Wild winds curtail Autumn Short Handed Series

Derwent Sailing Squadron’s popular Autumn Short-Handed Series has finished with just four out of six scheduled Sunday races being sailed, and in one of those nearly half the fleet failed to finish.

Wild westerlies forced the DSS to abandon the first planned race and last Sunday the westerlies blew too fiercely for safe sailing, in particular with crews of just two or three handling the boats.

In contrast, a morning of light and flukey winds for race four saw Wayne Banks-Smith’s Farr 40 War Games the only finisher in Division 1 and Wicked (Andrew Blakney) the only SB20 to complete the course. Other divisions similarly affected.

The series attracted more than 50 entries with divisions for two-handed and three-handed cruiser/racers and a SB20 two-handed division.

Overall winner of Division 1 was Ian Johnston’s Farr MX41 Zephyr by just two points from Ciao Baby II (Gary Cripps) and another two points to Neil Snare’s Winstead Wines.

The J24 Zest (Matt Westland) won Division 2 with a consistent score of 1-3-1-4, comfortably ahead of Serenity (Graham Hall) and 42 South (Mark Ballard).

Andrew Sutherland’s Silver Mist also sailed consistently in Division 3 with placings of 4-1-2-1 to easily win Division 3 from Jigsaw (Scott Morrison) and Magellan (Richard Grant).

Just one point separated l’Etoile (John Dawson) and Trad Jazz (Chris Thompson) in Division 4 with Dynamo (Stephen Davidson) a close third.

Consistency paid off for Andrew Blakney’s Wicked in the SB20 class, 4-4-3-1, with Export Roo (Michael Cooper) a distant second after contesting only two races for a first and a second. Blue Gull (Bruce Granville) finished third overall.

Ashore, the Derwent Sailing Squadron this afternoon will hold the ‘grand opening’ of the Roy Barkas Marina Extension – irrespective of the weather – giving the DSS the largest marina capacity of any club in Tasmania.

Club winter racing gets under way on the Derwent on Sunday with Bellerive Yacht Club running the first of its Winter Series, followed by the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania the following Sunday and then the Derwent Sailing Squadron on Sunday, 5 June.

Peter Campbell
19 May 2016

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