Prince Philip Cup Regatta - Demanding conditions on final day

Racing on the final day - Prince Philip Cup Regatta 2012
Rob Cruse
Prince Philip Cup Regatta, organised by the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, final day of racing got underway on Hobart’s River Derwent.

Nick Rogers had already won the Prince Philip Cup after six races in his Dragon class yacht, Karabos IX, but he went out to prove a point by sailing in the seventh and final race today, and notched up an extraordinary fifth win in the regatta, by just two seconds.

Rogers clinched his 11th Prince Cup, the Australasian championship for the classic International Dragon class, with a first and a second on Thursday, but elected to sail in the final race.

Sailing in choppy seas, whipped up by a fresh southerly breeze of 17-18 knots, gusting to 24 knots, the fleet had the strongest wind of the week long regatta, giving crews some challenging downwind sailing.

Race officer Biddy Badenach chose a down-river course, with the start line east of the John Garrow Light, the windward mark further south of Taroona. Unfortunately, there was a 45 minute delay in the late morning start with the mark laying boat having to make long trip back to the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania at Sandy Bay to get a replacement windward mark.

The breeze was edging to 25 knots and more, the maximum for Dragon racing under class rules, but just before the start, it eased slightly and racing got underway in still demanding conditions.

With the lead changing several times, Rogers rounded the final windward mark close astern of Sydney entrant Shapes, skippered by newly elected Australian president of the International Dragon Association,Wolf Breit, and immediately sat on the leading yacht’s quarter wave as they surfed downwind under spinnaker to the finish.

Just metres from the finish, Karabos IX got her bow in front, surfing to a winning margin of two seconds, less than half a metre in boat length. 'It was an amazing finish to a great regatta for the Dragon class,' said Rogers who has now won the Prince Philip Cup ten times as a helmsman and once as a crew. Karabox IX is a Tasmanian built Ridgeway Dragon.

British yachtsman Robert Campbell survived the ‘death rolls’ on the last spinnaker run at the helm of Indulgence to finish in sixth place in the final race, taking second place overall on a countback from Shapes (Wolf Breit), with Ridgeway (Steven Shield) finishing fourth in race seven and fourth overall.

Prince Philip Cup 2012, final top seven placegetters:
1. Karabos IX (Nick Rogers, Leigh Behrens, Simon Burrows, RYCT) 1-1-(2)-1-1-21, 7 pts
2. Indulgence (Robert Campbell, Rene Nel, Simon Cash, GBR) 2-2-5-5-(10)-3-6, 23 pts
3. Shapes (Wolf Breit, Roger Hickman, Dan Morrow, RSYS) 5-6-4-2-4-(9)-2, 23 pts
4. Ridgeway (Steven Shield, Elliott Noye, George Jones, RYCT) 3-5-1-10-(12)-1-4, 24 pts
5. Aquila (Jock Young, Ian Ross, Nick Jones, RYCT) 6-3-3-(DNF)-7-5-9, 32 pts
6. Freycinet (Wayne Wagg, Peter Bingham, Des Sward, RYCT) (10)-4-10-4-6-8-3, 35 pts
7. Linnea (Sandy Anderson, John Moncrieff, John Low, RFBYC) (8)-7-7-6-5-4-7, 36 pts

Prince Philip Cup champions aboard Karabos IX, bowman Simon Burrows, helmsman Nick Rogers and mainsheet trimmer Leigh Behren - Prince Philip Cup Regatta 2012
Rob Cruse

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