Home' Afloat : AFLOAT December 2016 Contents 56 AFLOAT.com.au December 2016
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Top speeds at Abbotsford’s
annual 12ft skiff race
Speed was not a problem when Abbotsford 12ft Sailing
Club hosted the Parramatta River Championship for 12ft Skiffs
on 23 October. The winning boat, Sydney Sailmakers, finished in
a record time, running at full speed in the 20-25 knot southerly
breeze in Hen and Chicken Bay. This made for some spectacular
viewing on the downwind runs, with the boats lifting right out
of the water at times.
The Parramatta River Championship is an annual event which
has been organised at the 80-year-old Abbotsford Club since 1954.
It is also an opportunity for former Abbotsford members and skiff
enthusiasts to enjoy the river again and relive past memories.
For example, 85-year-old Keith Tutt, who sailed at Abbotsford
his whole life and is the winner of many 12ft skiff championships,
returned with his daughter Kim. He enjoyed himself greatly and
joined the official party on Scout, the starting vessel, to watch
The race started in bright sunshine with a fresh southerly,
sometime swinging southeast. The swing made decision-making
during the downwind run crucial to minimise the number of
gybes on the windward-leeward course.
The race was tight for a long time between the leaders Sydney
Sailmakers, Geotherm and Lincoln Crowne, until a small error saw
Parramatta River Sailing Club’s 2016-17
season six race spring series started with
two boisterous westerlies gusting to 30+
knots and ended with another, which both
divisions handled with aplomb. In between
we had a bit of a breather with three races
out of the east half of the compass in the
10-20 knot range, which included some
superb masthead kite downwind duels
and many very close crosses coming
In Division 1 the Etchells A xis of Evil
(Geoff Dempsey) with three wins won
by three points from the Adams10.6 Still
Festering (Pat O’Brien) on two wins, with
another three points to the Ross930
Resurgent (Rob and Phil Widders) also
rounding out the heat winners.
In Division 3 Crossfire20 Xena Warrior
Princess (Carolyn Howe) with superb
consistency carding two wins and four
seconds, held out by just one point the
fast finishing Compass750 A Fine Balance
(Noel Wallis) with three wins. The Farr727
Farrago (Barry Heaton) came in third also
rounding out the heat victors.
Both divisions have expanded yacht
numbers this season, and members have
totally enjoyed the three club dinners to
date, not to mention the regular post-race
wash-ups on the veranda and over the bar.
In the 2016 Balmain Regatta on 30th
October Still Festering assembled a crack
crew and won Open Class C, also winning
the prestigious Pyrmont Cup for the best
winning margin of all divisions.
The club’s Summer Series now starts,
and the Long Course deep down harbour,
Special Trophies mid harbour and Twilight
series continue. PRSC welcomes new
skippers and crew (see www.prsc.org.
au for details) or attend the club at the end
of Wharf Road Gladesville any Saturday
afternoon scheduled races are on.
h Rob Widders
PARRAMATTA RIVER SAILING CLUB’S SPRING SERIES
Geotherm capsize on the downwind run and lose contact with
the leader. Geotherm recovered to capture second place after a
further capsize from Lincoln Crowne, finishing third in the still
Top five scratch results:
1. Sydney Sailmakers (Nick Press/Andrew Hay); 2. Geotherm
(Brett Hobson/Billy Lusty); 3. Lincoln Crowne (Jonathon Temple/
Richard Jones); 4. Bigfoot Foot Custom Trapeze Harnesses (Murray
Press/Scott Lanham); 5. Chapman High Performance Sailing (Jack
Winning/Brett Phillips). h
Nick Press and Andrew Hay – record time on Sydney Sailmakers.
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