The I’s Have It

Intrigue, IYKYK and Innovator finish as season Champions, but not without a final fight. The RYCT Race Management spun magic in the tricky conditions setting two courses that gave the competitors a tough final round.

“The starts were just how I like it,” says Ian “CWeed” Stewart. “The little boats all amongst the big boats, a little bit of argy-bargy, that’s what it’s all about.”

More than a few crew shared how happy they were with the racecourse on such a shifty split-breeze day.

Division 1 featured two races, with Young Magic winning both IRC and ORC, while Hooligan won on PHS.

“At one point we could see the Division 2 boats with kites coming up the river, and we had kites up going down the river, so we thought, OK time to act,” reports Michelle Boutchard, co-owner of Young Magic, “And that’s racing on the Derwent.”

“I just love the Windward-Leeward stuff. You don’t get a moment to get bored,” adds co-owner Paul Boutchard. The team had a tight Port-Starboard duck with Intrigue and Heatwave Fish Frenzy at one of the top marks. “And you’ve got to be pretty switched on.”

Jazz Player took all three handicap groups in the second race.

“It probably helped that Fork in the Road and Guilty Pleasure VI had to go back [at the start], that gave us a bit of a hop on them,” says skipper Brent McKay. With a clean start, Jazz Player was able to extend in clean air, while more than a few teams had a tough time laying the tight reach.

Intrigue was right behind, however, pulling in seconds and a third, as series new-comer Eye Candy snuck ahead on the IRC results in the second race.

“The Mumm30s were always on us today, keeping us on our toes,” reports Intrigue spokesperson, bowman Jack Harris. “It was always pedal to the metal.”

The Intrigue crew unanimously thanked Year 12 student Charlie Salmon, for his phenomenal progress this season. Apparently, it all started as a bit of a joke, “Just come for a sail,” said Jill Calvert.

Fast forward to the last long-race of the series where Salmon stepped up to replace bowman Harris who was away for the weekend. With such a standout performance, his mullet has nearly been forgiven.

Young Magic took second overall in the series on IRC, edging out Joint Custody on a tiebreaker, second on ORC ratings, and won the PHS.

“Drew Latham did a great job steering,” shares Paul Boutchard, who co-owns the boat with wife Michelle, “We’re really pleased with the whole team, and the work we’ve done to get an old boat up to speed. [Young Magic] is doing what it was designed to do.”

In Division 2, Xcite clipped IYKYK on the final leg to the finish for the Line Honours win, by hugging Wrest Point shore, but it wasn’t enough to win on handicap.

“Certainly worked the forward hands hard today, we did,” laughs Scott “Brainy” Brain of Team IYKYK. “The kites went up and down a few times today.” Well done, Toby Burnell, and to all the bow and mast teams.

But the action didn’t stop there – the highlight of the day was the massive pod of dolphins off the Garrow, “One nearly jumped on board and landed on Colleen!” exclaimed Brainy. “It breached right by the beam of the boat.”

Bandwagon cleaned up on ORC, with IYKYK holding the IRC win, and Kamehameha taking first on PHS. Kamehameha owner and usual skipper David O’Neill thanks Ed Psaltis and Jim Reid for taking the boat round the buoys for the last race of the season.

Bandwagon’s late season success propelled them in the overall series to clinch second place on ORC ahead of Wings Three, just edging Xcite off the podium.

IYKYK started the day already winning the series on IRC and ORC and finished the day taking the PHS win from Serica by a mere point.

In Division 3, Astrolabe won overall on PHS, but it wasn’t quite enough to beat out Innovator for the series win, who took Line Honours and finished second overall. Unfortunately, podium hopeful Hornet was a nonstarter, unable to make the start line due to unforeseen circumstances, but the team had a competitive season with a very tight fleet in Division 3.

The series might be over, but sailing isn’t as Hobart’s local champion looks outwards. “It’s been a tricky season, but a rewarding one,” shares Harris, “Proving that [Intrigue] can go well for the IRC Nationals.”

Harris has been crewing a few seasons now, and the learning never stops. Being aboard Intrigue has been an opportunity for him to observe crew work at its best.

“[The communication] is always so calm and collected,” shares Harris. “There’s no stress on board the boat, which makes it easier for everyone to do their job right, which then makes things run easier – especially for me up the front.”

Good luck to Team Intrigue and their endeavors representing Tasmania at the IRC National Championships – we certainly hope to see them “up the front”.

Words: Lizzi Rountree

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