by Mike Sabey
Club Marine Series - Young Lion was roaring on Saturday as it wrapped up the gold medal for this season’s performance handicap division three, with what turns out to be its swan song regatta and a point to prove.
Veloce in an earlier heat - Club Marine Series
With a race to spare after bagging two wins and two thirds from five heats, Young Lion finished on 12 points well clear of Brendon Kruger’s Wave Length second with 31.5 pts.
Michael Manson skipper of the top performing Young 88 design Young Lion from Sandringham Yacht Club that has won three Club Marine Series second division titles in recent years said after the race:
'We were disappointed that Young Lion was dropped to division three this year, which had a big impact on my wife Sallie who sails onboard running the midship.
'So we decided to purchase a new French designed and built Archambault A31, which our regular six man crew from the last four years including bowman Robert Pollack will campaign up in division two next summer.'
Saturday’s second last day of racing in this year’s Series was a charity event for Challenge’s keep cancer at bay raising over $5,000 from the competing yachts.
With two convincing wins on Saturday, Alan Whiteley’s TP52 series leader Cougar II (SYC) etched its name onto the Division Zero IRC trophy (14 pts).
The only matter now to be decided in the last two heats – who will over take Robert Hanna’s TP52 Shogun in second place (32.5pts) whilst it is in Sydney doing the Audi National IRC series.
Phil Simpfendorfer Veloce (36 pts) with better recent form is likely to move up to second overall providing it can produce the goods in the final 13th and 14th heats.
In a day of swinging 12 – 17 knot south easterly breezes that favoured the brave who put their money on the left side of the course, none was rewarded better than Alan Woodward and his crew on the Royal Brighton based Beneteau 45 Reverie in the IRC division one that narrowly scored a win over Grant Botica’s Royal Yacht Club based Adams 10 Executive Decision.
However Bruce McCraken’s well sailed Beneteau 45 Ikon (Hobsons Bay YC) which leads the series on 10 points with two firsts and two thirds, only has to sail out the last heat to take home the series
Gate closes in Division Two IRC
With now only one race left, David Ellis’s new division two Archambault A31 Penfold Audi Sports (RYCV) on 8 pts holds a narrow 4 pt lead over Terry Hall’s Absolut (Sandringham YC 12 pts) which won on Saturday by almost a minute, but may have left its Series run too late.
The final Club Marine Series heats this season will be sailed on Saturday 9 April, to be conducted by Hobsons Bay Yacht Club with Division Zero starting at 1155 and all other divisions at 1355 hours.
Final 2011 Club Marine Series race day
9 April, 1155 and 1355 Hours – conducted by Hobsons Bay Yacht Club
Club Marine Insurance is the naming rights sponsor for the Series which was first staged in 1992. Club Marine is a long term supporter and active participant in the great Australian marine lifestyle, that includes recreational boating and racing.
As the country’s largest provider of pleasure craft insurance, it is also proud that it’s been protecting the insurance needs of Australian boaters for more than 40 years.
Club Marine Series website
Yachting Victoria website