Prince Philip Cup – More Fireworks on Sydney Harbour
Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron is hosting 2017 National Championship of the Australasian Dragon Class competing for the Prince Philip Cup (PPC). Competitors from the UK, Canada and all Australian Dragon venues are represented in the 19 strong fleet, including four boats from the recently formed Metung fleet in eastern Victoria.
The warm-up series for the Ted Albert Memorial Trophy blew any cobwebs away yesterday with winds gusting over 25 knots leading to several breakages but fortunately before the 'main' event.
Races 1 and 2 of the PPC were held in variable winds of 5 to 12 knots on Sydney Harbour with iconic backdrops formed by the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. East-northeasterly courses prevailed with the wind shifting slightly left late in the racing. In very fickle conditions the PRO, Jim Hawkins, did a great job setting the courses and overseeing some very competitive racing.
Race 1 saw boats going left from the pin looking good early but they soon fell into light winds and suffered badly while those more in the middle of the course held good lines thus establishing a significant break on the rest of the fleet. Liquidity AUS211 (Richard Franklin) did best in the shifting conditions rounding from Wizzardry AUS201 (Ray Chatfield) and Linnea AUS210 (Sandy Anderson). An immediate gybe at the top mark gave Linnea the lead which she held at the bottom mark from Ascalon AUS209 (Andrew Howe), these leaders having taken the left side downwind. Linnea dropped to 4th early on the next beat, with French Connection AUS211 (David Britten), Hooligan AUS226 (Andrew Blakney), and Liquidity making gains on the right but her crew picked the shifts well on the second half of the beat to re-establish a break by the last windward mark. Linnea held down the run to win from French Connection and Hooligan. A great effort from Hooligan, newly purchased to the Hobart fleet, in their first PPC race together.
Race 2 was lesson in sailing from Rob Campbell who, with his fellow Burnham on Crouch crewman Simon Cash and Robert Alpe from Sydney, sailing AUS218 Indulgence, led by a big margin soon after the start and maintained that lead to the finish. The forever-young Gordon Ingate (AUS217 Whimsical) had made a considerable gain on Indulgence down the first run but the lead was still comfortable. Whimsical and French Connection were together at the top mark the last time but a slip saw the bow on AUS217 go overboard; however, the strong arm of middleman David Giles quickly swept her back on board. This allowed French Connection to slip past to take second place from Whimsical and Hooligan.
So after day 1, French Connection leads Hooligan and Linnea overall but scores are very tight. Several boats have already scoring one bad result in two races and the drop does not come in until eight races are sailed. There’s no room for any more errors there!
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