Save The Dates! November 28 & 29 for the 2020 SSORC Regatta
November 28 & 29 have been confirmed as the dates for the next Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship. The Seven Islands Race will be sailed on the Saturday for the Inshore fleet and the Super 12 Spring Regatta will be held on the Saturday and Sunday. Get the dates in your diary now and keep an eye on the website for more details as the event approaches.
Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship winners declared
Despite the rather melancholy weather, the competition was as stiff as ever in the 42nd running of the Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship (SSORC), hosted by Middle Harbour Yacht Club (MHYC) over the weekend.
Gerry Hatton’s Bushranger crew came down from ‘The Alfreds’ on Pittwater and conquered in IRC Division 1. Hatton is away, so Michael Fountain was left in charge of the Mat 1245, and after finishing third in the passage race yesterday, pulled out all stops with 1-2-1 results to beat nearest rival, Bob Cox’s DK46, Nine Dragons by three points. Darryl Hodgkinson’s Carkeek 40, Victoire, was third on countback after winning the passage race.
“Bushranger has had a fantastic relationship with Nine Dragons. Bob Cox was pretty persistent that we should come and compete at the SSORC,” he said of the Middle Harbour Yacht Club yachtsman who won Division 1 of the regatta last year and is a regular on the podium.
“Bob loves the fact that there is hardly ever 30 seconds between us on the race track; you make one mistake and you’re gone,” he continued. “We enjoy racing against each other and enjoy each other’s company. There is good spirit between the two of us.”
Competitors at the SSORC were put through their paces in a very shifty and light 6 to 10 knots of breeze for yesterday’s passage race, followed by a soft 10-knot south-easterly on bumpy seas for the three windward/leeward races, Fountain admitting, “Bushranger loves the bump.”
Division 2 went to newcomer, Soozal, the King 40 skippered by Keiran Mulcahy who with his wife, recently imported the boat from California. He could not have been more pleased with the outcome of Soozal’s Australian offshore debut.
“We’re all a bit stunned,” Mulcahy confessed. “We went out there a little apprehensive, it being our first regatta. We’re thrilled. We didn’t know what to expect, or what was going to happen. It turned out to be a good exercise.”
Mulcahy, who next month takes on the 628 nautical mile 75th Sydney Hobart, said: “It turned out to be the right decision to bring the boat from California. Twelve years old and it races like a rabbit. It’s proved itself over the last weekend.”
In her first outing, Soozal cleaned up, scoring three wins from four races to defeat nearest competitor and local, Jack Stening and Colin Gunn’s Sydney 36, Stormaway, which also finished bridesmaid last year. Stormaway won Race 2, to finish three points in arrears, while Chris Heraghty’s Sydney 38, Risk, was third, a further two points behind.
Speaking on Day 1’s soft breeze, Mulcahy said, “The boat was designed for 15-20 knot winds, so it was a surprise to win the opening passage race. Today was more designed for us weatherwise. Soozal is a quirky boat and a sistership to the Mat 1245. They share the same designer, Mark Mills, but the designs are slightly different.”
In the TP52 series, defending champion, Marcus Blackmore’s Hooligan, came good again to claim the trophy. A big supporter of sailing, Blackmore won all three races in a depleted fleet. David Pescud’s SWD Wot Eva took second place, her crew putting in the hard yards ahead of the Sydney Hobart.
The next major offshore event for MHYC is the Sydney Harbour Regatta to be held on the weekend of March 7 and 8 in 2020. The 2020 SSORC will be held from 7-8 November, three weeks earlier than usual, as a lead-up to the Farr 40 World Championship being hosted in Sydney.
MHYC organisers thank the Race Committee: Principal Race Officer, Denis Thompson, Saturday Race Officer Steve Tucker, and their race teams. Thanks also to the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia for making its course boats available and Bob Cox for all his efforts to promote this event.
“We also thank all competitors and especially those making the effort to come down from Pittwater for the regatta,” MHYC Special Events Chairman, Ian Box said.
MHYC, which is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year, expresses its thanks to sponsors: Helly Hansen, Club Marine, Oatley Wines, Short Marine, Vittoria Coffee and Key Sun Zinke for their support.
Andrea Francolini was on the water for the opening of the 2019 Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship. The offshore passage race was started near Shark Island where the fleet headed off into a light to moderate southerly on the way to Cape Bailey.
A healthy fleet of IRC/ORCi yachts is set to line up in the Premier division at the 42nd running of the Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship (SSORC), hosted by Middle Harbour Yacht Club (MHYC) over the weekend of 23 and 24 November – and it is not too late to enter.
Among the entries are boats preparing for the upcoming Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, including Ken Holmes’ Beneteau First 45, Dreki Sunnan, John Newbold’s Reichel Pugh 51 Primitive Cool and Soozal, a King 40 recently imported from California into Sydney by Keiran and Elizabeth Mulcahy. The trio will be tested by the rest of the fleet, including defending champions.
Dreki Sunnan is the ‘local hope’, one of six Sydney Hobart entries from MHYC, where she races regularly, while Soozal is new to the Sydney sailing scene.
“Soozal has enjoyed a very successful racing career and is hoping to re-create her winning ways in a highly competitive IRC fleet. She launched in Sydney last week. I’ve only played on her in the Harbour a couple of times, but I sailed her in California. She is the only King 40 built without any budget and is the best racing cruiser around,” Mulcahy says.
“I’ve done the SSORC before though, on Astral,” he said of the yacht he won PHS Division 2 on last year. “She will be waiting at Constitution Dock in Hobart for us in December and we’ll race together at the Australian Yachting Championships in January,” Mulcahy ended.
This will be Soozal’s first major offshore racing experience on Sydney waters in the lead-up to the Hobart. Primitive Cool will have her first Sydney offshore hit out of the year, while Newbold and crew are flying in from Victoria especially for the SSORC, and their boat will be waiting.
The three will be joined by some regulars, although one, Peter Sorensen will be there with his latest boat, the newly named ‘Advanced Philosophy’, a Sydney 38. Division1’s top two from last year, Box Cox’s DK46, Nine Dragons and Darryl Hodgkinson’s Carkeek 40, Victoire, also return.
Meanwhile, the TP52 fleet has been slightly impacted by damage done in the Cabbage Tree Island Race two weekends ago, but defending champion Hooligan, Frantic, Zen, Woteva, Celestial and Gweilo are all confirmed to start when Day 1’s coastal passage race, which is combined with the CYCA Ocean Pointscore, gets underway.
MHYC is generously waiving the late entry fee for the SSORC. The standard fee will apply until entries close at midnight on 20 November - so sign up now.
MHYC expresses its thanks to sponsors: Helly Hansen, Club Marine, Oatley Wines, Short Marine, Vittoria Coffee and Key Sun Zinke for their support.
Entry Open for 2019 Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship
This year marks the 42nd running of the first major keelboat regatta for the season, the Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship (SSORC), hosted by Middle Harbour Yacht Club over the weekend of 23 and 24 November.
Entry is open and the Notice of Race online, with some enthusiastic owners already signing up for what is shaping up to be a battle of the titans across the board, and particularly in the TP52 class, as seven owners have confirmed early they are rigged and ready for some serious racing.
Terry Wetton, organiser for the TP52 group, advised that Matt Allen’s Ichi Ban, Marcus Blackmore’s Hooligan, Gordon Ketelbey’s Zen, Craig Neil/Bob Steel’s Quest, Sailors With DisAbilities’ Wot Eva, Mick Martin’s Frantic and Sam Haynes’ Celestial could be joined by two or three others for the TP52 series, now starting its second year.
When you look at the talent, where do you put your money? Ichi Ban has won countless events, both inshore and offshore, including the 2017 Rolex Sydney Hobart. Quest has won the Sydney Hobart twice; in 2008 under Bob Steel and in 2015 as Balance for Paul Clitheroe. Steel also finished second to Ichi Ban in the 2017 race.
Hooligan is hard to overcome inshore. She has beaten and been beaten by Ichi Ban for the top spot and won SSORC in a small field last year. Zen has been quietly making gains, beating Hooligan at the Port Stephens TP52 event in April, which was won by Celestial, and giving as good as she got at Airlie Beach Race Week, missing the win by two points.
Ketelbey remarked, “The long and short of it is, we hope to win. We have a fairly non-professional boat of mostly regular sailors who have been with me since the Farr 40 days. We’re proud of the fact we can knock them off.
“Ichi Ban is very hard to beat – and Hooligan. They have professionals on board, but we’ll give it a go and do our best,” said Ketelbey, who lacks the inshore rigs of his two rivals, but does swap the offshore wheel for tiller steering at regattas.
The Sydney yachtsman confirmed SSORC is the ideal vehicle to iron out wrinkles in the boat and sharpen crew work, along with the CYCA’s Blue Water Pointscore and Ocean Pointscore (OPS). In fact, the TPs will sail the opening coastal race.in conjunction with the OPS. On the Sunday, it is three offshore windward/leeward races; all will be scored under IRC and TPR.
Expect fireworks among the rest of the fleet, particularly between last year’s Division 1 winner, Bob Cox’s Nine Dragons against Andrew and Pauline Dally’s Khaleesi. The two DK46’s regularly swap the winner’s seat at various events. Nine Dragons did the slaying at last year’s SSORC, defeating Darryl Hodgkinson’s Victoire, Khaleesi and Noel Cornish’s St Jude by seven points when the latter three finished on equal scores.
The same can be said in Division 2, where Phil Dash’s JustADash and Jack Stening’s Stormaway go toe-to-toe every year. In 2018, JustADash did the job by one point from his nemesis.
While all the above boats sail offshore for the weekend, there is also MHYC’s popular feature event on Sydney Harbour on Day 1. The Seven Islands Race has a pursuit-style start from the Club, takes the fleet around various well-known Sydney Harbour islands, and the first one home to the Club finish line wins.
Expect to see the usual suspects and a few new players as owners and crew ramp up for the summer offshore season ahead.
Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship – a weekend of thrilling racing
After two days of competitive racing, Middle Harbour Yacht Club’s (MHYC) annual Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship (SSORC) wound up this afternoon in pleasant conditions on a beautiful spring day and winners were announced at the Club early this evening.
There was no beating Bob Cox’s Nine Dragons in Division 1 of the Championship. The DK46 is always well-sailed and Cox drove it to three wins from four races. Yesterday he scored third in the Passage Race, but there was no stopping Nine Dragons and the crew on the offshore windward leeward courses today.
“It was really good to get a group of boats together of a similar size – it made it great competition for all of us,” Cox enthused, eluding to sistership Khaleesi (Andrew and Pauline Dally), St Jude and others.
Racing was so tight that Darryl Hodgkinson’s Carkeek 40 finished second overall on countback on equal points with two others - Khaleesi third overall and Noel Cornish’s Sydney 47, St Jude, (which won the Cabbage Tree Island Race earlier this month), fourth.
“Saturday’s Passage Race was fluky. Victoire annihilated us. The course had a lot of reaching and it demonstrated what a good boat it is. We were third, St Jude was faster. We had to get back to the Club and evaluate,” admitted Cox, a member of MHYC.
Today’s offshore windward/leeward courses, though, were tailor made for Nine Dragons. The sea had a bit of punch to it, with a little rolling swell, but nothing too severe.
“We did much better,” Cox said. “It was great racing with Khaleesi, Victoire and St Jude. Victoire was banging the corners - they were a bit faster than us,” Cox said.
“Ian Box (Toy Box 2) got a third in the first race today - he’s had a good regatta against tough competition,” acknowledged Cox of his fellow MHYC club member and a past commodore.
“The first race of the day was a bit of a disaster,” said Cox after Principal Race Officer Denis Thompson was forced to abandon when the breeze shifted 40 degrees. The two divisions and the new TP52 class settled in and Thompson got them away pretty smartly. They were dealt shifty and tricky winds of up to 14 knots; a day for the tacticians.
“I had Julian Plante calling tactics; Yarrandi (Dave Griffith’s Marten 49) had Cocko (Michael Coxon). He was whipping them along. “
Prior to the event, Andrew Dally said he would love to beat their sistership. It was not to be.
Cox responds: “There’s not a great deal of difference between us – not a big gap. One slight hiccup and they’ve got you. You can’t take your foot of the accelerator.”
In Division 2, there was a collision at the start of Race 4, involving Grace O’Malley, JustADash and Supernova. As a result, Grace O’Malley was unable to start the race. Phil Dash’ JustADash was declared the division winner, with Jack Stening/Colin Gunn’s Sydney 36, Stormaway, second - the two are regulars at the top of the many scoreboards. Matthew Hanning’s Supernova was third.
Marcus Blackmore’s Hooligan was the gun boat in the TP52s, taking the series from Quest (which Bob Steel repurchased recently) and Sam Haynes’ Celestial. Blackmore said the idea had been to put in place a system to make it an even playing field between the newer boats with professional sailors, and the older boats that are mostly crewed by Corinthians.
However, the RORC in the UK said it wasn’t possible, so the owners in the class will have to come up with another way. And like Nine Dragons, Hooligan was third in the Passage Race, but came out all guns blazing on the windward/leeward courses, winning all three on IRC.
“Middle Harbour is very keen to support us in what we’re doing and it’ll be great when we get more TPs involved,” Blackmore said.
“It was great racing today – and our first event of the new series. It sharpens your skills when you do a bit of fleet racing over two days. And as we know, it’s all about time in the boat. In a one-design class like this we all share the knowledge – it’s a learning experience.”
The Super 12 Series was also made up of four races and it was an MC38 stranglehold. Lazy Dog, owned by Shaun Lane and Quentin Stewart, was the outstanding boat this weekend. She cleaned up, winning all four races. Steven Proud, fairly new to the class, finished second overall with Swish, with Stephen Barlow’s Lightspeed third.
A thrilled Lane said, “It was quite interesting – we bought the boat a year ago, and exactly to this day we sailed our first regatta – it was a complete disaster. We didn’t know what we were doing, dropping a kite over the side, running over it, and all sorts. But we built a good team of guys and have been training hard together and it’s all working for us.
“We didn’t do anything exceptional this weekend, we just worked hard and didn’t do anything wrong. One mistake and you were gone. Steve Thomas was calling tactics for us. We have a young keen team of dinghy sailors and they called the breeze well.”
Following the double points Passage Race yesterday, the Super 12s first race today was a two lapper; the remaining two were three laps each. The amusingly named ‘Lazy Dog’ was able to separate herself from the rest in the final race and extended around the course.
Sixty two boats took part in the first major keelboat regatta for spring, and included the inaugural TP52 class regatta, adding to the spectacle. After racing both days, competitors trouped back to MHYC to enjoy the Club’s characteristic barbecue party with music on the beach – a wonderful way to spend the weekend.
Thanks go to PRO, Denis Thompson, and MHYC and Cruising Yacht Club of Australia officials and volunteers.
Middle Harbour Yacht Club also expresses it thanks to sponsors: Helly Hansen, Club Marine, Oatley Wines, Keysun and Vittoria.
Quest, Victoire & Grace O'Malley on top after Day One
SSORC Day 1 Report....
The Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship Offshore Passage Race today kicked off a very busy weekend for Middle Harbour Yacht Club.
Twenty boats entered in the SSORC IRC divisions were joined by entrants in CYCA’s Ocean Pointscore series for a race to Lion Island and return with a 10am start. Breezes were below forecast and faded as the afternoon progressed, meaning a long day on the water for several crews. However, Marcus Blackmore’s Hooligan was back in Watson’s Bay for a finish just after 2pm, earning him the John Hurley Memorial Gun Boat Trophy.
On IRC, Bob Steel’s Quest came out on top of the TP52 Division with Celestial (Sam Haynes) and Hooligan (Marcus Blackmore) taking the minor placings.
Daryl Hodgkinson’s Carkeek 40, Victoire, claimed the IRC Division 1 win from St Jude (Noel Cornish)and Nine Dragons (Bob Cox). Zoe Taylor steered Grace O’Malley home for a win in IRC Division 2 ahead of Supernova (Matthew Hanning) and Justadash (Phil Dash).
The SSORC will head back off Sydney Heads tomorrow morning for three offshore windward-leeward races to complete the championship program.
The Super 12 Spring Regatta got underway with the Seven Islands inshore passage race today. The fleet start at the entrance to Middle Harbour was challenging as the breeze rotated through 160 degrees right on start time.
After a short delay, the fleet was sent off in a light south-easterly that became more variable on the western part of the course. Shaun Lane and Quentin Stewart’s Lazy Dog found a bit of extra breeze somewhere and managed to hold off the fleet to claim the double points race win from Lightspeed (Stephen Barlow) and Swish (Stephen Proud).
Three inshore windward-leeward races are scheduled tomorrow to conclude the Super 12 Spring Regatta.
The Seven Islands Pursuit Race is one of MHYC’s most popular feature races and is part of the Jeanneau Cup series. Taking in seven harbour islands, the course is from MHYC to Spectacle Island and return.
Walter Carpenter’s Samarkand was the first Division 1 boat home, with a healthy advantage over XC3SS (Peter Woodhead) and Blue Sky (Carl Braden). In Division 2 it was Charles Caskey’s Perception from Innamincka (John Crawford) and Renaissance (Gary Carless).
The Jeanneau Division was won by Scott Lawson in Starstruck, ahead of Macscap (Peter McClelland) and Zeusus (Laurie McAllister).
Sailing Instructions for the Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship and the Super 12 Spring Regatta have now been published.
Go to the Race Documents page for more information - click here
SSORC Standard entry cut-off extended
Di Pearson, MHYC Media, 13 November 2018
The deadline for standard entries to close in Middle Harbour Yacht Club’s (MHYC) annual Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship (SSORC) has been extended to Friday 16 November, with late entries extended to midnight on Wednesday 21November, allowing extra time for those who have been busy ample opportunity to sign on.
The first major keelboat regatta for the summer season, the SSORC is to be held over the weekend of 24-25 November, in conjunction with the Super 12 Spring Regatta and Seven Islands Race inshore. The expanded program will also take in the inaugural TP52 class regatta, adding to the spectacle.
Numbers are growing for the TP52 event. The boat to beat on scratch is Marcus Blackmore’s Hooligan, which has been sailing up a storm since she hit the water for MHYC’s Sydney Harbour Regatta earlier in the year. However, a handicap system Event Handicap (EHC) has been put into place taking into account an age allowance and number of professional sailors aboard.
Blackmore explains: “The TP52 owners got together at the Squadron to decide on a good handicap to reflect an age allowance and the number of professional crew aboard. It means we’ll have a scratch trophy and prize, and an equal trophy and prize for the overall winner.”
“It means we’re levelling the field in a class driven by owners,” and he stresses, “the boats must be owner driven. We’ll try the new handicap system and see how it goes. I hope we’ll see eight TP52s on the Harbour – it will look fantastic. I’m pretty excited about it. The starts should be fantastic. It doesn’t make any difference to how old your boat is – we’re all generally going at the same speed.”
Celestial (Sam Haynes), Frantic (Mick Martin), newcomer Gweilo (Matt Donald/Chris Townsend) and 2008 and 2012 Sydney Hobart winner Quest (Bob Steel) are among the entries, the earlier three will sharpen up crew work ahead of the Rolex Sydney Hobart.
A good mix of yachts is currently entered in the Premier Class, for IRC and ORCi competitors, including those heading to Hobart: Kayimai, the Azuree 46 owned by MHYC yachtsman Rob Aldis, SWD Wot Eva (David Pescud) and Noel Cornish’s Sydney 47 St Jude, fresh from winning the Cabbage Tree Island Race.
However, local competition is strong, with sistership DK46’s Nine Dragons and Khaleesi set to go head-to-head again, and Toybox 2 all in the Division 1 mix.
Khaleesi’s Andrew Dally says, “We’re looking forward to having a match up with Dragons again, and hopefully beat them this time. We’re the perpetual bridesmaids!” It’s true, as even minus Nine Dragons, Khaleesi was beaten to the punch by Balance last year.
“St Jude is fresh off his Cabbage Tree win. He (Noel Cornish) is incredibly good offshore and we’ve raced him at regattas a couple of times and just beat them, but sooner or later it will translate to a win for them,” Dally says of the Sydney 47 that is performing well of late.
But a new player has entered the arena in ex-18 footer champion, David Griffith with Yarrandi. The Marten 49 could be the cat amongst the pigeons, having got stuck into it at Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island Race Weeks, finishing divisional third at the latter.
The locals are strong in In Division 2, too. Phil Dash and his Beneteau F40, JustADash looked primed to take the event out last year, but did not correctly round the virtual mark, leading MHYC compatriots, Jack Stening and Col Gunn (Stormaway), to victory. Both are entered again and it will be a dog-eat-dog approach as usual. They will be hard to overcome.
The SSORC is made up of four races - a coastal passage race on Saturday, in conjunction with the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia Ocean Pointscore, followed by three windward-leeward offshore races on Sunday
MHYC is also conducting a busy inshore program in association with the SSORC. The Seven Islands Race is a popular feature event – a pursuit that takes the fleet west of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, around Spectacle Island and returning to finish at MHYC
The Super 12 Spring Regatta is expected to attract a good fleet of MC38s along with Super 12s pace-setter, Little Nico (Adrian Walters). Kicking off with a fleet start in Hunters Bay, Balmoral with the Seven Islands passage race on Saturday, it will be followed by three windward-leeward races on the Harbour on Sunday.
“The Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship is going to be bigger and better than ever. The Club is hosting the first TP52 class regatta and the whole program is shaping up well,” says Ian Box, MHYC Special Events Chairman, who is also competing in the Premier class.
Principal Race Officer is Denis Thompson. One of the most highly qualified race manager’s in the sport, in October he was awarded with the President’s Award at the Australian Sailing Awards. Thompson’s team is comprised of MHYC and CYCA officials and volunteers
Competitors are again invited to soak up the after sailing atmosphere and entertainment on the beach at MHYC on the Saturday and Sunday, with prize presentation to be held on Sunday at about 5pm.
MHYC thanks sponsors: Helly Hansen, Club Marine, Oatley Wines, Keysun and Vittoria.
Entry Open for Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship
Middle Harbour Yacht Club is gearing up for the 41st edition of the Sydney
Short Ocean Racing Championship (SSORC).
The first major keelboat regatta for the season, the Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship will be held over the weekend of November 24 & 25 in conjunction with the Super 12 Spring Regatta and Seven Islands Race inshore. A strong field of TP52 and IRC boats are expected to make this year’s offshore program very exciting.
The Notice of Race has been published and online entry is now open via the event website.
Kicking off with the SSORC in November, an exciting new TP52 series will also include MHYC’s Sydney Harbour Regatta as round two, with the final round in Newcastle in March.
The TP52 owners group has appointed Terry Wetton to manage the class locally, including the new series of three regattas and a transparent rating system to deliver competitive racing for boats of varying ages.
“TP52s are a premier grand prix racing class worldwide, with thirteen boats currently being actively campaigned in Australia. The new series brings the best of the best together for some highly competitive racing on both short windward-leeward courses and coastal passages,” said Terry.
“We are especially looking forward to the passage race on the Saturday of SSORC. With eight to ten TP52s jostling for a good start in the harbour should make this a great spectacle,” he said.
Eight TP52 owners have confirmed for the SSORC, including Matt Allen and Ichi Ban, Marcus Blackmore with Hooligan, Sam Haynes’ Celestial and Nick Martin’s Frantic. Gordon Ketelbey is hoping his new boat Zen (ex Scorcher) will be ready in time for racing in November.
The IRC divisions are also expected to provide some close competition for the Saturday passage race and the three windward-leeward races scheduled on the Sunday.
Paul Clitheroe’s Balance claimed the Division 1 IRC prize in 2017, but will be racing in the TP52 fleet this year. The DK46 Khaleesi (Andrew & Pauline Dally) and Steven Proud’s Kernan 44 Swish will have aspirations for the trophy this year. Peter Byford & David Hudson, with their Sydney 38 Conspiracy, will be looking at turning the tables on last year’s winner Stormaway (Jack Stening) in IRC Division 2.
Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship winners declared
Middle Harbour Yacht Club’s (MHYC) 40th Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship (SSORC) concluded today with a hybrid course of laid and virtual marks for the first time as the main event yachts undertook a short ocean race.
Paul Clitheroe and his Balance crew won yesterday’s race and backed up this afternoon with a second win to take out both IRC and ORCi point scores in Division 1. The TP52 beat Andrew and Pauline Dally’s DK46, Khaleesi for the IRC spoils and Steven Proud’s Kernan 44, Swish (winner of PHS) to claim the ORCi title.
And what did the ‘Money Man’ think of the new hybrid race? “I thought it worked incredibly well – I was unsure how it would go before setting out. Congratulations to Middle Harbour Yacht Club for their forethought in trying something new – it’s never easy being the first,” Clitheroe said.
“The first part was a windward/leeward course, but the second time up we did the hybrid course, then had Code Zero run to virtual mark – we all probably went a couple of more boat lengths than necessary, just to be sure - then blasted back into the Harbour in 10-14 knots and finished with a spinnaker run up the Harbour.”
As the Sydney yachtsman pointed out: “Everyone got a go. If you are a boat that performs well in windward/leewards, that was your chance, if you are a strong reaching boat, you got a go there. Everyone had their chance to shine – on top of it just being a wonderful day out sailing.
“I think we only got Khaleesi by 20 odd seconds today (it was 27 seconds). Getting out with Steve (Swish), Khaleesi, Toy Box 2 and the rest – we’re all smiling, because we enjoying racing against each other. So we’re delighted to win the SSORC. We’re headed back to the Club now to enjoy the wonderful hospitality we always receive there,” Clitheroe ended.
In Division 2, Phil Dash and his Beneteau F40, JustADash looked to have the game sown up, but Dash retired after finding they did not correctly round the virtual mark, meaning fellow MHYC members Jack Stening and Col Gunn (Stormaway), found themselves in the winner’s box, following up on their victory of yesterday.
Going hard left of the start was the right action in Division 2. There was a lot of set offshore and the leg out to sea was two-sail reach – no great tactics, but the fleet pushed on. And despite the breeze filling in, Stormaway, a goer in the light, claimed second place in the race to Conspiracy, enough to win overall.
According to Dash, “Conspiracy (David Hudson’s Sydney 38 which placed third overall and won PHS) sailed well today. We were ahead at first mark, but they came back at us with good speed while we struggled in the lighter breeze.
“We had just enough to get there in the end,” he said of their 1 minute win this afternoon before realising his error and retiring. He wasn’t alone, as Neil Padden (Wailea) retired also after not sailing correctly through the gate.
Those contesting the North Sails Super 12 Spring Regatta wrapped up their event with three sprint races on Sydney Harbour. Steve Barlow was in front after yesterday’s race and finished how he started – in first place.
Barlow and his MC38, Lightspeed, took the title from Adrian Walters’ Shaw 11, Little Nico and Chris Way’s MC38, Easy Tiger VI. Team Barlow pulled off three wins from a total of four races, finishing second in the remaining race to end the regatta the undisputed winner. Walters’ score included a trio of seconds, while Way won Race 3.
“We raced in a windy 15-20 knot nor' easter on windward/leeward courses,” Barlow said late this afternoon. “It was very trying, but also exhilarating, with 20-30 degree wind shifts, and great boat speed under spinnaker.
Barlow told how former 18ft skiff champion, Rob Brown, steered Easy Tiger for Chris Way. “Yeah, he’s a sailor of note and beat us in one race. We were swapping the lead down the final run all the way to the finish.
“My secret weapons were Seve Jarvin and Sam Newton – you have to have the pros on these boats – they’re exciting to sail and they’re a handful,” he explains, admitting you need to have a mix of pros and non-pros to sail the boat properly.
Barlow chartered the MC demo boat Lightspeed for two seasons, giving it a tickle up courtesy of regular crew, Mitch White, who was his adversary today on Little Nico.
“I was offered the opportunity to buy the boat last season and we haven’t looked back. It’s a wet boat in big breeze and touchy to sail, it’s just a great boat.
“This is the first of the Super 12 series and we’re trying to get more bowsprit boats – this was the inaugural regatta and we are now growing the series,” ended Barlow who also sails Farr 40s and Etchells.
Middle Harbour Yacht Club thanks Helly Hansen and Sydney City Marine for their support of the Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship.
Day One of the Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championships held by the Middle Harbour Yacht Club commenced with a passage race to Lion Island for the Premier and Performance divisions. Balance skippered by Paul Clitheroe lead the fleet out of the Heads followed by About Time.
Balance (TP52) won Division 1 from Stephen Proud’s Swish (Kernan 44) with Jack Stening and Col Gunn’s Stormaway (Sydney 36) winning Division 2 from JustaDash (Beneteau First 40).
A midday start in the Harbour brought ideal sailing conditions for the Super 12s who are racing in their Spring Regatta in conjunction with the SSORC.
To view the Premier & Performance Classes video - click here
Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship: Does it get any better?
Middle Harbour Yacht Club’s (MHYC) 40th Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship (SSORC) got away to a wonderful start on a warm sunny day that produced a light 8-10 knot breeze on the various courses.
Competitors sailed a Passage Race today. Paul Clitheroe’s TP52 Balance took honours in Division 1 from Stephen Proud’s always well-sailed Kernan 44, Swish.
In Division 2, MHYC yachtsmen Jack Stening and Col Gunn (Stormaway) got the jump on fellow member and perennial winner, JustADash (Phil Damp’s Beneteau First 40), light weather helping Stening and Gunn get there in the end with their Sydney 36.
“A great day’s sail in light air, which favours us, us our boat is light,” Stening said this evening. Light weather has its challenges; it requires a lot of concentration among other things. Sailing up the coast was like sailing in Paradise. We all on Stormaway talked about was a beautiful day it was and not to take it for granted.”
On beating JustADash, Stening said: “We were delighted, but we’re all friends. They nearly got us though. Early on we took advantage of the light air, but as the breeze picked up they sailed away from us. We had just enough in the end,” he said, not overstating their mere 21 second win over their friendly rival.
Stening, a regular in the Club’s major events, finished: “The organisers did a wonderful job - it’s a very well-run event.” Others concurred.
Martin Hill’s Hill PDA Racing won the Farr 40 component of the SSORC, the one-design class making its debut at the Championship. Hill has recently returned from competing at the Etchells Worlds in the US (he finished sixth) and admitted, “That helped us. You had to be aggressive, just as we did in the Etchells.”
Today he sailed this event against his Etchells tactician, David ‘Chappo’ Chapman and another regular, Julian Plante, both of whom sailed on Alan and Tom Quick’s third placed Outlaw. “I hope they’re still talking to me,” he said laughing.
A past MHYC Commodore, Hill said mainsheet hand, Darren ‘Twirler’ Jones, had told the crew to aim to finish as well as they started: “So we won the first and last races – did what the big boss told us,” he said after beating Gordon Ketelbey’s Zen to the punch by two points.
“We sailed off the Manly Circle – beautiful conditions - one of those ‘great to be alive’ days. Light 8-10 knots, with a bit of sheer – but quite consistent shifts – the current was quite strong. It was a classic start at pin end, go left, round top mark, stay left and gybe for the finish – not tactical racing. We seemed to have a speed advantage upwind.”
The North Sails Super 12 Spring Regatta Seven Island’s Race was won by Stephen Barlow’s Lightspeed from Adrian Walter’s Little Nico, while the ever-popular Seven Islands pursuit style race fielded an entry of 28 yachts across three divisions.
Peter Woodhead’s XS3SS took out Division 1 from Larki Missiris’ Wild One, while Division 2 went to L’Attitude (Jon Short/Rob Hunt/Miles Bastick) with Roman Tarnawsky’s Can Can finishing second. Mike Gallagher, a regular on the podium, won Division 3 with his Jeanneau 409, Galan. Eric Gonzalez’s Sanity took up second spot.
Gallagher detailed the course and competition: “Superb sailing on Sydney Harbour - as always - for a classic MHYC feature event. We enjoyed some steady but flicky breeze all the way to Cockatoo Island, especially as we went through the usual washing machine under Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Of the competition he said, “It’s always hard to keep track of the competition with such an array of start times, so it was all hands to the pump for maximum boat speed to win.
“We had gusts up to 20 knots as we came around Cockatoo and mastered the headsail peel – then had to depower quickly. The rest of the way to the finish was a hard slog. Then we saw the Fine Cotton cowboy (Mike Logan’s Fine Cotton) with his asymmetrical kite coming up behind us. We sailed home at 7 knots and beat them,” he said laughing.
Racing concludes with a single ocean tomorrow. For the first time the Club is introducing a hybrid course of laid and virtual marks to provide competitive racing for all types of boats.
Middle Harbour Yacht Club thanks Helly Hansen and Sydney City Marine for their support of the Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship.
Crosbie Lorimer was on the water for Day One of the Sydney Short Offshore Racing Championships that are being conducted by Middle Harbour Yacht Club in conjunction with the Super 12 Spring Regatta and Seven Islands Pursuit Race.
Virtual marks innovation for Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship
The 40th edition of Middle Harbour Yacht Club’s (MHYC) Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship (SSORC) will be conducted on the weekend of 25-26 November and the Club is introducing innovations for the final day of racing.
Instead of the usual shorter windward/leeward races, the Club is replacing them with a single ocean race, using a hybrid course of laid and virtual marks to provide competitive racing for all types of boats
“It’s our intention that the Sunday course will commence with a windward-leeward around laid marks and then to one or more virtual marks," Race Officer Denis Thompson said.
“Using virtual marks enables us to set the course angles and length that will provide good racing on all points of sail without the logistical challenges of laying and retrieving marks in deep water
“While the idea of virtual marks may be new to many of our local sailors, they’ve been utilised for the Volvo Ocean Race and the Royal Ocean Racing Club in the UK. They have also been used for years to define restricted areas, traffic separation lanes for shipping and as course rounding marks,” Thompson ended.
The Sailing Instructions will be published one week before the SSORC so that navigators can plot the course well ahead of race day. On-board navigation systems, or apps for portable devices such as Navionics can be used, provided there is a record of the plotted location of the virtual marks and the GPS track the boat sailed.
The Notice of Race incorporates the World Sailing Appendix WP – Rules for racing around waypoints.
For the first time, the Sydney 38 East Coast Championship and Farr 40 One Design Series will be combined into the SSORC, sailing windward-leeward offshore courses on Saturday and the hybrid offshore course on Sunday.
Ian Box, MHYC Chairman of Special Events noted: “This event is embedded in the history of Middle Harbour Yacht Club and Offshore racing in Sydney and once again we are expecting a strong fleet across both Premier and One Design fleets for the 40th running of the regatta.”
Box, a past commodore of the Club, owns the successful XP 44 Toy Box 2, which he has entered in the Premier Class for IRC and ORCi: “My crew always look forward to participating in the regattas that offer close racing against yachts from a variety of clubs around NSW,” he commented.
“Two days of competitive racing at the SSORC are certainly a highlight of our sailing calendar, as is the Sydney Harbour Regatta in March. Both give us a great chance to test ourselves on the water and to catch up with fellow competitors at the post-racing debriefs on the beach back at the Club.”
Racing commences on Saturday, when competitors will sail a Passage Race, which includes MHYC and the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Ocean Pointscore. It is expected, many yachts will race over both days for points towards the final SSORC trophy.
Running in tandem with Saturday’s racing is the challenging Seven Islands Race, for those who prefer to sail an inshore fun race that starts and finishes off MHYC. Following a pursuit style start, the race takes in some of the Harbour’s iconic islands.
The Super 12’s will return in a separate division for the Seven Islands Race and windward-leeward races on the Sunday.
Box concluded, “I encourage yacht owners to join us for a competitive weekend of racing. Make sure you get your entries in before the deadline of Friday 10th November via www.ssorc.mhyc.com.au.”
Middle Harbour Yacht Club would like to thank Helly Hansen and Sydney City Marine for their support of the Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship.
Di Pearson, MHYC Media
Smuggler first to enter for 2017 Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship
Entries are now open for Middle Harbour Yacht Club’s (MHYC) Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship (SSORC) to be conducted on the weekend of 25 and 26 November, and Sebastian Bohm, with his Rogers 46, Smuggler, was quick off the mark to enter in the Premier Class.
Smuggler, which previously competed as The Goat, has been extensively campaigned on the eastern seaboard since 2015, including in the Rolex Sydney Hobart, in which she finished fourth in Division 2 in 2015.
Smuggler placed second in the NSW IRC Championship and is a regular at MHYC major events and at Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island Race Weeks. Bohm says of his entry: “We are keen to participate in the opening offshore regatta of the season.”
MHYC Commodore, Peter Lewis, says, “The Club is gearing for what is likely to be one of our largest SSORC’s on record – a wonderful way to celebrate our 40th running of the event.
“Apart from early enquiries from those boats heading to Hobart this year, we have included the Sydney 38 East Coast Championship and Farr 40 One Design Series for the first time. The Jeanneaus and the increasingly popular Super 12s are returning as part of their respective inshore series too,” he ended.
In celebrating its 40th anniversary, the SSORC continues to meet the constant evolution of yacht racing and is regarded as ideal preparation for the Sydney Hobart and the offshore season in general.
This year, competitors will sail a Passage Race on Saturday, which does double duty as MHYC and the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Ocean Pointscore, but many yachts will race over both days towards the final trophy.
MHYC is introducing some innovations for Sunday racing, replacing the shorter windward/leeward format with a single ocean race, using a hybrid course of laid and virtual marks to provide competitive racing for all types of boats.
For the first time, the Sydney 38 East Coast Championship and Farr 40 One Design Series will be combined into the SSORC.
Peter Byford and David Hudson’s Conspiracy and Chris Heraghty’s Risk were the first two Sydney 38’s to sign on the dotted line.
Conspiracy competes regularly in RPAYC Division 1 inshore and offshore and was recognised as Best Performing Club Yacht for the 2013/14 season and winner of the Inshore Series 2014/15. Her name is also engraved on the Sydney 38 Corinthian Cup for winning the National and NSW Championships – helped by her two owners ‘conspiring’ to sail together for the past 30 years.
Running in tandem with Saturday’s racing is the challenging Seven Islands Race, for those who prefer to sail an inshore fun race that starts and finishes off MHYC. After a pursuit style start, the race takes in some of the Harbour’s iconic islands either side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, such as Fort Denison, Goat, Cockatoo, Snapper and Spectacle Islands.
The Super 12’s return in a separate division for the Seven Islands Race and windward leeward races on the Sunday. Among those expected to enter are Adrian Walters’ Little Nico, the Rob Shaw 11 Metre one-design that recently took out Division 1 at SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week. Boats entered into the Jeanneau Cup series will also have their own divisional start on Saturday.
Competitors and friends are invited to Middle Harbour Yacht Club after each day’s racing where they will enjoy the post-race party for drinks, beach BBQ and live entertainment.
Middle Harbour Yacht Club would like to thank Helly Hansen and Sydney City Marine for their support of the Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship.
Standard entries close at 2359 hours on Friday 10 November, 2017. To enter online and for all information on the SSORC, please go to: www.ssorc.mhyc.com.au