John Cole-Cook’s winning comeback
Former prominent ocean racing yachtsman and radio-controlled yacht racing enthusiast John Cole-Cook made a winning return to keelboat racing today in the coveted Cock of the Huon sailed off historic Shipwrights Point on the Huon River.
Skippering his cruiser/racer Barcoo, a Jarkan 46, Cole-Cook won Division 3 of the race on the Huon River and, with the lowest PHS corrected time of the 22 starters, Barcoo was declared 2018 Cock of the Huon.
The Cock of the Huon is the middle of three races making up the Ronald Young & Co/Huon Aquaculture’s 50th Piper Opener Series run by Derwent Sailing Squadron and Huon Yacht Club.
The Huon Aquaculture Cock of the Huon was announced at a fully packed dinner this evening at the Kermandie Hotel.
Barcoo placed fourth in Division 3 of Friday night’s passage down the Derwent and the Channel, with Division 3 comprising mostly cruising-style yachts.
Today the Jarkan 46 outsailed the division opposition with a corrected time of 1 hour 23 minutes and 56 seconds in the 10-12 knot SW breeze with some heavier gusts.
Division 2 boat, Dog House, Ambrose Coad’s Austral Clubman 30, won that division and placed second overall in the Cock of the Huon scoring to Barcoo, with Jeffrey’s Sharp’s French Connection, another Division 3 entrant, placing third overall.
First place in Division 1 of the Cock of the Huon race went to David Fulton’s Farrier 33x trimaran Menage, the only multihull in the fleet which also won Division 1 of the Friday night race.
Menage won Division 1 of today’s race around the buoys on Port Huon from Huon Yacht Club entry Redback (David O’Neill) and Rad, skippered by Kettering Yacht Club member Brent McKay.
Overall, Menage placed fifth with the next Division 1 boat overall being local Huon Yacht Club entry, Redback, skippered by David O’Neill.
In Division 2, Dog House won from the former Sydney Hobart winner and Admiral’s Cup team yacht Ultimate Challenge, now owned by Peter Jenkins. DSS Commodore Steve Chau placed third in Young Lion.
Barcoo won Division 3 from French Connection (Jeffrey Sharp) and the striking-looking cruising yacht Eenee, a Mood 45 Ds skippered by Sue Allison-Rogers.
The biggest fleet in years, 35 boats, started from off Castray Esplanade in the first race of the 50th Pipe Opener on Friday night. This was also the first of four overnight races making up the coming season’s Combined Clubs Offshore Trophy series.
All but three smaller boats finished the challenging 32 nautical mile race from Hobart south to Garden Island in the D’Entrecasteaux Channel.
As expected, Mike Pritchard’s Cookson 50 Oskana led the fleet home in 4 hours 39 minutes after a fast spinnaker reach down the Derwent and the Channel.
Conditions overnight ranged from zero to 30 knots with the PHS corrected time scoring favouring the smaller boats overall, with Oskana placing 29th and first place overall going to Division 3 winner Camlet Way, Stephen Mannering’s Zeston 40 cruiser.
Overall second was Division 2’s winner Twitch (Twitch syndicate), third another Division 3 boat, Rob Cawthorn’s Talofa.
Camlet Way did not contest the Cock of the Huon, nor did Oskana or Whistler.
Sydney Hobart entrant Black Sheep’s co-owner Rob Gourlay described Friday night’s race as “a solid hit out….with a little more breeze than the forecast 10-15 knot NW! Zero to 30 knots from all directions was the reality.”
The final race of the 50th Pipe Opener Series will be sailed on Sunday morning from Port Huon to Gordon.
Words: Peter Campbell
Photos: Peter Watson, Peter Campbell, Black Sheep crew
22 September 218