Exile Crowned IRC and PHS Winner in the 2014 Club Marine Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Regatta
Middle Harbour Yacht Club's Rob Reynold's DK46 Exile has won the IRC division in the 2014 Club Marine Pittwater & Coffs Harbour Regatta, six points ahead of the Hudson/Lockley/Murphy Pretty Woman as the regatta drew to a close today in Coffs Harbour, hosted by The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club.
With a scorecard of 2,1,7,2 in the four race regatta after the fifth race was abandoned, Reynold's did enough to end his campaign on 12 points, knowing that he had to finish within five places of Pretty Woman to lift the coveted IRC regatta trophy. The Sydney 38 Old School skippered by Mark Griffith finished a further six points back to round out the podium.
Reynolds was also crowned the Australian PHS champion with a one point win over Andrew Byrne's Sydney 38 The Goat after being locked on equal points going into the final day. The RPAYC's Pretty Woman were third, a further six points back.
The ORCi title went to another RPAYC boat, Mark Griffith's Sydney 38 Old School, the 2012 IRC regatta winner. They also won by one point from Pretty Woman after being locked together overnight. Old School posted a bullet today with Pretty Woman recording a second to separate the tie. Mark Tinworth & Mark Waterhouse with their Beneteau 44.7 Le Billet were third, six points back.
Both races scheduled today got underway in a light ESE breeze that struggled to get to 6 knots with the second race shortened and then abandoned, as the wind died and the fleet attempted to inch their way to a finish.
The race committee, under the guidance of race officer Steve Merrington got the fleet away on schedule at 1100hrs today on a hot, humid day in Coffs Harbour. The first race for the fleet of 13 boats competing was a four nautical mile windward leeward on the Korffs east course set at 190 and 1.5 nautical miles offshore. As the fleet pushed their way down the line to the start it appeared there were a number going to be over. It was not a very clean start and a number of individual recalls were called including Rumba and Nine Dragons.
The beat to windward was a grind with the breeze getting soft. The course suited the Marten 49 Perpetual Mocean skippered by Bruce Hogan and his crew of RPAYC Youth Development graduates who led the fleet around the course in a smartly sailed race to take line honours in a time of 47 minutes 33 seconds from Exile and Pretty Woman.
On corrected time, IRC handicap positions were a carbon copy of line honours with Perpetual Mocean winning in a time of 59mins 9secs 45 seconds ahead of Exile with Pretty Woman third. Perpetual Mocean also took PHS honours in a time 56 mins 55 secs from Exile and Ian Box's Xp44Toy Box 2. In ORCi it was Old School with it's second win in the regatta 13 seconds ahead of Pretty Woman with Toy Box 2 third.
The final race had to wait more than half an hour as the AP flag went up when the breeze went softer and moved more right to the east. The committee vessel, Matthew Flinders upped anchor and moved inshore to set a course at 120. Race five got underway at 1pm with the course being the 13.5 nautical mile Korffs east, Split, harbour finish
The fleet got away to a clean start with Perpetual Mocean, Hussy and Nine Dragons opting for the pin with Old School, the best at the boat end. The boats struggled their way to the top mark before turning for a downwind to Split with the breeze fading. The race committee decided to shorten the course on that leg.
Perpetual Mocean were declared the line honours winner, however, there were a number of protests lodged over the shortened course finish line. In a protracted protest room at the Coffs Harbour Yacht Club this evening, it was decided by the jury that the race committee could not achieve a fair and equitable result for the competitors with the wind fading, so they decided to abandon the final race, a fair decision in the end welcomed by the competitors.
Bruce Hogan's Marten49 Perpetual Mocean - the front runner and boat of the day on day two of the regatta - pic by Damian Devine
An elated Rob Reynolds, skipper of Exile said on winning the IRC regatta title, "This is an absolutely fantastic feeling and I am thrilled to pick up the regatta win in IRC and the Australian PHS championship. I want to pay credit to my wonderful crew, it's a great testament to them that we have achieved this result as a team and I am lucky to have them with me. They are a great bunch of friends and they have worked extremely hard over the past week to pull this result together. It obviously couldn't have happened without them. "
"I have been coming to Coffs for a few years now and this has been another fantastic regatta and all credit to the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club and Coffs Harbour Yacht Club for organising the event. It's been a great few days, we've had lots of fun and I look forward to coming back next year to defend the title," added Reynolds.