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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Ichi Ban Wins Sydney Newcastle Race

Ichi Ban, Australia Yachting President Matt Allen's Carkeek 60, won line honours and the overall win  together with PHS in the Sydney Newcastle Race with an elapsed time of 8hrs, 36 mins crossing the finish line off Stockton Wharf at 18:36:30 Saturday night.

“It was an enjoyable race although a little damp at times. We had three sail changes moving from our light air sails to medium, then to heavy and dropping back to medium. The breeze got up to 22 knots at times but had backed off towards the end of the race,” Allen told CYCA Media.

“There were a few wind shifts to play with and not a lot of spinnaker work but we had a nice spinnaker run into Newcastle Harbour. We managed to clear out from the rest of the fleet early on but we could see the old girl (Southern Excellence II, the former Ichi Ban) some of the time. Visibility wasn’t all that good,” he added.

Southern Excellence II was the second boat to cross the finish line at 19:00:09, 24 minutes and 39 seconds behind Ichi Ban followed by Brindabella at 20:37:08.

The fleet of 21 started off Manly at 1000hours on Saturday morning in 4 knots of breeze from almost due north, after Race Officer Denis Thompson was forced to invoke the insufficient wind start sequence.

This sequence had the fleet motor in the company of the start vessel MV Offshore in the direction of Newcastle, until there was sufficient breeze for the smallest boats to achieve an average speed to arrive in the Newcastle finishing area before the 0000hours time limit.

“There was a total glass-out in the Harbour with the rain taking the breeze away, so we motored until we could find sufficient breeze to get the fleet away. Just off Manly, the rain showers cleared and a light northerly breeze trickled in, and racing commenced,” Thompson said

“Another rain shower came through shortly after the start and killed the breeze with Samarkand the last boat to cross the start line.”

At the 1635hrs radio position sked, Ichi Ban was off Catherine Hill Bay and had a distance of approximately 15 nautical miles to reach the finish line off Stockton Wharf. Andrew Wenham’s Volvo 70 Southern Excellence II (the former Ichi Ban) was three nautical miles behind.

Rolex Sydney Hobart winner Victoire (Darryl Hodgkinson) was the first to retire citing time constraints and she would not be the last. In all, 12 yachts retired all citing time constraints as their reason with only seven of the 21 boat fleet finishing the race.

For full race results see>>> /sysfile/downloads/2013-14summer/13_OPS/series.htm

Jennifer Crooks, CYCA Media

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