Rolex Sydney Hobart form guide: CYCA trophy series
McConaghy Boats dominated the CYCA trophy series over the weekend taking first and second places in both IRC and ORCi.
Ed Psaltis, Bob Thomas and Michael Bencsik’s McConaghy Ker 40 Midnight Rambler won the Saturday race in a gusty 18-20 kt south easterly, then backed it up by winning again on Sunday in a fickle 3-6 kt breeze, in a hot fleet packed full of Sydney Hobart contenders. Ed commented that their performance had always been strong in the bigger breezes, but with their new sail wardrobe they had now found more pace in the light airs without compromising their heavy air performance. The McConaghy Ker 40 has already proved its IRC superiority by winning the UK IRC National Championship earlier this year. Previous overall Sydney Hobart winners Ed and his team aim to improve on their 2nd in division result from last years Hobart race
Second place on both Saturday and Sunday races went to Tony Kirby’s brand new McConaghy Ker 46 Patrice. “We wanted to win but you can’t knock second,” Patrice’s owner, Tony Kirby said. Patrice has been performing consistently above expectation straight out of the box, “We are a Corinthian crew, and we are up against boats stacked full of pros! I think our results so far show that it was the right decision to go with a McConaghy build a Ker design” With so many variables contributing to a good result in the Hobart race, Tony is confident that he has “ticked the boxes” when it comes to the fundamental aspects a yacht that will give him a good foundation to aim for that elusive Sydney Hobart victory.
Saturday’s testing conditions saw a guest appearance from Bob Oatley’s Reichel Pugh 30m Wild Oats XI, with Mark “Ricko” Richards at the helm. Ricko said that he didn’t hold back on Saturday and launched the boat as hard as he could, proving that the newly repaired mast can sustain conditions that bought down the rig on Shogun V on the same day. Wild Oats XI ripped around the course taking line honours by over 15 min to Giacomo, the ex Groupama Volvo 70. The big test will be the Hobart race, but the Wild Oats team headed by John Hilderbrand leave no stone unturned in anticipation of the big showdown against Anthony Bell’s Perpetual Loyal. The rig has been removed again today and the boat hauled out of the water for thorough inspection of every detail.
The original Wild Oats, Roger Hickman’s McConaghy Farr 43 Wild Rose also put in a good performance on Saturday securing 2nd on IRC div 2, and 2nd in ORCi behind Midnight Rambler, demonstrating that the 28 year old Farr design still has the potential to perform well in the stronger winds on the way to Hobart.
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McConaghy built Ker 46 Patrice © Andrea Francolini
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