Powerless Kraken clings to WA Blue Water Trophy

Talk with your hands – Knee Deep bowman Jayden Delfos signals the bear away after the yacht completed a timed run direct from Hillarys Yacht Club, through the start line, and to the day buoy in first place.
Bernie Kaaks - copyright
A third place in Saturday night’s Westcoaster Ocean Race was just sufficient for Todd Giraudo’s Hillarys-based Kraken to win IRC Division Two of this season’s Evolution Sails Blue Water Series.

Kraken, a Jeanneau Sunfast 3200 that was launched last winter, was hampered by electrical problems during the race and needed to deploy her emergency navigation lights and hand-held navigational aids.

Kraken finished the race one place behind her nearest rival, Anthony Kirke’s Archambault 35 Archimedes, resulting in a series tie that was resolved in Kraken’s favour on a count-back. Ian Holder’s Whiting 32 Bad Habits’ disappointing fourth in the race gave her third place in the series, two points behind Kraken and Archimedes. Holder, however, will be satisfied with his season, having secured his second successive Archambault Trophy two weeks ago with an overall third in the 235 nautical mile 50th Cape Naturaliste Race.

Kraken’s win was popular, as she was the only Division Two yacht to compete in all seven heats of the Blue Water series, in a double-handed format for all but the last race when a third crewman was brought aboard. Giraudo and crewman David 'Dubbo' White are looking forward to next season, when dedicated double-handed divisions will be in place for all races in both the Archambault and Blue Water series. Double-handed yachts will be in the mix to win the prestigious Siska Trophy, awarded to the overall IRC winner of the Blue Water series.

Don’t worry, be happy – Kraken crew relaxing before the sun went down and the lights went out.
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The Westcoaster Race, conducted by Fremantle Sailing Club over a new 72 nautical mile course going south to Mandurah and return, marked the final race of the 2011-12 offshore season. Conditions were perfect for the day/night race, with a consistent south-westerly breeze backing south-east after dark. With the IRC Division One Blue Water title and Siska Trophy having already been secured by Gary McNally’s GP42 Black Betty, which elected to rest after a busy season, the pressure was on for the Division One and Overall minor placings.

A third place in Division One and seventh Overall was enough to elevate Terry Posma’s tenacious Runnalls IRC39 Jaffa to second in both series, ahead of Trevor Taylor’s Marten 49 Optimus Prime, which remarkably held onto a podium position despite competing in only three of the seven races in the Blue Water series. Optimus Prime sailed east in December for the Sydney-Hobart race, staying in Melbourne for an extended east coast campaign.

The stand-out yacht in the Westcoaster results was Laurie & Maddie Flynne’s latest Beneteau First 34.7 Dynamic, which won Division Two and Overall IRC by more than 19 minutes. Archimedes was second in Division Two and Overall, beating Tony Mitchell’s Farr 47 Sled by two minutes in the Overall rankings. Sled was first in Division One IRC, defeating Phil Childs’ Farr 49 Knee Deep by a mere 44 seconds, with Jaffa third. Knee Deep took line honours in 10 hours and 26 minutes, finishing at 1.51am.

Victoria’s secret? Dynamic unveiled her new “fishnet” jib to good effect.
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