ORCV Winter Series kicked off with 45 competitors out on Port Philip enjoying some close racing after the conclusion of the lockdown period last Saturday.

It was a race of 17 nautical miles sailed in tricky light-winds where boat speed can make any sailor a tactical genius, and the aim of the game on Saturday was certainly to settle the boat and pick the right sails.

John Newbold’s Reichel/Pugh 51 ‘Primitive Cool’ made it home first for Line Honours, mixing old and new crew for a great result after a one-year break from racing.  John Patterson’s Farr 45 ‘Rush’ – finished next to take both the overall and AMS division wins, followed by Gerry Cantwell’s Marten 49, ‘Carrera S’ only a minute behind, picking up first on ORCC. There was some great racing across the entire fleet, with the doublehanded fleet jostling for position and being won by Dan Morrow on ‘Affirmative Action’ (11 Metre One Design) in AMS and Richard Ekberg’s Sunfast 3300 ‘Ragnar’ in ORCC. John Strahan took out non-spinnaker division, aboard his Bavaria 44 yacht ‘True Colours’. 

The race course featured a longer leg out to the spoil grounds and back to mark T14, which saw boats who initially led off the line fighting to maintain their lead as the pack behind them carried better breeze across the bay. Gerry Cantwell commented that his Carrera S had a great race with Rush across to the spoil ground and right through to the finish, and that they enjoyed mixing with some fast boats as they look ahead on the racing calendar towards a Hobart, as well as next year’s 50th Anniversary King Island race. John Patterson from Rush also commented that the fleet stretched and then compressed again in the latter half of the race, as boats dodged around holes in the breeze and eroded the lead of those ahead. Overall Rush sailed a great race, making some good ground going upwind on the right hand side of the course, before fighting to keep those gains against the Marten49 whilst chasing hard for Primitive Cool.

Damien King’s Frers 61 Margaret Rintoul V was mixing with the front runners in her first race since moving to Melbourne less than three weeks ago, after a busy week preparing the boat with the help of Simon Dryden and Lowa Paszko. Damien along with four crew worked hard to keep their 20-ton yacht pushing some of the lighter boats in the field, enjoying the chance to power up the boat and get some data to compare against before the arrival of a new suite of sails later in the year. Damien intends to race the boat against many of Saturday’s competitors in this years’ Hobart, crewed by a lifelong group of friends who have grown up together racing cadets, 420s and 470s on the bay.

Congratulations to all boats and crew who took part in the first race of the ORCV Winter Series; the second race is scheduled for the 3rd of July and will see the steadily growing fleet racing to Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron. Get your entries in now, and find more information here: www.orcv.org.au/winter-series

Full results on this race can be found here www.orcv.org.au/results/ 
Sam Harrington
ORCV Media

Photos by Dave Hewison