THE first Ocean Series race for the Hillarys Yacht Club season – the Marmion Reef Race – sent yachts south on Sunday to the cardinal marker off Scarborough, then outside the reef north to Ocean Reef and back to Sorrento, a journey of 24 nautical miles.
The promising forecast did not eventuate and yachts were left drifting in the middle of the day before a light sea breeze filled in and the boats took off with spinnakers flying.
One of these was Mulberry (Mark Pitt) with tactician and sailmaker Brent Fowler of Quantum Sails aboard, eking out a lead over Haywire (Brett Young), which the former maintained for a first and fastest result in division one.
Murphy’s Law (Dean Giraudo) and First Impression (Ron Marian) filled the minor places on handicap.
In division two, Farrouk (Lee Burrows), Covert Operation (Bart Brouwer) and Pandora (Chris Grant) had success at different stages in fighting for the overall lead in the frustrating conditions.
But it was the newcomer Helga (Mark Taylor) who won on handicap with Show Me (Bruce Ellery) and Pinta (Kevin Stacey) also receiving pennants.
It was a hard day at the office for some as times varied from four to six hours to complete the course but the warm sunny day on blue water with curling breakers on the reef followed by hops rehydration was adequate compensation.