club thanks the above sponsors and new major sponsor Trina Solar, one of the world's largest, most reputable solar PV manufacturers and has committed for two years to the Sydney Harbour Regatta

Divisional winners are to also take home prizes from long-term sponsor, Helly Hansen. The company also provided giveaways in the Skippers Bags.

All results are provisional pending protests. 

For results:

– Di Pearson  

Jeanneau JY60
Selden Asymetric Rib Technology
Race Yachts
West Systems
Race Yachts
West Systems