18 FEBRUARY 2017
Hot weather and Easterly winds created interesting conditions for the FSC and TCYC fleets competing in the Warne Shield race to TCYC and the Cockburn Cup / Browne Trophy return race. The strong Easterly created great racing conditions for the Fremantle boats to race down with all the fleet finishing well within the time limit.
The start was at Y to give a slightly shorter course and to avoid the worst of the current from the floodwaters flowing out of the harbour mouth (though the brown river water was observed as far south as Parmelia Bank). The Longboat was the only boat caught out by the more distant start and cruised down to Rockingham after missing the time limit for starting. JAM and Division Two started first and enjoyed a very tight sail to the first mark at S – where the rounding was eight boats abreast!
Intension was doing well but was brought up abruptly by a occy pot entanglement which took them to the back of the fleet.
The Easterly held in for the morning with most boats able to sail a soldier’s course on port tack from start to finish. For a while it looked like a bulk carrier leaving Kwinana would split the fleet but the carrier changed course and passed to the east of all boats. Pipedream III was one of the few Division Two boats to fly a spinnaker on the first leg but was overtaken just before the finish by Panache II which was one of the few boats to fly a spinnaker on the final leg from Y to Q and finish.
The four strong Division One fleet started second and featured the unusual sight of Franco Pieri’s Medusa sporting a spinnaker at the start. The Divison One boats sailed through the other two fleets with all but Andrew Dawson’s Knot Dreaming finishing ahead of all other competitors. Peter Kennington’s The Cro Connection took first (and fastest) on performance handicap by two seconds from Medusa with Roger Passmore’s Aquila third after a close battle on the water with The Cro Connection. The Cro Connection also took first (and fastest) from Aquila on IRC handicap.
Nine boats contested Division Two with close racing mid fleet between Panache II, Pipedream III and Crazy Horse 2. On performance handicap Mark Robertshaw’s One Goat took first ahead of Ian Joel’s Top Shelf (fastest) with Kim Klaka’s Panach II third. Eufarria was the sole IRC competitor. Not all finish times were recorded but finish times for all competitors have been calculated with the assistance of, and to the satisfaction of, the affected boats.
Peter Joiner’s Sir Henry Merkin dominated the three strong JAM fleet coming first and fastest ahead of Jane Laws Ambience and Myra Stanbury’s Sami on performance handicap. No IRC boats contested JAM division.
The helpful map in the sailing instructions enabled the FSC boats to find their allocated moorings and a shuttle service took the visitors in to the TCYC clubhouse for lunch. There was plenty of time to rest and relax or take a refreshing swim before the return race.
TCYC boats joined the FSC boats for the Cockburn Cup/Browne Trophy return race to Fremantle. The Easterly had moderated but there was enough strength in the breeze to set the fleet going from a single start sequence. Those who started lower on the line needed to tack to clear the mussel farm off Southern Flats but much of the fleet managed to clear it on one board and looked set for a long starboard tack spinnaker run back to the finish line off the South Mole in Fremantle.
Unfortunately, as the fleet made its way north, the breeze decreased. Navigational calculations resulted in engines being started as the chances of reaching the finish by the 5:30pm deadline were assessed as zero. The course couldn’t be shortened as Success was not available in the afternoon.
Thanks to the stalwart finish crew who had a long afternoon on South Mole, sheltering from the sun under umbrellas, and waiting for the fleet that never came.
Full results for the race down are available on the FSC Results page.