Down to the wire

Race 9 of the CYCA’s Land Rover Winter Series has ensured a thrilling finale.

Photography by David Brogan

05 July 2017


After a couple of weekends of solid breeze, the fleet in Race 9 of the Land Rover Winter Series had to contend with lighter airs on Sunday, but while the wind was dropping, tensions were rising in the penultimate race of the series.

In Division A1 it was Paul Clitheroe’s TP52, Balance which took out the top spot ahead of Tony Kirby’s Ker 46, Patrice. The second placed finish puts Kirby in prime position to take the overall series win in the top division where he holds a 3-point lead over Sebastian Bohm’s The Goat, with Clitheroe’s Balance third.

In Division G it was another strong race for Michael Blaxell on the Peterson 30, Fiction, who have consistently placed across the series. The latest result all but guarantees them victory in the group but Sunday’s changeable conditions meant it wasn’t all plain sailing as Blaxell explained: “It was a reasonable breeze when we started and we had to catch a lot of boats”.


“We were going nicely early on, then as we went on the first run from Garden Island and over on to Lady Bay the wind had changed and started to drop down to 4 or 5 knots. We ran out of breeze totally after that and felt like anything could happen.”

“Fortunately, we got a south easterly out of Rose Bay with the spinnaker up and had enough of a puff to get us home. I can’t sail the last week so great to get a good result. We’ve been chipping away in the winter series for a few years and especially delighted to be in a strong position in the old boat.

“We have a good crew who’ve been with us for the last few years so we’ve been slowly learning how to make the boat go faster. It’s great for them to have got the win.”

In Division J2 it was a second-place finish for Ian Arthy’s Beneteau Oceanis 311, Jubilee. Although they were fighting hard to secure the win, the positive runner-up place puts them tied first with just one race to go.

Arthy commented, “I wasn’t on the boat but the skipper for the day was John Allen who showed great patience to finish as runner up in some light airs. We’ll have the same crew on for next weekend and they are targeting a win which will give us the overall series victory in our division.

“Needless to say, I will be following the race with great enthusiasm from afar and will look forward to the prize giving if we are successful.”

Divisional winners: Division A1 – Balance (Paul Clitheroe); Division A2 – Outlaw (A & T Quick); Division B – Lat Hurrah (P Bush); Division C – Quetzalcoatl (A Sweetapple, A Bruce and J Lee Warner); Division D – Crosshaven (S Rahilly & J Pelly); Division E – Carats (S Sweeney &  M Begg); Division F – Superfine (G Waldthausen); Division G – Fiction (M Blaxell); Division J1 – Star Ferry (J Conroy); Division J2 – Lorelei (M Farr).

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