Balance, Polaris winners in Lord Howe Island Race - Paul Clitheroe’s Balance, provisional winner of the IRC handicap division of the Hempel Paints 37th Gosford to Lord Howe Island Yacht Race.

Paul Clitheroe’s Balance has been confirmed as the provisional winner of the IRC handicap division of the Hempel Paints 37th Gosford to Lord Howe Island Yacht Race, with Chris Dawe’s Polaris of Belmont provisional winner of the PHS division.
The 2010 race will be remembered as one of the consistently toughest in the 37 year history of the race across the Tasman Sea. The fleet sailed into strengthening northerly headwinds right from the start, with rising seas out in the Tasman.
The seas took a heavy toll with eight of the 17 starters retiring, including line honours favourite The Stick which pulled out on the first night. After the start from Broken Bay on Saturday 30 Oct, all but one yacht, Copernicus, chose to head out to sea on long port tacks that saw them heading a long way south of the rhumbline. As they neared the longitude of Lord Howe they were forced to tack back north to the island, still into strong headwinds.
Copernicus instead short-tacked up the New South Wales Mid North Coast to Nelsons Bay before heading out to sea and was rewarded by finishing fourth and taking third place in the IRC division.
Ocean Affinity’s second successive line honours victory is an impressive qualifier for this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, as was that of Copernicus.
This is the first Lord Howe Island Race win for Balance, a Beneteau 45 from the CYCA, but the third PHS win for Polaris of Belmont, a Cole 43 from the Gosford Sailing Club that contested the first race to the island in 1974. She was also the IMS division winner as well as taking out PHS first place in 1997.
A late bid by Phil Bennett’s King Billy failed when she did not cross the line off Lord Howe Island’s coral lagoon until just before midnight, with Amante (Dennis Cooper) and King Billy finishing less than two minutes apart.
Balance finished second across the line to the Marten 49 Ocean Affinity and comfortably won the IRC division on corrected time from Ocean Affinity and Greg Zyner’s Radford 12 Copernicus from Manly Yacht Club.
Polaris of Belmont will be heading south for her 26th Sydney Hobart, the record for any individual yacht in the 628nm classic and owner Chris Dawe must be delighted with her determined effort in yet another Gosford to Lord Howe Island Race.
Peter Campbell

Search aircraft locates ‘missing’ Lord Howe Race yachtSearch aircraft locates ‘missing’ Lord Howe Race yacht

A search aircraft from Lord Howe Island late Wednesday 3 November located the ‘missing’ yacht Frantic which had been competing in the Hempel Paints Gosford to Lord Howe Island Yacht Race.
Frantic, skippered by Michael Martin from Lake Macquarie YC, had not been in radio contact with the race organisers, Gosford Sailing Club, since the start of the 414nm race across the Tasman Sea on Saturday 30 October.
The 11.9m Sayer-designed sloop was sighted about 200nm east of Newcastle on the NSW Central Coast and about the same distance south-west of Lord Howe Island. She was heading under sail back towards her home port.
“The Cessna aircraft was able to fly low enough to be certain that the yacht was not in any trouble and was making good time,” President of the Gosford Yacht Club, Andrew McDougall said.
“Initially, when the yacht had failed to radio her position after two consecutive radio ‘skeds’, we asked Frantic to fire a white flare shortly after midnight on Sunday. The crew of Frantic responded correctly and the flare was sighted by another competitor, Polaris of Belmont.
“The exercise underlines the efficient organisation set up by the club to deal with situations in such a long ocean race, which takes the fleet across more than 400nm of open sea,” he added.
Peter Campbell

Hard slog in  Melbourne to Stanley race - Addiction arrived with just a trisail.
First across the line was Brian Pattinson's (right) Open66 Gusto.
Only 11 boats arrived in Stanley in North West Tasmania from the fleet of 32 that started the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria’s 152nm Melbourne to Stanley Race on 30 October.
They certainly deserved their glory, for they had endured a lot of patches with no wind to speak of and almost unending rain in their quest to get across Bass Strait.
Ultimately, for those choosing to persevere, it would be two nights at sea, doing just about anything to keep the boat moving in the desired direction and sometimes accepting anywhere at all. Flapping sails, with the rain they collected and then deposited on the crews below them, were nearly enough to drive even the most ardent of ocean sailors mad.
Ultimately, the wind always arrives and this occurred just after breakfast on the Sunday, which brought enthusiasm back into the slurry of rain and sea spray.
First across the line was Brian Pattinson’s Open66 Gusto (formerly AAPT / Xena) at 0100hrs followed six and a half hours later by the Farr52 Goldfinger (Peter Blake & Kate Mitchell).
Around 9am, eXtasea (Paul Buchholz) made it to Stanley, hounded by rain, but pounding into the finish under strong reaching conditions.
It would not be enough to get the reigning Melbourne Offshore Champion handicap honours, however, as the now 25knot breeze brought the smaller vessels home, and with it, their improved chances for podium glory.
Addiction, making her first foray back into the ocean after a rebuild, also finished with significantly reduced sail up. She arrived with just a trisail, which is generally used in storm conditions. At least it shows they know where it is and how to use it.
Escapade (AMS winner), Yoko, Alien and Slinky Malinky (IRC and PHS winner) all surfed across the line. Mille Sabords was the final finisher at a little after 1pm and she had broken her steering chain, so was coming in under headsail alone and using her emergency tiller.
By the time presentations were done, the wind had gone past 35knots on its way to 45 knots and crews hastily added extra mooring lines to prevent boats from destroying themselves against the quay. It was an icy Westerly change that had hit.
For competitors the whole experience has been described by some as ‘character building’. No group showed more character, however, than our hosts, Sheryl Robson and the Smithton Lions Club, who braved all elements to ensure there was food and drinks available for all.
John Curnow

150 year rowing tradition revived - Sydney University Boat Club rowing eight crossing finish line off Riverview College.

Each year on the banks of the River Thames up to 250,000 spectators gather to cheer on their favourites in one of the great inter collegiate sporting traditions on the planet – the annual Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race.
Now after 150 years, a tradition started between Australia’s two great institutions of higher learning has been revived on the waters of Sydney Harbour.
Not since 1860 have rowing crews from Sydney and Melbourne Universities competed in an event of this nature. Then Melbourne Uni convincingly beat Sydney in a race staged on the Yarra River. In that race, Sydney Uni’s crew included Australia’s first Prime Minister Sir Edmund Barton.
On Sunday morning October 31 the two men’s eights and two women’s eights gathered on the shores of Leichhardt for a race from the Leichhardt Rowing Club to a finish line on the Lane Cove River adjacent St Ignatius College at Riverview.
In perfect conditions with a light nor’easter blowing the ladies from Melbourne trounced the Sydney girls by a margin of 36.31 seconds covering the 7.4km course in 24 minutes and 37 seconds.
Half an hour later the men set off with nothing more than a canvas between them from the Iron Cove Bridge to Cockatoo Island into the lane Cove River.
It wasn’t till rounding the point at Woolwich that the Sydney crew opened up a marginal lead as the two crews followed by a large flotilla of spectator craft headed for the finish.
On shore an enthusiastic crowd cheered the Sydney crew as they slid across the line 15 seconds ahead of the Melbourne boat covering the distance in 22 minutes 3 seconds avenging a defeat that has lingered for so long.
“We did it for Sir Edmund,” said Sydney boat captain Mitchell Estens.
Patrick Bollen

Sail Melbourne – share your sailing memories

As Victoria prepares to welcome the ISAF Sailing World Cup, Sail Melbourne, from December 12–18, 2010 event organisers have launched ‘Me and My Boat’ competition.
To enter, you are invited to submit your favourite sail-themed photograph at www.sailmelbourne.com.au
The winner will be treated to an exclusive Sail Melbourne experience for two including flights and accommodation; tickets to the Finals Day; dinner at Melbourne’s famous Press Club; be dazzled by Mary Poppins at Her Majesty’s Theatre and more …
Hurry! The competition closes on 3 December 2010.

Andrew York wins Dragon NSW championship on countback - Matt Whitnall skippering Taranui.
Andrew York, skippering Wizzardry, has been awarded the International Dragon NSW championship on a countback after he and Matt Whitnall, at the helm of Taranui, finished equal on points at the end of the eight heat NSW championship.
Taranui came from behind to level with Wizzardy in Sunday’s final three races, but with three firsts to Taranui’s one win, the countback went to Andrew York and his crew of Matt Ramaley (mainsheet) and Craig Young (bow).
The Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron conducted the regatta over the extended November weekend with two races sailed Friday 5th, three on Saturday and the final three on Sunday in a wide range of conditions on the harbour, from a ‘lottery’ on Friday to perfect weather for the final day.
The championship is a significant event as a lead-up for the strong New South Wales contingent entered for the Prince Philip Cup and the World championship for the evergreen Dragon class on Melbourne’s Port Phillip in early January. At least eight of the crews who contested the States will be going south.
York, a former Australian Laser dinghy champion and two-times America’s Cup crew member (Advance in 1983 and Kookaburra in 1987) is in only his second season in the Dragon class while Whitnall returned to racing Dragons on the Harbour after a break of 12 months.
“I crewed with Gordon Ingate in Whim when we finished a close second to Nick Rogers in the Prince Philip Cup on Sydney Harbour in 2009 and really got the taste for sailing Dragons,” York said after his State title win.
Andrew York at the helm of Wizzardry.York set a cracker pace, starting with two wins on Friday and a third first place, along with a second and a ninth, on Saturday. This placed Wizardry on five points with one discard after five heats, while Taranui was on 15 points with a scorecard of 5-5-4-3-3 at that stage of the regatta.
Whitnall threw down the gauntlet with a win in the first race on Sunday and followed this with two seconds to level the score after York had placings of 3-7-5. Carl Ryves in Sidewinder finished a close third on 22 points with a scorecard of 2-2-1-10-2-2-11-3.
In addition to York, Whitnall and Ryves, other heat winners were Liquidity (Richard Franklin & Damien Hannes), French Connection (Anthony Armstrong) and Linnea (Sandy Anderson).
Peter Campbell

Countback decides close Yngling NSW championshipCountback decides close Yngling NSW championship

A countback has decided the International Yngling NSW championship conducted by the Royal Sydney Squadron after any one of three boats could have taken the title in the last race of the six heat series on Sydney Harbour over the weekend of 6-7 November.
The new champion is Karma, steered by Gary Wogas with his crew of Sandy Fesq and Ruth McCann, ending the four year winning streak of Hamish Jarrett, sailing his new boat Miss Pibb.
While Karma and Miss Pibb each finished on 10 points, only one point back was Olympic sailor Karyn Gojnich sailing Evie, indicative of the keen competition building up in the Yngling fleet with the Squadron to host the World championship in January 2012.
Each of the three top placegetters won a race on Sunday, leaving the final race as the decider. Karyn Gojnich and her crew of husband John and Helen Imey in Evie could win the championship on a countback if they beat Karma, Miss Pibb needed to beat them both for Jarrett to retain the title.
In the end, Karma won the final race from Evie with defending champion Hamish Jarrett and his crew of Frederico Lauro and May Hayman placing third. Karma and Miss Pibb both finished on 10 points, Evie on 11. The countback went Karma’s way with two wins to Miss Pibb’s one win.
Peter Campbell
Guido Belgiorno Nettis’s Transfusion.

Transfusion wins 2010 Pittwater Farr 40 regatta

Two days of racing off Palm Beach in Sydney’s north has delivered the 2010 Pittwater Farr 40 regatta win to Guido Belgiorno Nettis’s Transfusion.
The fleet, which had two new teams lining up for this Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club conducted event, raced six races over the two days at the end of October and the weather gods provided plenty of breeze and swell, giving the six boat fleet a taste of what’s to come over this season for the Farr 40s.
Joining the fleet from Sydney was Ivan Resnekov’s Impi and from New Zealand Brett Neill’s White Cloud.
On Day one of racing things were kicked off with a consistent Nor’east breeze that ranged between 13-20 knots for the three races of the day.
Winners of the 2010 Peppers F40 regatta, Lisa and Martin Hill’s Estate Master started off the regatta with a win in the first race and the New Zealanders made their presence felt shadowing Transfusion for the entire race. A protest resulted in White Cloud being scored DSQ for this race and gave second place to Transfusion and maximum points to the New Zealanders.
Estate Master, White Cloud and Easy Tiger II.The second day of racing provided a similar breeze but a greatly increased seaway and swell which stretched the fleet out across the race course. Race four and it was Transfusion’s turn to take the gun with Estate Master in second and White Cloud in third. The swell provided plenty of challenges and teams had to gybe on the back of a large seaway on both runs downwind.
Race five was taken again by Transfusion with White Cloud second. An extremely close finish between Jeff Carter’s Twin Edake and Estate Master resulted in Twin Edake being awarded third and Estate Master fourth which set the scene for a very tactical final race.
In the final race, White Cloud showed the fleet a clean set of heels and extended on their lead for the two laps around the course. A game of cat and mouse and a gybeing duel between Estate Master and Transfusion provided Chris Way’s Easy Tiger II with the opportunity to capitalise on the situation and manoeuvre through to second place over the line with Estate Master finishing third and Transfusion fourth.
This gave Transfusion a one point separation in the final points and the regatta win.
Sam Crichton

Temptation from deep south of Tasmania wins The ShowdownTemptation from deep south of Tasmania wins The Showdown

Port Esperence Sailing Club at Dover in the far south of Tasmania is arguably the southernmost yacht club in Australia and prominent member Steve Harrison plans to place it firmly in the national spotlight and even tempt visitors to Dover.
He has started on a positive note by sailing his new Thompson 7 Temptation to an overall victory in the hard-fought sports boat division of The Showdown regatta sailed on Hobart’s River Derwent over the last weekend in October.
In his first regatta with his new boat, Harrison clinched victory with a final day first and third place to overtake series leader Harcourts, Brett Cooper’s SB3 from the host club, the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania. Stephen Catchpool’s SB3 Hypertronics was third.
“We are putting a big effort into this campaign, competing in all the Tasmanian Sports Boat Association regattas, then taking the boat to the Geelong and Airlie Beach race weeks and possibly the Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta,” said Harrison who is also organising the annual Dover Regatta.
Jenny Graney after winning the International Mirror class at The Showdown.Another winning skipper planning a major mainland campaign was Jenny Graney. She has been sailing International Mirror dinghies since she was a slip of girl, as crew and as a skipper, and her performance in the regatta left no doubt as to her ongoing skills after 30 years in the class.
‘Mrs Mirror’, as she is affectionately known, won the International Mirror class sailing Carpe Diem from the Kingston Beach Sailing Club, with crew Susan Revill.
The Mirror sailors are training hard for the 2011 world championships to be sailed at Albany, Western Australia, in January, with most of the competitors in the fleet heading for the worlds. Jenny is already a two times Masters world champion as crew and this time will be aiming to win as a helmsperson.
Andrew Hunn with the Farr 40 Voodoo Chile, won a hard-fought series with Wired, helmed by Sam Boyes. Both boats will be entering the 2011 Farr 40 Australian and World championship to be sailed in Sydney in March.
Also as part of his preparation for International Dragon class worlds in Melbourne in January, Nick Rogers steering Karabos IX from the RYCT won four of the five races
In another impressive effort, paraplegic Matt Bugg won every race in the 2.4m class, sailing Supermodel, underlining his strong prospects of representing Australia at the 2012 London Paralympics.
In the keelboats, Andrew Sutherland’s Farr 37 Silver Mist clinched victory under PHS scoring with a fourth and a first in Division 1, also winning the regatta on IRC ratings. However, she could not match Don Calvert’s Castro 40 Intrigue under AMS ratings, the former Admiral’s Cup team yacht coming through the regatta unbeaten.
In Division 2, Peter Bingham sailed his J24 Street Car to a close win from Derek Inglis’s Rouseabout, with a first and a second on the final day, while Priscilla (John Dryden) won Division 4.
Peter Campbell

Hawkesbury  Canoe Classic - Competitors finish in the pre-dawn darkness at Brooklyn after a 111km race from Windsor.
Weather played a major role in the 34th annual Hawkesbury Canoe Classic on the weekend of Oct 23-24.
Thunderstorms skirted around the start line at Windsor throughout the Saturday and although they left the venue unscathed the prediction of a southerly buster coming through during the night caused many paddlers to don an extra layer of protective clothing. The result was overheating, which led to a variety of problems.
Around 400 kayaks and canoes left Windsor in a series of nine wave-starts between 4pm and 6pm for the 111km overnight race to Brooklyn. The leaders, arriving shortly after 2am on Sunday, had calm water and a balmy evening right through.
But the bulk of the fleet got hit by a southerly change which made conditions hazardous for the final 10km down the straight from Spencer. Although not as severe as forecast, head-on wind and rain and waves up to a metre high capsized many competitors, particularly the tippy racing kayaks.
Race controller Roger Deane reported one paddler on a surf ski finishing up in the water nine times. At 7am he closed the race at Spencer, with only about 30 competitors still to pass that point.
There were many rescues, one of the most ironic being Richard Andrews, the first person ever to do the race in a canoe polo boat – which is just about as slow as anything you can paddle – rescuing a fellow paddler who had come out of a K1, the fastest of all kayaks.
Line honours went to Matt Blundell from Prokayaks at Narrabeen, whose time of 8h 35m 36s was a frustrating 6m 8s outside the open K1 record held by Paul Lancaster since 1996. He was 13th on handicap.
The prestigious handicap title went to the double of Paul Carter and Stephen Monger with a corrected time in the over-50 Long Rec2 class 9.07.18. Second was Su Pretto in 9.10.49 in the ladies over-40 TK1. Third went to grizzled veteran Tom Simmat, just back from winning the Yukon 1000 in Canada and Alaska (over a distance equal to Sydney to Alice Springs) in the over-60 Medium Rec1 in 9.11.19.
The race attracted a vast assortment of craft – everything from Olympic class K1s to 6-man outriggers. Among the more adventurous were Sydney consulting engineer Richard Barnes (who has paddled around Tasmania) and work colleague James Terpening in twin 3m Liquid Logic Remix estuary fishing kayaks, only half the length of most other craft.
The Classic is expected to raise several hundred thousand dollars for the Arrow Bone Marrow Transplant Foundation.
For full results go to www.canoeclassic.asn.au.
Justin Paine