Main and Summer Series at Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron

RSYS division 4 winner Hornblower and tall ships on Australia Day - RSYS 149th season
Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron’s 149th season of racing was held on Sydney Harbour. After 26 races over the summer, just eight seconds on corrected times has decided the overall winner of Division 4.

That eight seconds margin gave the Squadron’s Main Series pointscore to Hornblower, Peter Campbell and Steve Sweeney’s Bonbridge 27, by just one point from Richard Staines’ Hood 23 Esquise 2.

The two veterans of Harbour racing for more than 30 years went into last Saturday’s final summer pointscore race equal on points. In the light breeze that earlier had delayed the start of racing for more than an hour, Esquisse 2 led the Division 4 fleet around the course.

Esquisse 2 got the gun and waited, with her crew checking their watches as Hornblower sailed slowly to the finish line, crossing just 4 minutes and 12 seconds astern.

'The breeze was dying towards the end and I kept the boat on the same tack, just managing to lay the committee boat end of the line,' helmsman Steve Sweeney said. 'We knew that seconds count; had we had to make another tack we would have lost the race.'

Hornblower has had one of its best seasons in its 33 year racing history, winning the 2011-2012 RSYS Main and Summer Series and the RPEYC Main Series in Saturday racing, the 2011 RANA Equinox (Winter) Series and Admirals Trophy, and PHS Division 5 of the Sydney Harbour Regatta.

The Campbell clan had a good season, with the Sydney 36CR, ISuper, whose owner is also Squadron member Peter Campbell, winning the hard-fought Division 1 Main Series by just three points from Geoff and Debbie Davidson’s Beneteau 36.7, Jackie Clare.

RSYS Division 1 winner ISuper off Bradley - RSYS 149th season
Rob Cruse

ISuper also won the RPEYC pointscore, the Short Inshore Series, the Summer Series and finished second to Jackie Clare in the Spring Series.

Charles Curran’s 60-footer, Sydney, won the Division 1 IRC Series, also finishing third overall in the Main Series. Sydney won the IRC pointscore from Graeme Lambert’s Impetuous Too and ISuper.

Last Saturday’s final race went to Wine-Dark Sea (Peter Lowndes and Sarah Goddard-Jones).

In Division 2, the Main Series winner is Ambitous (David Matthews) with a five5 point margin from Bruce Millar’s Jessica Rabbit, third overall going to John Waring’s alouette. Jessica Rabbit won the Summer Series by just two points from Ambitous with alouette again third. Ambitous also won the RPEYC pointscore.

RSYS Division 3 winner Tingari - RSYS 149th season

Australia Day Regatta management committee chairman John Jeremy won his second successive Main Series in Division 3 with his East Coast 31, Tingari, with the result going down to the wire last Saturday. Tingari’s fifth place in the final race just managed to hold the winner’s berth from Robert Albert’s Norn, with Mingara III (Philip Crane) a close third overall.

Tingari also won the Spring and RPEYC Series while the Summer Series went to Casamajor (Charles Moore) which won the final race last Saturday. Second overall was Mingara III, third John Vickery’s Windsong 2.

The international one-design classes ended their season with the Autumn Championship Regatta mini series, with race officials managing to conduct three races despite the delayed start and light winds.

In the Etchells, Fifteen (David Clark and Andrew Smith) notched up a 1-3-1 scorecard while Alchemist (Richard Hammond and Roger Gain) scored 4-2-8 and Sun Tzu (Roger Hickman) had a 3-1-7 result.

Doyen of the Dragon class, octogenarian Gordon Ingate sailed Whimsical to a win in heat 2, with a fifth and fourth in the other races. However, Wizzardry (Andrew York) was the most consistent on the day, with a 2-1-2 scorecoard while Carl Ryves in Sidewinder came in 1-2-3.

The first heat of the Autumn Championship was also the 25th and last race in the Main Series pointscore for the Dragon class, with Sidewinder’s win clinching the series for Ryves from Liquidity (Richard Franklin and Damien Hannes) and Wizzardry.

Miss Pibb (Hamish Jarrett and Federico Lauro) scored three straight wins in the Autumn Series to wind up an outstanding season of racing in the Yngling class. Evie, helmed by former Olympic sailor Karyn Gojnich had three seconds.

The final race on the Squadron’s summer season for 2011-2012 will be the Varuna Cup on Saturday, 14 April, when the winners and top placegetters in each division and class meet in a handicap race around the buoys.

RSYS International Dragon pointscore winner Sidewinder - RSYS 149th season
Rob Cruse