Khaleesi and JustADash in winners circle at SSORC
Following the conclusion of racing, Andrew and Pauline Dally’s DK46 and Phil Dash’s JustADash have claimed the major trophies at the 38th Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship (SSORC), hosted by Middle Harbour Yacht Club.
In one of the closest series, Khaleesi finished one point better than her stablemate and fellow MHYC member, Nine Dragons, owned by Bob Cox, taking the Division 1 spoils courtesy of winning Race 2, a windward/leeward course, which kick-started racing today.
Khaleesi, representing the host club, finished yesterday in a comfortable second place, ahead of winning Race 2 and then finishing third in the short offshore triangle race which followed a short time later.
One of the last three major offshore events prior to the Rolex Sydney Hobart, Andrew Dally said today’s first race was extremely tough.
“The seaway was horrendous – very lumpy – it’s hard helming when it’s like that. That being said, we had a good 10-15 knot north-easterly and the racing between us and Nine Dragons could not have been closer,” Dally said.
“We were neck and neck and neck around the course, within half a second of each other down the first run. It was absolutely awesome.
“In the second race, we made a wrong sail choice and they got away. We pulled them back a little, but finished sixth to their third – so it was a very close series and we’re absolutely excited and thrilled to win,” said Dally who went on to sing the praises of wife, Pauline, who apart from navigating them this weekend, also prepared the boat as Dally was away.
Bob Steel’s new Mat 1180, Quest, was third, and Dally said Khaleesi and Nine Dragons continually pushing each other at regattas helped him overcome challenges from Steel’s boat.
“They are so quick on the reach. It’s like we’re standing still as they rocket past. We really had to make up time upwind, which meant correct sail selection and fluid crew work.”
This is only the second time Khaleesi has beaten Nine Dragons at a major event. She won the CYCA Trophy in December last year, with Nine Dragons fourth and now the SSORC on home turf.
JustADash secured her second consecutive Division 2 victory. Capitalising on his win of yesterday, Dash steered his Beneteau First 40 to two further wins to take the division with a perfect score from Ian Box’s XP44, Toybox 2 and Magic, the modified Mumm 36 owned by Peter McNamara, who has recently returned to sailing following a hiatus of some two years.
Dash said today, that despite the scoreboard, Toybox 2, in particular, had kept the JustADash crew on their toes all weekend.
“Like yesterday, we got off to a good start in the windward/leeward race. Not an easy one as it was very lumpy on the course. Toybox 2 was in front of us at the first mark, but the trick was to keep in touch with them, and we did that,” a happy Dash said this afternoon.
The Middle Harbour Yacht Club yachtsman has been without regular crew recently, so was more at home when most of his regulars returned for the SSORC.
“It made all the difference,” Dash confirmed.
In the second race, Toybox 2 lost time when they had to retrieve a crew who had fallen overboard, and a possible win went by the wayside and fourth was the end result after a pair of second places in the earlier to races.
“It was great racing in good breeze that reached 20 knots. Toybox (Box is a past MHYC commodore) was our major competition this weekend. They sailed really well and pushed us hard,” he ended.
Win, lose or draw, crews were all enjoying themselves back at Middle Harbour Yacht Club this afternoon, enjoying Lana Nesnas afternoon of layback jazz, a few drinks and a barbecue on the Club’s beach.
Middle Harbour Yacht Club thanks its sponsors: Helly Hansen, Sydney City Marine and Club Marine for their long association with and support to the Club and its events and to Key Sun Laboratories and Performance Boating Sales.
Di Pearson, MHYC Media