Loading...
Loading...

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Transfusion Crowned 2016 Farr 40 Australian Champion - John Calvert-Jones Trophy

Guido Belgiorno-Nettis’ Transfusion overpowered the local contenders for a record sixth time at the Farr 40 National Championship: John Calvert-Jones Trophy.
Photo: Beth Morley / www.sportsailingphotography.com
Master international tactician John Kostecki helped furnish the dominant Middle Harbour Yacht Club crew with the highest accolades once again, a major boost to the team’s Rolex Farr 40 World Championship chances when Sydney hosts an international fleet in a couple of weeks’ time.
Photo: Beth Morley / www.sportsailingphotography.com
Luckily they had enough points in the bag that Transfusion wasn’t required to sail the last race. When they lined up for the start of race 10, Martin Hill’s Estate Master pushed them up, then when Transfusion lent over in a gust Hill’s mast spreader pierced Transfusion’s mainsail, bringing Belgiorno-Nettis’ day to a premature end.
Photo: Beth Morley / www.sportsailingphotography.com
“It was an unfortunate situation, the positive is we had three consistently good races at the front of the fleet to build on our position and we are very happy with our performance. John’s [Kostecki] an extremely tough taskmaster, he keeps us all organised. The crew mechanics are getting tighter and tighter the more we sail with him,” Belgiorno-Nettis said.
Photo: Beth Morley / www.sportsailingphotography.com
Lang Walker and his Kokomo crew staged a remarkable return to racing this weekend after two seasons off so Walker could sort out a dodgy hip. Kokomo (CYCA) finished runner up by five points after 10 races, new tactician David Chapman and the core crew members shoring up second overall with a boat of the day performance – 1,4,1,3.
Photo: Beth Morley / www.sportsailingphotography.com
“We were very close to Transfusion in pace upwind; downwind we need a bit more work. I think the offshore courses for the worlds will suit us better than the harbour courses,” Chapman said.
Photo: Beth Morley / www.sportsailingphotography.com
Walker tried out a new driving style downwind this series and Chapman said his skipper seemed comfortable moving from side to side. In terms of the local fleet Belgiorno-Nettis rates Kokomo  as the dark horse.
Photo: Beth Morley / www.sportsailingphotography.com
Estate Master (MHYC) worked its way back from the pre-start altercation with Transfusion to take the gun in the 10th and final race, moving them up to third on the series ladder. Jeff Carter’s Edake (MHYC) finished fourth overall and first Corinthian Farr 40.
Photo: Beth Morley / www.sportsailingphotography.com
Phil Yeomans, MHYC’s Principal Race Officer ran four races on Sydney Harbour’s Sound course area in breeze 8-14 knots and gusts up to 17. “It was a typical westerly, it would drop down to eight then gust up to 14, from no breeze at the first top mark to breeze on the next time around.”


Lisa Ratcliff

Smeg Show How It's Done - 18ft Skiffs, Australian Championship - Race 5 - Sydney Harbour

18ft Skiffs: Australian Championship, Race 5
Sunday, 31 January 2016, Sydney Harbour

The Smeg team of Lee Knapton, Mike McKensey and Ricky Bridge are the Australian 18ft Skiff champions following a consistently impressive regatta which concluded on Sydney Harbour today.
Photo: Frank Quealey
With two wins, one second placing and a fifth from the first four races the team finished the championship with a net total of nine points, five ahead of their nearest rival Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, Trent Barnabas, Dave O’Connor) on 14 points.
Photo: Frank Quealey
For Lee Knapton and Ricky Bridge, it is a double national championship-winning season as the pair combined with Peter Mackie in Brydens Compensation Lawyers to win the Australian 16 Footer Championship at Hervey Bay in December.
Photo: Frank Quealey
All final placings behind the first two teams are provisional as a protest by first race winner appliancesonline.com.au for average points, if upheld, would see that team move into third place overall.
Photo: Frank Quealey
At the moment, Triple M (John Sweeny, Rob Bell, Paul Montague) is third on 21 points, just ahead (on count-back) of Noakes Youth (Ash Rooklyn, Rhys Mara, Daniel Nixon), also on 21 points.
Photo: Frank Quealey
The top six overall placings are rounded out by Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney, Peter Harris, Joel Castle) on 23 points and Mojo Wine (James Ward, Phil Marshall, Rick Plain), also on 23 points.
Photo: Frank Quealey
While Smeg won the title, today’s race a triumph for the experienced Yandoo team of John Winning, Andrew Hay and Jim Beck. Yandoo’s team were superb in very difficult conditions as they scored an impressive 3m36s win over Triple M, with Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel a further 36s back in third place.
Photo: Frank Quealey
With a fluctuating WNW breeze, unusual sailing conditions for Sydney Harbour, today’s race was an important hit out for the JJ Giltinan Championship, which will be sailed from 13 to 21 February.
Photo: Frank Quealey
The newly crowned champion Smeg team elected to start at the pin end of the line and, along with Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin), Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones), Lumix (Andy Budgen) and Triple M, were soon battling for the lead.
Photo: Frank Quealey
As the fleet settled down for the work from Rose Bay to Kurraba Point, Smeg grabbed the lead off Clarke Island but shortly after the jib block exploded and the champions day was over. In typical Westerly fashion, the breeze at the western end of the course was much lighter and tested the closely bunched fleet for the lead.
Photo: Frank Quealey
Asko Appliances led by more than 20 seconds as spinnakers were set for the run across the harbour to the wing mark off Clarke Island. Yandoo was in second place, followed by Gotta Love It 7, Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel, Peroni (Nick Daly) and Triple M.
Photo: Frank Quealey
This leg and the following spinnaker leg back to the bottom mark off Rose Bay took a heavy toll on the fleet as many skiffs capsized and two collided (Appliancesonline.com.au and Compassmarkets.com) near the wing mark.
Photo: Frank Quealey
Gotta Love It 7 had taken the lead after Asko Appliances capsized, but when Gotta Love It 7 capsized near the Rose Bay mark, Yandoo took the lead and was never headed from that point. Triple M tried to match the boat speed of Yandoo but Winning and his crew were up to the challenge and continued the good form the team has shown over the first half of the season

Frank Quealey

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Tranny Takes Charge - Farr 40 Nationals - MHYC, Sydney

The Transfusion train is steaming away from the other carriages at the Farr 40 National Championship: John Calvert-Jones Trophy, leaving an almighty tussle for the minor placings with one day remaining.
Photo: Beth Morley / www.sportsailingphotography.com
Results on day two were widespread; Lang Walker’s Kokomo, Gordon Ketelbey’s Zen, Rob Pitts’ Double Black and Guido Belgiorno-Nettis’ Transfusion all scoring wins on Saturday January 30, 2016.
Photo: Beth Morley / www.sportsailingphotography.com
Transfusion leads Edake and Kokomo on series points after six races.
Photo: Beth Morley / www.sportsailingphotography.com
“The boats are really close, even the second and third time around the top mark there’s lots of yelling and calling for buoy room,” said international class president Martin Hill, now fourth on the ladder with Estate Master after a mixed day. “The Farr 40s are putting on great one design competition as always.”
Photo: Beth Morley / www.sportsailingphotography.com
Middle Harbour Yacht Club PRO Phil Yeomans ran race three in a fickle five knots near the Sow & Pigs reef. Marks were then re-laid further north, back at the Sound between South, Middle and North Heads, and races four, five and six ran in steady 10-12 knot sou’easters on one of the cleanest tracks of the season according to one skipper.
Photo: Beth Morley / www.sportsailingphotography.com
Racing was completed well before another storm front rolled in from the North West. The weekend’s unsettled weather and subtropical like conditions, 89% humidity and afternoon storms, are due to a complex low pressure system with multiple centres laying over New South Wales.
Photo: Beth Morley / www.sportsailingphotography.com
Martin and Lisa Hill’s day two was a rollercoaster; last in race 5 after Estate Master’s kite went under the bow during a drop, and third in race 6. Their speed is on par with the yardstick boats, it’s the lack of rhythm among the new crew that’s having an impact.
Photo: Beth Morley / www.sportsailingphotography.com
“Every race we were leading we have a story for not winning,” Martin Hill said. “Today reminded me how important teamwork is. We’ll sort out the coordination; we’d rather find out now than at the worlds! It’s great to be on home waters and terrific to see Transfusion, Kokomo and particularly Edake doing so well.”
Photo: Beth Morley / www.sportsailingphotography.com
Speaking about Estate Master’s return to the local circuit Hill added, “The Australian fleet is fantastic. Having sailed against the internationals recently, the overseas teams definitely won’t find it easy at the pre-worlds and Rolex Farr 40 World Championship on the harbour next month.”
Photo: Beth Morley / www.sportsailingphotography.com
The championship title’s final four races are scheduled tomorrow starting from 1100hrs and the Bureau of Meteorology is predicting variable winds around 10 knots becoming north-west to south-westerly 10-15 knots in the afternoon.
Photo: Beth Morley / www.sportsailingphotography.com
Team Transfusion is aiming for a record sixth Farr 40 National Championship: John Calvert-Jones Trophy class win tomorrow, and a second hometown world championship title in February. Their last world crown was in 2011 when Sydney hosted the pinnacle event.
Photo: Beth Morley / www.sportsailingphotography.com
For full results from Day 2 see>>>

Lisa Ratcliff

Friday, January 29, 2016

Storm Threatens Farr 40 Fleet - Day One - Farr 40 National Championship John Calvert-Jones Trophy,

Two races into the Farr 40’s Australian Championship the fleet was ordered ashore for safety reasons as an afternoon storm approached Sydney Harbour from the North West, bringing impressive lightning and heavy rain.
Photo: Beth Morley / www.sportsailingphotography.com  
The one design fleet of 10, the best roll-up in the class for some time, each have a carbon fibre mast pointing skyward and Principal Race Officer Phil Yeomans considered it prudent they be tied up at Middle Harbour Yacht Club rather than take a risk by staying out on the Sound, the area between North, Middle and South Head, when the storm unleashed.
Transfusion Photo: Beth Morley / www.sportsailingphotography.com  
The three leading boats are tied on five points, Guido Belgiorno-Nettis’ Transfusion ahead of Jeff Carter’s Edake and Lisa and Martin Hill’s Estate Master on a countback. Behind them results varied wildly, much like the weather. Lang Walker’s Kokomo went from first place in race 1 to last in race 2. Rob Pitts’ Double Black from Sandringham Yacht Club in Melbourne scored last in race 1 then fourth in race 2, their best result since joining the fleet.
Double Black Photo: Beth Morley / www.sportsailingphotography.com  
"We were very happy to be mixing it with Estate Master in both races with good uphill speed and matching them downhill,” said Carter as crews mooched around MHYC waiting for news on whether an early mark would be granted. Not because of the thunderstorm but the dead-zone left in its trail.
Photo: Beth Morley / www.sportsailingphotography.com  
“Estate Master are the ones we judge ourselves against, in terms of the international fleet here in Sydney for the worlds. They are on par with Transfusion and today we were on par with Estate,” Carter went on. “It was upsy downsy out there breeze-wise. Our crew work was much better than the NSW titles last weekend; we were a much more relaxed boat. We like to have the underdog tag,” the skipper admitted.

Race 1, a three-lapper, was sailed in 12 knot average nor’easters and race 2, a two-lapper from a new start line in nine knots with more east in it.

Pitts is happy to attribute their marked improvement to new tactician Steve McConaghy joining the program. “It’s great having a local on board who is super experienced. Our result is a huge improvement on the states where we tore the main on the first day. Steve’s doing the national series then the pre-worlds and the worlds with us, other than him we are an all-Victorian crew – now with a spring in our step!”

All owners agreed with the PRO’s plan of action to up-stumps as the bad weather approached and head ashore where the situation was monitored. Once the storm front passed Yeomans took the start boat out to find glassy conditions with barely any breeze coming from all directions so at 1500hrs racing was abandoned for the day.

“There’s nothing worse than being out on a boat in lightning and thunder,” said Yeomans. He’s never forgotten sailing as a teenager alongside a boat that was struck. “The lightning strike went along the shrouds and out the side of the boat; it could have been us. You don’t forget.”

For results see>>>

Lisa Ratcliff

Sunday, January 24, 2016

SMB Dominates Weather Beaten Fleet - Festival of Sails - Passage Race

The Festival of Sails’ Melbourne to Geelong Passage Race fleet arrived into sunny Geelong throughout Saturday afternoon, slightly weather-beaten and thankful to reach Corio Bay’s calm water having punched into morning rain squalls then 15 knot average headwinds for most of the 32 nautical miles.
Secret Men's Business Photo: Craig Greenhill :: Saltwater Images
Two start lines lessened the chaos for the 225 boat fleet, but there was at least one pre-start collision off Williamstown at the top of Port Phillip bay involving Cam Rae’s Poco Loco, which suffered damage. White boats and sails against grey skies and ocean paled in the soggy start conditions, fluorescent wet weather gear and the rare brightly coloured boat and insignia the only vibrant tints.
Photo: Craig Greenhill :: Saltwater Images
Start video https://www.facebook.com/Festival.of.Sails/videos/1253104451383454/
Photo: Craig Greenhill :: Saltwater Images
Adelaide businessman Geoff Boettcher and his TP52 Secret Mens Business took the line honours gun among the monohulls in a time of three hours 49 minutes and Tim Pepperrell and Rob Reiger’s trimaran Bare Essentials came flying to the finish line off Royal Geelong Yacht Club with one hull out of the water, to be the first multihull.
Photo: Craig Greenhill :: Saltwater Images
Video of Secret Mens Business https://www.facebook.com/Festival.of.Sails/videos/1253104451383454/
Photo: Craig Greenhill :: Saltwater Images
An overall win in the Rex Gorell Land Rover Rating Series division 1 for Paul Buchholz’s DK46 Extasea was a total surprise for RGYC crew. “We stuck with the big boys and thought we might have been fourth or fifth; a win is a total surprise, and we are a local boat!” the delighted skipper said. “We went right to the middle of the bay after getting stuck behind a tug boat and picked up the new breeze first. Last year we had a prang and had to withdraw after the third race, so this is brilliant!”

Introduced to the Festival’s extensive divisional list for the first time is the Optimum Time Super 11 division for asymmetric boats between 8.5m and 11.2m, or 28 - 36 feet. Rod Warren’s J111 called Joust from across the bay at Sandringham took the opening race under AMS handicap.

Two MC31s made their world premiere in today’s passage race as part of the Super 11 fleet. “The boat was brilliant, just amazing,” Rohan Veal said of the first outing for his MC31, 38 South Racing. Due to an incident yesterday his sails only arrived at the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria at 8am this morning and were hoisted for first the first time as they approached the start gate. This was after working until 10pm last night to tick all the boxes before the boat’s much anticipated debut.

At the rate the back-markers are charging up the Hopetoun Channel to Geelong, the last boats are due to arrive before sunset. PRO Denis Thompson says it’s been a straightforward race with winds either side of south and brilliant conditions for the finish, flat-water and clear skies, and up to 20 knots of breeze for the closing stretch.

The crew of Cam Rae’s Thompson 920 Poco Loco reckon they have four to six hours work to repair what looks like a shark bite taken out of the boat’s wing in a pre-start collision. During the passage race they bucketed out 500 litres of water and also need to establish where the leak is coming from before their Super 11 competition restarts from 1230hrs on Sunday January 24, 2016, with three short windward/leewards planned.

All divisions are racing tomorrow on multiple courses starting from midday with the multihulls. The forecast is for 15 knot southerlies.

Lisa Ratcliff

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Smeg Smokes The Fleet To Win Race 2 - 18 Foot Skiffs - Australian Championship

18ft Skiffs: Australian Championship, Race 2
Sunday, 17 January 2016, Sydney Harbour
Photo: Frank Quealey
The Smeg team of Lee Knapton, Ricky Bridge and Mike McKensey gave an outstanding performance in extremely tough conditions to dominate Race 2 of the Australian 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today.
Photo: Frank Quealey
After trailing in third place for the first two legs of the course, the Smeg boys gave no other team a chance as they powered away in the light, shifty ESE breeze which fully tested all crews as they searched for the best conditions.
Photo: Frank Quealey
Smeg crossed the finish line six minutes and three seconds ahead of Mojo Wine (James Ward, Phil Marshall, Rick Plain) with Ilve (Oliver Hartas, Mark Muirhead, Iain Wood) a further 23s back in third place. The victory also gives Smeg the lead in the championship with three more races still to be sailed.
Photo: Frank Quealey
Smeg has a total of 3 points, ahead of Race 1 winner Appliancesonline.co.au (David Witt) on 5, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) on 9, Triple M (John Sweeny) 12, Mojo Wine 13, with Noakes Youth (Ash Rooklyn) and De’Longhi (Simon Nearn) tied in sixth place on 14 points.
Photo: Frank Quealey
It was a long slow day for a number of the more fancied teams as they battled to pick the fluctuating breeze. The race from the start in Taylor Bay, across the harbour, to the windward mark in Rose Bay was critical and played a big part in what was to follow.
Photo: Frank Quealey
The lightweight Ilve crew, along with the rookie Mojo Wine team and the young Noakes Youth boys elected to sail across to the windward side of the course near Steel Point. Only Smeg, in the middle of the course, was able to separate the trio when Smeg was third behind Ilve and Mojo Wine as spinnakers were set for the long run down the harbour to Robertson Point.
Photo: Frank Quealey
The four skiffs had already established a break over the rest of the fleet while teams such as Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin), Appliancesonline.com.au and Yandoo (John Winning) were struggling back towards the tail of the fleet.
Photo: Frank Quealey
Racing became much closer behind the leaders at the Clarke Island windward mark where Smeg had grabbed a 25 second lead from Mojo Wine and Ilve.
Photo: Frank Quealey
Triple M had made a move to be in fourth place, followed by Noakes Youth and Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones), which had made a great recovery after a slow first windward leg when the crew elected to sail west of Shark Island and paid a heavy penalty.
Photo: Frank Quealey
Lumix (Brett Van Munster) was seventh, followed by Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, The Kitchen Maker (Andrew Chapman) and Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney). As Smeg continually increased her lead, the race for the minor placings was heating up as some of the big guns began to challenge Ilve and Mojo Wines.

Despite the challenges, it was a great credit to the two less experienced crews as they repelled their more experienced rivals and showed the overall strength of the Sydney fleet as it prepares for the JJ Giltinan Championship next month.

Follow the livestream race coverage here>>>

Frank Quealey