46-year-old Serica still a winner

Charles Peacock and his 46-year-old classic sloop Serica won the start and won the race with some fine spinnaker handling and knowledge of the vagaries of the River Derwent in Saturday’s Combined Harbour Series for Division 4.

Peacock and his crew judged the start to perfection, hoisting the yacht’s large spinnaker right on the line to initially sail away from the fleet.

However, they didn’t maintain the lead throughout, finishing second in the division fleet to the bigger, modern yacht Zephyr, skippered by Ian Johnston, but far enough ahead of the rest of the fleet to take PHS handicap honours from Hornet (Neville Georgeson) and Miss Conduct (Brian Fleming).

The win also lifted the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania-based Serica, a design (and several re-designs) attributed to American Bill Luders, Australian Peter Cole and Tasmanian Fred Peacock, into first place overall in the Combined Clubs Harbour Series for Division 4.

Divisions 4 and 6 got away from their Castray startling in a light nor’wester, heading under spinnaker across the river to a mark off Tranmere.

Within 45 minutes the nor’wester had died away, leaving most yachts floundering mid-river until the freshening sou’wester came up the river mid-afternoon.

Yachting superstition has it that changing the name of a yacht brings bad luck, but this certainly appears not the case with Bellerive Yacht Club member Jeff Cordell’s Mumm 36.

Until late last year the Mumm 36 raced as Host Plus Executive, but with a change of sponsorship, her name is now B&G Advantage.

Fast boat speed in the light to moderate conditions saw B&G Advantage win both races under AMS scoring and the second race of the day under IRC ratings.

In race one for Division 1, B&G Advantage won on corrected time from Martela (Tony Williams) and Tas Paints, skippered in this race by Simon Desmarchelier, while in the second race Masquerade (Tony Harman) finished second with Martela third.


The little red ferry with the Division 6 fleet in the background.

Under IRC scoring, War Games (Wayne Banks-Smith) won from Martela and B&G Advantage, with the order reversed in race two, with B&G Advantage winning from War Games and Martela.

The Farr 40 War Games took line honours in both races for Division 1, also taking PHS and IRC corrected time honours in race one.

In Division 2, Wildfire (Team Wildfire) won race one from North Sails (Matthew Morgan) and Rousabout (Grahame Inglis) Trouble (Dave Willans) won the second race from Hot August Night (Nat Morgan) and Rousabout.

Division 6 attracted 11 starters, the biggest fleet of the day, with the Mottle 33 Kindred Spirit (Peter Alcock) winning from Free ‘n’ Easy (Bob Jones) and Astrolabe (Peter Bosworth).

B&G Advantage’s success yesterday has lifted the Mumm 36 to the top of the leader board in all three categories, AMS, IRC and PHS, of Division 1 in the Combined Clubs Harbour Series.

Trouble retains top place in Division 2, while Serica’s victory in Division 4 has moved her to number one in a close pointscore battle with First Light and Zephyr.

Free ‘n’ Easy now heads Division 6, with yesterday’s winner Kindred Spirit moving from third to second place on the pointscore.

Peter Campbell
24 January 2016

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