Philosopher’s wild ride to clinch Division 1 lead
SHAUN Tiedemann’s Sydney 36cr Philosopher, a former Australian yachting champion, yesterday impressively wound up her preparation for another tilt at the championships in Melbourne next January.
On an afternoon of fresh to strong southerly winds, gusting in rain squalls to 26 knots, Philosopher scored two wins and a third out of three races under AMS scoring and a 2-3-1 score under IRC.
Under her previous Sydney owner, 18-footer world champion Peter Sorensen, the yacht, then named Philosopher’s Club, won her class at the Australian yachting championships at Hamilton Island.
After yesterday’s day of heavy weather racing Philosopher heads the pointscore in all three handicap divisions of the Combined Clubs short course championships.
Three windward/leeward races were sailed in what Bellerive Yacht Club sailing manager Peter Watson described as a true test of crews and boats.
“Conditions were testing with fresh to strong southerly winds . . . with sloppy one metre waves turning the Derwent into a river of whitecaps,” Watson said.
“A premium was placed on good crew work with any mistakes brutally punished by the fresh breeze and lumpy waves.”
Watson said there had been several severe broaches including Filepro (Tim Gadsby) losing both her spinnaker brace and sheet in a severe knockdown.
“The result was having the spinnaker fly high in the breeze horizontal with the top of the mast,” Watson said.
“It took great skill and perseverance by the crew to retrieve the spinnaker undamaged and they were able to regroup and continue racing.”
In Division 2 the crews were more conservative and only hoisted spinnakers in the last race.
Just to add further drama, two ships transited through the race area during the blustery first race.
Bellerive Yacht Club member Jeff Cordell’s Mumm 36 B&G Advantage, won all three handicap categories in race one for Division 1, PHS, AMS and IRC. However, she was forced to retire from race three.
Sistership TasPaints won IRC and PHS categories in race two while Philosopher clinched her overall pointscore leads in Division 1.
The other Division 1 race winners yesterday were Mem (Paul Boutchard) in the PHS category in the first race of the day and Filepro (Tim Gadsby) in the PHS category of the final race.
In Division 2, Ben Latham’s J24 T42 Another Toy won all three races under PHS scoring.
TROUBLE LOOMS: Filepro starts her wild broach in strong southerly winds.