Light winds but no duldrums for Exemplar Clipper Cup

Wed 26 May  

Light winds but no duldrums for Clipper Cup

The 2010 Exemplar Clipper Cup open class sailing regatta kicked off on Saturday with ten boats in contention. In very light winds the first race concluded with only four boats completing the course in the allocated time.


Line honours and first place on corrected time went to Mal Richardson on “Big Ice” with Belinda Cooper on “Groove”, Doug Ryan on “Magic” and the title defender John Gould on “Farr Better” being the only other boats to finish.


With the breeze lifting for the afternoon race the fleet enjoyed some close quarter action with all ten boats in hot pursuit of the honours. The 36’ catamaran Big Ice again proved to be the leading contender taking the line ahead of the field.  In what turned out to be a very tight finish after corrected times Mick Gwilliams on “Ice” took first place with only two seconds separating “Magic” and “Groove” for the minor placings.


Sunday’s passage race was again affected by light winds with the scheduled two island race rounding Snapper Island and Low Isles having to be shortened. After a delayed start the fleet made slow progress towards the windward mark before setting sail for Low Isles.


Again it was Big Ice that set the pace rounding the islets before the rest of the fleet had even reached there. However, the crew of this high speed cat has more than the fleet to contend with as her handicap is proving to be their major rival. With such a varied fleet of vessels including the big catamaran, comfortable ocean cruisers, small day sailers and mobile trailer sailers, the handicap system again proved to be effective in bringing the results in line with the relative performance of the crew on the day.


With actual finishing times spread almost over two hours corrected times saw less than four minutes between the placings. Gus Henderson on “Mais Oui” took first place followed by “Skulduggery” and “Big Ice”.


With the series lead in close contention there is still a chance for many of the competitors to make the final placings at the conclusion of the series.


The Exemplar Clipper Cup continues next weekend with two races on Saturday and the final race on Sunday. All the action of the start and finish can be viewed from Four Mile Beach.