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Roger Hickman sailed his 28 year-old Wild Rose to three
consecutive wins in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s annual
Blue Water Pointscore after winning the 180nm Cabbage Tree
Island Yacht Race on 9 November, rating him a favourite for the
upcoming Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
The reality of the upcoming Hobart race bit, as yachties and
their boats were sorely tested, ending with five retiring because
of boat damage, but Hickman’s well prepared boat and crew came
into their own, nudging out line honours winner, Celestial, the
Rogers 46 owned by Sam Haynes, by a snip under two minutes.
Celestial was first boat home at 17:26:41 on Saturday, withDarryl
Hodgkinson’s Cookson 50 Victoire following nearly four minutes
later and Patrice five minutes later, causing Tony Kirby’s brand
new Ker 46 to be quickly dubbed the ‘TK Express’.
A fleet of 30 contested the difficult race, which ended in
high hopes for some and back to the drawing board for others.
“A baptism of fire,” was how Roger Hickman described the race.
Patience, skill, boats and their gear were tested to the limit. Five
retired with damage after taking a battering in excessive winds
and seas. In between times, crews were struck by the contrast of
conditions thrown at them when lulls and parking lots replaced
a harsh sea and winds that ran the gamut of the compass.
“It was blowing from nor’north-east at 25-26 knots and out
of the blue the wind went quiet,” Hickman said. “East of Manly,
we heard the airport weather and it said a 28 knot south-west
and we thought ‘what the ...’. So we were watching the clouds,
and saw a big roller and were prepared when the wind swung to
the south and south/west at 20 knots and freshening. We saw
30 on the dial and paused to let it settle.”
The way back to the finish was not any easier, with a light nor’
easter increasing to 18 knots, “ Then all hell broke loose when we
were hit by a thunder storm and hail; Duende (the Judel Vrolijk
52) was there with us,” Hickman said. Once through that, they
faced constantly changing winds which ended with a 25-37 knot
south-easterly that gusted to 30 knots as they sailed to the finish.
On Saturday morning, Andrew Wenham reported keel damage
to Southern Excellence II, bringing an end to his race. At 8.55am, Paul
Patrice surprised a
few in her maiden
Roger Hickman’s Wild Rose – three wins from three races.
Jones’ Canberra entry, Namadgi, reported
she was retiring off The Entrance, north
of Gosford, while still headed north to the
Island. She had been caught too long in an
airless pocket and looked likely to finish
the race early next week. In the afternoon,
Paul Clitheroe pulled Balance because of
Principal Race Officer Denis Thompson
reported from the start line off Point Piper
on Friday evening: “The yachts started in a
25-27 knot north-easterly wind. It was really
blowing,” he said. “It was a clear start, but
a few held back to play it safe.”
Thompson said all mains were reefed
(except Wild Rose which had been testing a re-raked mast) and
smaller headsails in place in the big conditions. “ Two hours into
the race, though, the wind went round to the west and south-west
at around 20 knots, which wasn’t predicted.”
On Saturday morning just after 9.00am, Thompson and his
crew were sitting in 1 knot of breeze, waiting for the predicted
15-25 knot south-easterly to fill in.
Baptism of fire –
Hickman makes it three
in a row with Cabbage
Tree Island victory
BEWARE OF SCAMS WHEN SELLING BOATS
Buyers and sellers should be cautious of possible scams when
buying and selling a boat.
Buyers should be especially cautious when dealing with boat sellers
that are overseas and should always arrange to view the boat prior
to the transfer of money.
Be wary if the number in the ad is disconnected. If the buyer/seller
says the number is disconnected because they are overseas, ask
for a landline phone number at their current location as well as a
mobile phone number.
All contact details of the person buying or selling the boat should
be verified to ensure they are genuine.
More information is available at scamwatch.gov.au
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