Sail Port Stephens Commodore's Cup Day 3 – the wrap

Start line. Commodore’s Cup Day 3 Sail Port Stephens 2011
Sail Port Stephens Event Media
Sail Port Stephens Commodore's Cup 2011 day 3 and it was great weather for the record fleet.

After a classic offshore sailing day yesterday, the final day of the Commodore’s Cup at Sail Port Stephens 2011 provided the fleet an opportunity to explore Port Stephens.

Today’s Explore the Bay course took the fleet from Nelson Bay past Middle Island on the south side, past Soldiers Point, well up into the protected waters of West Arm and then home, this time via the north side of Middle Island. The course lengths for the Cruising Spinnaker and Cruising Non Spinnaker divisions were 14.3 and 13.1 nautical miles respectively.

After yesterday’s strong wind start there was more good breeze for today.

In the first start Division one, the Cruising with Spinnaker fleet, was pushed across the line early with the incoming tide. The second start for the Cruising Non Spinnaker competitors looked close and there was general relief when PRO Denis Thompson declared ‘clear start’.

John and Kim Clinton's Oceanis 50 cruiser Holy Cow was suddenly playing ‘racer’, right in the middle of the first row, with the Ian McNamara’s Farr 40 racer Iota, Ian Humphris’ Rhumb and Warren (Bucko) and Kristie Buchan’s Sayer 45 ColorTile. (After all last night the Cow girls and boys did say in a television interview they were serious racers not just gentlemen cruisers).

But as the breeze lightened the fleet began to separate. As boats moved towards West Arm yesterday’s line honours winner Graham Mobuckson Margaret Rintoul V stayed left, Iota in the middle and ColorTile on the right.

Behind them there was a stream of smaller boats on the correct side of the shift, Noel Gough’s eXcapade, Denis Cooper’s Amante and Wayne Taylor’s Northshore 38 Negotiator. And the right paid.

In the Cruising Non Spinnaker fleet, Jim Thomas’s 40.7 Dances with Waves was at the front of the pack, with arch rival Ron Jacob’s Mirage on the wrong side of the first beat.

Philippe Mengual‘s Sydney Hobart racer, the Beneteau First 40 Paca was well placed, as was Niven James’ Menace.

Up ahead in the race for Division 1 line honours a fascinating battle unfolded as the leaders approached the finish line. Iota ghosted along the shoreline towards d'Albora Marina, in less current in the last hour of the tide, just managing to keep her bigger rival ColorTile at bay in the dying conditions.

With excellent crew work and gentle gybes, Iota was sailing hotter angles down the last run, heading into the rocks and back out again while ColorTile was running softly square. Iota sailed to her second line honours win in three races.

Margaret Rintoul V was at least 500 metres back, again suffering in the light conditions.

Back in the distance there was a line of new pressure coming from the west and that turned the race results in favour of the smaller boats.

Handicap winner in the Division one today was local Corlette Point sailing club’s Michael Kirby's North Shore 38 She’s the One, ahead of Denis Cooper’s Sydney 36 and Wayne Taylor’s Northshore 38 Negotiator. Iota was eighth, ColorTile seventh and Margaret Rintoul V at the back of the pack on handicap.

In the overall Commodore’s Cup series Noel Gough’s Northshore NSX-38 racer eXcapade with a consistent 3,10, 9 record held out ColorTile, with today’s second place boosting Amante into third place overall.

eXcapade. Commodore's Cup day 3 Sail Port Stephens 2011
Sail Port Stephens Event Media

A good result for the Royal Motor Yacht Club Toronto (Lake Macquarie).

Dockside Noel Gough said ‘Very proud of our team effort - friends and mates today. I’ve sailed every one of the Sail Port Stephens regattas.

'We figured the race was all over for us today with the breeze dying but we had ten minutes of eight to nine knots and that blew us home.'

Series Results [EHC DIV S] up to Race 3
Place Ties Sail No Boat Name Skipper From Sers Score Race 3 Race 2 Race 1
1 3.0S 5223 EXCAPADE Noel Gough RMYC 22.0 9.0 10.0 3.0
2 67 COLORTILE Buchan Warren& Krist CSC&RMYC 22.0 7.0 4.0 11.0
3 6609 AMANTE Dennis Cooper CYCA 27.0 2.0 20.0 5.0
4 1.0S 6838 IOTA Peter Hewson LMYC 28.0 8.0 19.0 1.0
5 4.0S 6257 MAINSTAY Bradley Sewell SLMASC 28.0 4.0 22.0 2.0
6 6797 HOLY COW! John & Kim Clinton CYCA 28.0 6.0 2.0 20.0
7 5.0S B46 CHAMPAGNE ON ICE Alistair Bailey PSYC 30.0 5.0 7.0 18.0
8 MH115 BEAR NECESSITY Andrew Dally MHYC 30.0 13.0 11.0 6.0
9 1.0S 5713 SHES THE ONE Michael Kirby PSYC 31.0 1.0 8.0 22.0
10 6073 NOT SWISH Mick Hinchey NCYC 31.0 10.0 17.0 4.0

Niven and Angi James' Menace stormed home to take her second handicap win ahead of Greg Kowalski’s Bandaleni and Paca.

Overall Menace took the series from Dances with Waves and Mirage.

James, an aeronautical engineer at British Aerospace, Williamtown and John Simpson a builder, built two strip planked cedar 40 foot yachts, designed by Dennis Phillips. Menace and a sister ship Sharkface were constructed over an eight year period in their backyards at Blacksmith near Lake Macquarie.

Menace's maiden race was the 2009 Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race. She was 61st on line honours in the 2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart.

As the happy crew arrived to the Presentation Dinner at the Shoal Bay Resort and Spa this evening, James stopped long enough to comment ‘An awesome result, now we want to duplicate this result in the Sail Port Stephens Trophy series on the weekend.’

Bare Necessity (foreground) and Menace (sail M24) Commodore’s Cup day 3 Sail Port Stephens 2011
Sail Port Stephens Event Media


Series Results [EHC DIV N] up to Race 3
Place Ties Sail No Boat Name Skipper From Sers Score Race 3 Race 2 Race 1
1 M24 MENACE Niven James LMYC 10.0 1.0 1.0 8.0
2 6776 DANCES WITH WAVES Jim Thomas MYC 13.0 8.0 3.0 2.0
3 6885 MIRAGE Ron Jacobs RMYC 15.0 9.0 5.0 1.0
4 4.0S 6702 JOIE DE VIE Wayne Banks Smith RPAYC 21.0 4.0 4.0 13.0
5 5758 CAMPEADOR Jonathan Threlfall RSYS 21.0 6.0 8.0 7.0
6 500 ANTIPODES Greg Newton CYCA 24.0 5.0 2.0 17.0
7 6812 PACA Philippe Mengual CYCA 28.0 3.0 19.0 6.0
8 6892 STELLA BLUE Judy Readman ASC 29.0 7.0 17.0 5.0
9 TBA BANDALENI Greg Kowalski ASC 31.0 2.0 18.0 11.0
10 6403 ACCOUNTABILITY Murray Thompson RMYC 32.0 10.0 6.0 16.0


Tomorrow (Thursday 14th) will be a Lay Day, then on Friday the SB3 Nationals, the NSW IRC championships and the Sail Port Stephens Trophy series all commence.

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