Light winds a test for Hillarys skippers

Mark Pitt's Mulberry.
Mark Pitt's Mulberry.

A light north-easterly for the Handicap Start that later faded, favoured the early starters for the shortened course.

In Division 1, the three First 35s Haywire (Brett Young), Mulberry (Mark Pitt) and Deckchairs Overboard (Neil Harrison) just failed to chase down Hard Evidence (Des Riley and Marshall Fox).

In Division 2, a fast finishing Safi (Sam Tennent) passed Show Me (Bruce Ellery) to win by a second with Covert Operation (Graham Atkinson/Bart Brouwer) in third place.

Last year’s Winter Series winner in jib and main, Vaya Con Dios (Chris Blackney), returned for an initial victory with Catabatic (Rob Bills) closing rapidly to record second place and Salamander (Bruce Bradford) third.

The second race started in a light north-easterly. However, it strengthened, gusting to 18 knots half-way through the race and though it was a shortened course, the back markers came to the fore.

Eleven yachts raced in Division 1, highlighted by the return of Ian Walker’s Sally Malay after renovations, Farrouk (Lee Burrows) choosing to fly a kite this season and Chris Kelly and his female crew sailing Kraken for the first time.

Experience was an advantage in these conditions and the winner in Division 1 was Deckchairs Overboard, who was followed home by Murphy’s Law and Low Flying Duck (Ryan Binnidale).

In Division 2, Covert Operation turned the tables on Safi and Show Me, while in jib and main, Perle (John Bird) showed she preferred the stronger winds, finishing ahead of Salamander and Catabatic.