Sunday, April 19, 2015

Nine Dragons Wins IRC New South Wales Championship at Sail Port Stephens

Flat water, 12 knot south westerly winds and the backdrop of a darkening sky produced a magnificent track for the IRC fleet offshore and this afternoon the New South Wales fleet is holding up two new IRC state champions.
Nine Dragons Photo: Saltwater Images
Bob Cox’s Nine Dragons from Middle Harbour Yacht Club and Mark Griffith’s Old School from the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club ran stellar campaigns over the three day six race offshore series in the Providence Bay area of the Port Stephens Marine Park.
Photo: Saltwater Images
A hotly contested division 1 was in the end comfortably taken out by Cox’s DK46, the reigning national class B IRC champion. Eight and a half points off the new state champion was Stephen Barlow’s Farr 40, Forty (RSYS) with a hot shot young crew aboard in second and Tony Kirby’s Ker 46 Patrice (CYCA) placed third.
Forty Photo: Saltwater Images
“The 11 year-old DK proved it’s got plenty of life in it. When I looked at the list of entries prior to the regatta I thought it would be hard going. We knew we had to be consistent and keep ourselves up there. Bobby [Wilmot] our tactician did a terrific job of old school sailing without any electronics. We couldn’t have asked for a better regatta,” Cox said.
Photo: Saltwater Images
Off the back of an IRC division win at last year’s Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, runner up in division 2 Stephen Barlow thought he’d give the state champs a whirl and says Forty was sailed above expectations.
Old School Photo: Saltwater Images
“We had some pretty good guys on board with tactician Seve Jarvin, Joe Turner and John Flannery plus a whole lot of YSA guys from the CYCA. It was our first time at Sail Port Stephens and the forecast was perfect for us,” Barlow said.
Wild Rose Photo: Saltwater Images
Mark Griffith’s Sydney 38 Old School secured their top podium placing yesterday, Saturday April 18, and only needed to start today’s closing race. 

“It was a great series and surprisingly competitive. Even though we ended up with a big score and a fair way ahead on points, on the race course the margins were very tight. Whereas some of the other boats do better in certain conditions, Forty is competitive in a wide range; we are a good all-rounder. This Sail Port Stephens had the best conditions for a regatta I can remember,” Griffith said.

Roger Hickman’s Wild Rose (CYCA), last year’s NSW IRC titleholder, current Australian IRC class C champion and overall winner of the 2014 Sydney Hobart yacht race, sailed smartly as always but needed more oomph to push the old girl around the cans a little faster.

“Major congratulations to Old School along with all our competitors,” said the Wild Rose team this afternoon on social media. “We are pleased with our second place and are looking forward to seeing you all at Hamilton Island for the nationals.”

Third in division 2 was Peter Sorensen’s The Philosopher’s Club (MHYC), a two-time IRC national champion.

For full results see>>>

Lisa Ratcliff

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