Veteran Bellerive Yacht Club stalwart Chris Sheehan today sailed his Young 88, Saga, to its fourth win out of five races to hold a comfortable pointscore lead in Division 2 of the Combined Clubs Harbour Series on the Derwent.
The race was the final Harbour Series race before Christmas, with four races day post-Christmas.
Race officer ‘Biddy’ Badenach sent the fleet from Castray Esplanade across the river to Howrah Point and return to Castray, followed by a leg across to Punch’s Reef, further down the Eastern Shore and return to the finish.
In a WNW breeze that started about 20 knots with gusts of up to 27 knots but eased away mid-afternoon to 14 knots, with gust to 20 knots, the fleet enjoyed two good spinnaker runs and two beats to windward.
An experienced and versatile yachtsman, Sheehan continues to have great success with Saga, a Young 88. His win today gives Saga a five points lead halfway through the season, three points clear of Young Lion, owned by Scott Brain and Derwent Sailing Squadron Commodore Steve Chau.
In Division 1, DSS general manager Shaun Tiedemann and his crew of Philosopher showed no lack of drive after last weekend’s tough Maria long ocean race, winning both the AMS and IRC categories and finishing second under PHS scoring.
The Sydney 36cr has now won five out of six races under both AMS and IRC ratings, and has a handy overall lead in both pointscores. In the IRC category, Philosopher has 10 points, five points clear of Jeff Cordell’s Mumm 36, with War Games (Wayne Banks-Smith) third on 22 points.
In the major AMS category, Philosopher is unbeaten in her last five races for a total of 10 points, with Jeff Cordell’s Mumm 36 B&G Advantage on 13 points and TasPaints (Ian Stewart) on 15 points.
The biggest fleet is PHS and Toby Richardson’s Barrett 40, X & Y, holds the overall lead after six races despite finishing fifth yesterday on corrected time.
X & Y has 17 points with today’s PHS winner, Ian Stewart’s Tas Paints, now second overall on 20 points. Philosopher is third in standings on 21 points.
The overall lead has changed in Divisions 4 and 6 after today’s race.
Hornet (Neville Georgeson) won and now heads the leader board from Fight Light (Ben Davidson) by one point. Hornet has 9 points, First Light and Serica (Charles Peacock) are both on 10.
A surprise winner in Division 6 was Spinner (Peter Lamb) but Peter Bosworth’s Astrolabe heads the scoring after a third place today, just two points ahead of Innovator (Ian Smith) with Kindred Spirit (Peter Alcock) third overall
Words: Peter Campbell
Photos: Peter Campbell