The 29th Annual Commodores’ race was sailed on Sunday 29th April in perfect conditions with about 15knots of SE breeze, gusting a little more at times, and a warm sunny day.
This years some changes were requested by FSC, in anticipation of a larger than usual number of Commodores (which in fact did not eventuate). The Association was asked to provide only boats that were in racing condition. Due to this request and the possibility of a larger than usual fleet some UFO 34 owners were contacted and 3 of the fleet this year were UFO 34s, which proved well matched to the S&S 34s, although it must be pointed out that the first 2 boats over the line were S&S 34s! No doubt the format of next years race will be a subject for discussion at the AGM – it would be nice to have the fleet comprised of as many S&S 34s as possible, preferably all S&S 34s.
However, the fleet provided to FSC proved to be very evenly matched, with only 7 minutes separating first from last, and also superbly handicapped by Dick Newnham, with only 5 minutes separating the boats on corrected time. Dick says that the boats were so well matched he only needed to apply 5 minutes or less handicap correction. The race was very well sailed and won on corrected time by Arwen, helmed by Mark Purser from EFYC. Only 47 seconds separated the top 3 boats!
Line honours went to Mark Fitzhardinge (RPYC) on Swagman, followed 12 seconds later by Ken Treen (ORSSC) on Blondie. Bill Waldby was out on the VIP boat to see the yacht he built so many years ago lead the fleet home, and certainly had a twinkle in his eye on arriving back at FSC. The rest of the fleet followed close behind, for full results see below.
Guy Bessell-Browne, Arwen, was presented for the second time with the David & Kathleen Walters Memorial Trophy. The trophy consists a scale model of half a S&S34 hull beautifully mounted and inscribed with the names of the winning yachts in future Commodores Races.
|1||Arwen||Mark Purser||East Fremantle Yacht Club||Guy & Nicola Bessell-Browne|
|2||Swagman||Mark Fitzhardinge||Royal Perth Yacht Club||Andrew Waldby|
|3||Olfrygt||Trevor Taylor||The Cruising Yacht Club||Bryan Thurston|
|4||Perie Banou III||Steve Davies||Commander – RAN Submarine Force Element Group||Colin Sanders|
|5||Kungari||Jim Suffield||Hillarys Yacht Club||Geoff Connor|
|6||Le Jag||Alan Ledger||Fremantle Sailing Club||Roger & Marissa Raymond|
|7||Blondie||Ken Treen||Ocean Reef Sea Sports Club||Simon Torvaldsen|
|8||Huckleberry||Peter Batty||Jervoise Bay Sailing Club||Steve Humphries|
|9||Cinnabar||nil – late withdrawal||Competed with owner helming||Mike Harvey|
|10||Sulfur||Gerry Pietersen||Mandurah Offshore Fishing & Sailing Club||Dick Newnham|
Click here to read more about the Commodores race
Photos taken by Simon Torvaldsen (click on photos to enlarge)
Sorry, the race was so close and exciting I didn’t have time to take any whilst on the water!