The finish of the final race for Division 1 of Bellerive Yacht Club/Tilford Auto Group Winter Series was a real nail-biter for Michael and Michelle Denney in their Z39 Wild West on Hobart’s River Derwent today.
Wild West took line honours and almost first place on PHS, beaten by one second on corrected time by Gary Cripps’ Chau Baby II. A close third was Ian Stewart’s Mumm 36 Tas Paints.
Then came a wait as BYC race officers calculated the overall result for the Winter Series.
Wild West and Tas Paints had both ended up with a net 11 points at the end of the five race series, but victory went to Wild West on a countback with a scorecard of (dns)-6-2-1-2 while Tas Paints had a series of 4-1-3-(5)-3. Chau Baby ended up third overall in Division 1, on 13 points.
The result was very much an eastern shore versus western shore outcome between prominent members of different clubs; Michael Denney is sailing manager of the Derwent Sailing Squadron, Ian Stewart is vice commodore of Bellerive Yacht Club.
BYC’s Winter Series ended on a sparkling late-winter morning – with more wind than forecast and some subsequent dramas on the water. The Alaska 45 Committee Boat recorded a gust of 28 knots during the middle of the race. However, most of the race was sailed in Northerly wind of 15-24 knots.
With today’s race 5 the decider of the series for Divisions 1 and 2, the starts of both fleet were fiercely contested.
Several boats broached downwind in the gusty conditions with some damage to sails and running rigging. Wildfire retired with an injured crewman (a knock to the nose) but recovered ashore.
Division 2 went down to the wire with prominent BYC member Chris Sheehan sailing Saga to an overall victory with a third in the final race. Saga did not win a race during the Winter Series but never placed worse than equal fifth to finish with a net 12 points, four points clear of Dave Willans’s Trouble. Southern Swordfish (Doug Barry) took third place on a countback from Excite (Robin White).
First Light (Ben Davidson) won the final race today from Pyxis (Chris Hadrill) and Saga.
Just one point separated Velsheda (Brian Bick) and Kama (Ron Cushion) in the overall pointscore for Division 3, with Innovator (Ian Smith) a close third. Winner of today’s Division 3 was Nirvana (Kerry Boden) from YNacht (Glenn Frame) and Kama.
The Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania’s final Winter Race is scheduled for next Sunday, 28 August, the Derwent Sailing Squadron’s series ended on Sunday, 4 September.
– Peter Campbell