Setting the pace

Matt Allen’s Ichi Ban continues to show the form that sees the Botin designed TP 52 firming as favourite for back-to-back overall Rolex Sydney Hobart wins.

Written by CYCA / Scott Alle

16 October 2018


Ichi ban secured both the IRC and ORCi Division win in the CYCA’s Newcastle Bass Island Race at the weekend, the third event in the Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore.

The 215 nautical mile race is one of the main qualifers for the Boxing Day classic, and proved ideal crew training for the 28 yachts which lined-up in the grey soupy twilight on Sydney Harbour last Friday evening.

The current Tattersall Cup holder, Allen and his Ichi Ban crew has made it three from three IRC wins so far in the prestigious Blue Water Pointscore Series. Allen, who is one the most seasoned ocean racing owners on the circuit knows the tight battle with the other TPs is just what’s needed in the lead-up to 26 December.

“There wasn’t much between the TP52s for the start of the Race all the way to Newcastle, we had great competition between the bigger boats in the fleet,” Allen said.


“We were able to utilise the continuing breeze transitions to our advantage in the second leg down to Wollongong. We had Voodoo in front, right in close to the shore and Patrice behind way out to sea, there were boats everywhere trying to make the most of the weather.”

“We’re really lucky to have great conditions for our boat so far in the series, and we’re hoping this continues through the back half. We’ve still got our sights set on the Rolex Sydney Hobart this year, I’ve mentioned before it’s been a long time between drinks, but it goes to show the competitive history of the great race.”

CYCA Rear Commodore Dr Sam Haynes’ TP52 Celestial claimed the PHS Division win, also performing well in IRC and ORCi with a second place for both. This, off the back of a strong placing in Race 1 of the series (Race 2 was a Did Not Compete due to upgrades to the yacht), sees Celestial in good stead for the second half of the Audi Centre Sydney BWPS.

Having to sit this race out recovering from a shoulder injury, Haynes himself spent nearly the duration of the 23-hour race glued to the Yacht Tracker, eagerly following his team’s campaign.

“Justin Ferris did an amazing job at the helm of Celestial,” Haynes said

“We’re happy with the performance of the boat. We’ve just completed major modifications to the keel and it looks to be paying off, however we’ll wait for more detailed analysis to make that call.

“This season’s campaign is focussed on the Blue Water Pointscore and of course the Rolex Sydney Hobart. We know how competitive it is with the TP52s and we’ll be going all-out again this year in the race to Hobart.”

The Audi Centre Sydney BWPS continues with Cabbage Tree Island Race, starting at 7pm Friday 9 November, which is the fourth race in the six-event series. With Yacht Tracker technology now rolled-out across the entire series, its proving a popular check-in with armchair sailors and offshore racing enthusiasts.




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