RACE REPORT – Rockwater Coventry Reef Race
The weather
forecast for the Rockwater Coventry Reef Race was predicted light north easterlies, shutting down around the middle of the day and then turning southward later in the afternoon. With the best of the breeze coming in early, Fremantle Sailing Club had wisely added a short course option, which the RO chose on the day. This shorter course inserted a turn mark off Garden Island, thereby reducing the length of the race significantly, and getting all boats back to shore by 1800.

The fleet had 26 boats across three Divisions, including Anthony Kirke’s Enterprise for her maiden race with their new mast and a shakedown before Geraldton.

After the start, the fleets rounded a Day Buoy off Leighton Beach and headed straight to the Western Windmill under spinnakers.  Some of the fleet headed out to sea to meet the new westerly breeze forecasted, while others gybed at the Windmill and headed south. The latter group got the better outcome, in what was probably the turning point of the race. As the fleet made its way past The Stragglers, Bernie Kaaks flew over in a helicopter, capturing the moment on film (details below).

As Bernie left the scene, the wind went with him, and many boats drifted for an hour or so around Challenger Passage.  Multiple sail changes were to be seen, from kites to codes to jibs to capture the little zephyrs and keep moving forward. As the souwester came in, all Divisions had some exciting and close sailing back to Fremantle.

In Division 1, Ian Clyne’s Joss, Chris Higham’s Argo took out first and second respectively on YAH and IRC with 10 and 12 seconds between them. Mark Nagle’s Weapon of Choice and his crew secured fastest and fourth on both handicaps, with Nicholas White’s Wasabi taking third on YAH, and Paul and Ceris Arns’ Obsession happy with their third on IRC, having to put their bowman up the mast to retrieve a halyard.

In Division 2, congratulations to Laurie and Maddie Flynne’s Dynamic who were first on both IRC and YAH, which included a sail-overboard retrieval. Ryan Binedell’s Low Flying Duck took out second, with Scott Glaskin’s Cougar placing 3rd on IRC.  In YAH, after a six-hour race, Lyn Powell and Ian Whitehead’s Fourth Dimension was second by less than one minute, and Ron MacArthur’s MX third.

Double handed skipper Alison Stock on Selkie, was first boat around the Western Windmill, enjoying first place on both IRC and YAH at the end of the day, with Wayne Pitcher’s Dart Vader taking 2nd on IRC and 3rd on YAH. Michael Sproxton and Josh Hearse on Fat Wallet Lost were happy with their 2nd on YAH.

Roger Passmore, on Aquila, was our sponsor for the Rockwater Coventry Reef Race, and once again our sincere thank you to him.  With Andrew Harry, they presented the winners their pennants and prizes for this year’s race.

Thank you to Trevor the PRO and his team of volunteers who are champions in our sailing world.

Photos: Bernie has uploaded some of the images from Sunday’s Rockwater Coventry Reef Race.  Click here to access. Bernie can be contacted on 0412 532 211 or at if you would like some of these wonderful pics.

All results are available here.

Upcoming Diary Dates

Friday 13 October – The start of the Blue Water Series, with the South of Perth 49th Geraldton Ocean Classic and Abrolhos Adventure Rally

Saturday 4 November – The Fremantle Harbour Classic.  As part of Maritime Day 2017 in Fremantle, the race is conducted in the Inner Harbour area, providing spectators with a rare opportunity to view yachts, with their coordinated crews, working and maneuvering their boats in close proximity to the docks.

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