No wind makes Clip­per tough

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

THE 2013 Ex­em­plar Clip­per Cup saw 21 boats across four di­vi­sions hit the seas in the search of glory in the form of a tro­phy and an $8000 prize pool.

As the start time ap­proached for rac­ing on day 1 the fleet faced a gen­tle breeze and a gen­tle sea to carry the yachts around the wind­ward lee­ward course for race 1 and race 2.

With all di­vi­sions start­ing to­gether there was plenty of ac­tion across the line in both races for the day.

At the end of the first day Ice held the se­ries lead in Di­vi­sion 1 (mono­hull) with a dou­ble win for the day. In Di­vi­sion 2 (mono­hull) Ruff Red held the lead with a first and a sec­ond, Bare­foot held Di­vi­sion 3 (mul­ti­hull) with a dou­ble win and Port FM Mais Oui also had a dou­ble win to hold Di­vi­sion 4 (sports boats).

On day 2 the course was set for a round­ing of Snap­per Is­land and Low Isles ex­cept for Di­vi­sion 4 sched­uled for two more wind­ward lee­ward races.

The start was de­layed by an hour and the breeze barely reached above 10 knots and all crews were truly tested to nav­i­gate their way around the re­spec­tive cour­ses.

Dusty Muz­zle won Di­vi­sion 1 but re­mained one point be­hind Ice while in Di­vi­sion 2 Kai Lani took the win to move ahead of Ruff Red with the lat­ter one of five boats in the fleet un­able to fin­ish the short­ened course. Bare­foot se­cured a third win in Di­vi­sion 3 to place a firm grip on the se­ries lead.

In Di­vi­sion 4 Ketchup took the win in race 3 and Guilty Plea­sures claimed the hon­ours for race 4 but it was Ketchup that moved to a se­ries lead at the half way stage.

The next day of the re­gatta was a lay day in which crews had the chance to re­lax and en­joy some time on land which turned out to be a bless­ing as the breeze barely lifted above five knots all day but it was a dif­fer­ent story on day 3 with a gusty 20 knots to con­tend with.

On the beat to­wards Low Isles from a mark round­ing off Day­man Point, Di­vi­sion 3 leader Bare­foot suf­fered dam­age to their main beam and was forced to re­tire from the re­gatta re­quir­ing as­sis­tance from the Coast Guard hav­ing man­aged to se­cure the ves­sel safely in the lee of Snap­per Is­land.

The withdrawal of Bare­foot opened the door for In­digo to take the win but Bare­foot still held the se­ries lead by two points. Chalkies Char­iot made the most of the con­di­tions to take first in Di­vi­sion 1 with Dusty Muz­zle claim­ing the se­ries lead. Kaos claimed the win in Di­vi­sion 4 but Ketchup held on to the se­ries lead head­ing into the fi­nal day.

Day 4 was a com­plete re­ver­sal of con­di­tions from the pre­vi­ous day as the fleet waited for over two hours for suf­fi­cient breeze to start the first race, with the wind not lift­ing above sin­gle fig­ures all day many boats in the fleet strug­gled to find suf­fi­cient mo­tion to steer the course and the con­di­tions on the day proved to seal the fate of many.

The fi­nal race was aban­doned due to time con­straints and the re­gatta con­cluded in a flat sea and calm air.

Ice (5) recorded a third win to take out Di­vi­sion 1 ahead of Dusty Muz­zle (8) and Groove (12) fol­lowed by Shazam (15), Chalkies Char­iot (16), Ann Sea (16) and Now or Never (30).

Kai Lani (5) also recorded a third se­ries win to take out Di­vi­sion 2 ahead of Ruff Red (9) and Sea Dove (12) fol­lowed by Ca­sua­r­ina (13) and Miriama Te Rua (17).

In Di­vi­sion 3 In­digo (6) scored a win in the fi­nal race to over­take Bare­foot (7) ahead of Sky­walker (15).

In Di­vi­sion 4 Guilty Plea­sures won the fi­nal race but it was not enough to catch the win­ner Ketchup (9) with Guilty Plea­sures (14) hold­ing sec­ond over­all on a tie break from Kaizen2 (14) fol­lowed by Port FM Mais Oui (16), Kaos (18) and And Then (29).

Port Dou­glas Yacht Club Com­modore Colin Simpson said de­spite some days be­ing slow, ev­ery­one had a good time.

‘‘With­out a lot of wind the days were slow but over­all it went well,’’ he said.

‘‘I think ev­ery­one was pretty happy and peo­ple were hav­ing fun. Thanks to the spon­sors and also to the Coast Guard for as­sist­ing Bare­foot when they ran into a bit of trou­ble.

‘‘We will pro­mote next year’s event a lot this year in hopes we can get over 30 boats to en­ter in the next Clip­per Cup.’’

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