National Sydney 38 champ Phoenix takes out Sydney 38 Victorian titles
Short and sharp. Not the usual chop on Port Phillip but the Quantum Sails Sydney 38 Victoria titles that were reduced from a weekend to a single day series after 25-35 knot wind squalls, driving rain and hail pushed up from Bass Strait.
The fleet encountered light and fickle 5-8 knot west to nor’west winds on the Saturday, April 18, 2015. Looking out from the warmth of the Sandringham Yacht Club glass front on Sunday was like Armageddon in contrast.
Brenton and Jen Carnell’s Phoenix won the states in convincing fashion, the reigning Australian Sydney 38 champion also the new Victorian champion. The seven race regatta became a four race series and Phoenix’s scorecard of 2,1,2,3 and final impressive tally of eight points delivered them a nine point win over the second placed Ikon38, Kirwan Robb’s first class result with the former Whisper.
“It’s amazing to finish off the season with a state win not long after our nationals victory,” Carnell said. “The crew were fantastic, turning the corners we had the edge on the others, and our tactician Chris Jones was amazing; we were on the line every time and on the right side of the course.”
Being the final event of the 2014-15 one design season Carnell thanked “the Sydney 38 Association for their hard work over the season and my wife Jen for putting up with me.” The Carnells are looking forward to a break…”it’s been a huge year,” Brenton admitted.
Audacious (Greg Clinnick and Paul Holden) came in one point behind Ikon38 in third, tied on points with Playground (Andrew and Gayl Robinson).
In Corinthian results Audacious placed first, then Playground and Sierra Chainsaw (Andrew, Pat and Mel Mollison). Half way into Saturday’s four races Sierra was tied with Phoenix for first but chose to go hard right in race three and four which didn’t pay and put them out of the top placings.
Playground is a husband steering/wife tactician model – testing at times, especially when a penalty was taken by Playground over a port/starboard situation – but all were smiling at the regatta end.
Sponsors Quantum Sails and Ronstan supported the event, as they have done over a number of years. Dave Eickmeyer from Quantum played a very hands-on role as tactician on Stephane Howarth’s Mille Sabords and presented the prizes at Sunday afternoon’s trophy presentation.
All nine boats were represented at an excellent social function held at Royal Brighton Yacht Club on Saturday night where crews enjoyed videos from the recent nationals and stills of the day’s sailing, courtesy of Sailing Shack, plus the highlight, 100 cupcakes decorated with the Sydney 38 logo.
“No protests were lodged but the on-water jury did arbitrate on several incidents, keeping the tacticians on their best behaviour. Overall it was a very well run regatta thanks to SYC and their band of 12 plus volunteers,” commented class President Greg Clinnick.
The next event for the 38s is the Morris Finance pre-season two day series Royal Geelong Yacht Club will host over the last weekend of September, 2015. Over the Australia Day long weekend in January 2016 the class’ nationals are set to coincide with RGYC’s annual Festival of Sails.
Event: Quantum Sails Sydney 38 Victorian State Title, April 18-19, 2015 hosted by Sandringham Yacht Club
Southern chapter contest Quantum Sails Sydney 38 Victorian title
A fleet of nine Victorian Sydney 38s entered for this weekend’s class state title will vie for bragging rights as the fastest Sydney 38 on Port Phillip Bay.
Sandringham Yacht Club is hosting this signature event for the southern chapter of the Sydney 38 Class Association. It will be a busy weekend for SYC hosting the 38s, J24s and their Centenary regatta, one of the largest club regattas for the year. The view from the club balcony will be a spectator’s delight!
Brenton and Jen Carnell’s Geelong based Phoenix is hot favourite. Fresh from a recent nationals title victory in Pittwater, they showed they are the boat to beat in light airs and will be watching the weather closely to see if their A grade light air game can win them another piece of silverware for their expanding trophy cabinet.
Bruce Taylor’s Chutzpah38 features the late Lou Abraham’s ex-Challenge afterguard who are looking to move up the podium from their recent fourth place at the nationals.
The major talking point is the newly acquired Ikon38. Kirwan Robb purchased the 2014 national champion boat Whisper to be delivered to Melbourne just in time for the Quantum Sails Sydney 38 Victorian State Title, April 18-19, 2015.
Robb’s Beneteau First 45 Ikon is the current undisputed division 1 IRC champion sailing out of Hobson Bay Yacht Club and he and his crew are looking forward to transferring their success across to the local Sydney 38 one design fleet. “We were attracted to Sydney38s as they offer some of the best one design racing in Australia,” Robb commented. “Our Beneteau Ikon offers great sailing and we continue to push ourselves every time we race. Ikon38 offers the chance to match race large keel boats and forget about the handicap. We can’t wait to get out there this weekend and we are looking forward to seeing where we sit on the leader board after the last race on Sunday.”
Sydney 38 Class President Greg Clinnick reckons the addition of another top notch Sydney 38 to the Victorian fleet once again raises the bar and he welcomes Ikon38 and its crew to the Sydney 38 family, which now boasts 11 Victorian boats. “We saw a massive amount of interest in the class coming out of the recent nationals; several major sponsors, 3,500 Facebook views and 1000+ YouTube views. People are interested in what we are doing, that’s for sure. We have an increasing membership and I’m aware of two more syndicates interested in buying a Sydney 38.
“Our next nationals will be held in Geelong in January 2016 as part of the Festival of Sails and we already have 16 owners planning to enter, including those from South Australia and NSW,” Clinnick added.
The local Quantum Sails loft through Dave Eickmeyer is supporting the Victorian Sydney 38 state title with up to seven windward/leeward short course races scheduled across the weekend starting at 10am daily. The presentation of awards will take place immediately after racing on Sunday the 19th on the balcony at SYC. The fleet will also enjoy a social function on the Saturday night.
Quick coverage of the Morris Finance Sydney 38 regatta held at the Royal Geelong Yacht Club from the 20th – 21st of September 2014.
Created by AM Productions
We started on Friday with a 150nm race from Adelaide to Lincoln with 5 38’s and around 40 other yachts. It was perfect conditions for all and was looking like a quick race. The 38 fleet split up overnight and by sunrise Slipknot was 10nm in front followed by White knight, The Business, Asylum then Clockwork. We had caught up with the ben45’s and were in front of the 40’s and it looked like the 38’s would be in the top 5 till we found a parking lot 15nm from the finish for around 2 hours whilst the front guys found the wind and came home strong. We ended up in the top 10 and within the first 15 boats over the line.
The Lincoln regatta week started off in 25 + knts but flat water with all 5 38’s racing with the div 1 IRC fleet. After Slipknot suffered a man over board on the last work of the first race (whilst being 800m in front) the results were White Knight, The Business, Slipknot, Asylum & Clockwork. The second race was in the same conditions with Asylum broaching and blowing a masthead kite and ended up with Slipknot, White Knight, The Business, Asylum & Clockwork.
The second day we had our long race of 39nm. After a close start with the div1 boats it was a tight race all day with the lead changing several times in the shifty conditions and at the finish in front of the club was Slipknot 1st follow by White Knight, Asylum, The Business & Clockwork who were improving each day.
The 3rd day was the traditional 11nm race to Meggas BBQ. After a few port starboards with the div 1 fleet, White Knight ended up taking the win by a couple of boat lengths over Slipknot then Asylum, The Business and closely behind was Clockwork.
The final day saw Slipknot and White Knight tied on points and it came down to the last race to decide the S.A. State Champion. We had a long postponement due to no wind, but once racing got under way it was tight all the way. White Knight took the win with Slipknot just in front in front of Asylum and Clockwork coming up 4th .
There was some fantastic racing over and week for all involved and Port Lincoln are keen to see the Sydney 38’s feature more prominently in their regatta – maybe host a future Nationals? The Sydney 38 scene in S.A. is taking off with two boat owners looking to step up to 38 ownership creating an 8 boat fleet in the near future.
Sydney 38 Association – S.A. representative
Phoenix rises from the doldrums as Australian Sydney 38 champion
Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.
There was no chance the 200 or so Sydney 38 and 36 sailors contesting the Performance Boating Sydney Yachts Regatta were going to die of thirst like the poor souls on Coleridge’s ship in his famous maritime poem, the Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner. Yet three days of heavy cloud, thick humidity and barely there breeze warranted the doldrums reference and amounted to punishing racing.
At the end of a seven race series, well short of the 12 originally scheduled due to the extreme weather pattern, the long delivery from Geelong to Pittwater became all the more worthwhile when Brenton and Jen Carnell’s Phoenix capped off the Sydney 38 Australian title by one point having staved off a late challenge from Mark Griffith’s Old School (RPAYC).
“We thought we lost it on a countback, it was extremely nerve-racking adding up the points,” Carnell said. “The results went right down to the wire and for us it made the preparation and the 500 nautical mile journey so incredibly worthwhile. This weekend’s been a huge learning curve; we’ve jumped up to the next level.”
Carnell’s Royal Geelong Yacht Club crew realised they needed to readjust the boat after day one to have a chance at defeating the locals. They spent Friday evening tweaking and found the extra pace, and went in the right direction on the offshore course thanks to tactician Chris Jones. “All the crew were fantastic, in the light conditions they were pressed down on the leeward rail all the time and maintained the concentration needed to do the job,” Carnell praised.
Cruelly for Griffith, his final series result means a trifecta of seconds at the nationals, all by one point. “We’ll be at the next one in Geelong next January and will try to move up one more spot,” the weary skipper promised. “We did everything we could and we are happy we gave Phoenix a run. They sailed more consistently than us, plus we had a little bit of bad luck in the first race with a big clump of weed caught on the rudder putting us back into last place, until we sent a swimmer to clear it.”
Third Sydney 38 on overall points was Bruce Ferguson’s Whisper from RPAYC and Bruce Taylor’s Chutzpah from Melbourne was declared the top scoring Corinthian, or amateur-crewed boat.
First Sydney 36 in their two-day series was Peter Franki’s Saltshaker (CYCA) then Steve Hatch’s M (RSYC) and Andrew Hurt’s Onya (MHYC) in third overall.
As the 4pm time limit for a start approached, race six and seven rolled off in quick succession making the most of the best wind of the regatta – 7-8 knots from a smidge north of east. By that stage the caravan of 20 Sydney Yachts and officials plus marks and support boats had relocated to “half way to New Zealand” joked the PRO Steve Merrington. In actual fact he shifted the track southwards and further offshore on the ocean side of Palm Beach, north of Sydney.
Having found a wind pocket and determined to keep the momentum going, Merrington started race six under a black flag following a general recall of the fleet, which means too many boats were on the wrong side of the start line to be called back individually. Richard Williams’ Calibre cut it too fine and the flag came down, disqualifying them from that race.
At this evening’s trophy presentation at the host club, the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, the winning Phoenix team received the rededicated Lou Abrahams Australian Champion Trophy named in honour of the four-time winner and class stalwart who sadly passed away last year.
Abrahams’ longtime right hand man Rowan Simpson now races with a skipper he refers to as “another legend of Victorian yachting, Bruce Taylor”. The pair, for 35 years competitors are nowadays wearing the same crew colours and Simpson says they spend a lot of time reminiscing about Abrahams and past regattas and races. “Not a day goes by we don’t think of Lou or refer to him.”
As the last in the 20 boat fleet of Sydney 38s and 36s crossed the finish line this afternoon, Sunday February 22, 2015, crews took to their radios to thank the race committee for a terrific job under trying conditions. In response Merrington thanked them for their patience and also the RPAYC race management team he says “is the best I’ve ever worked with”.
Looking forward, Sydney 38 Association President Greg Clinnick reminds all Sydney 38 owners that a new class rule means from September this year boats can carry 25% bigger mast head kites, making this the last nationals with fractional kites.
Clinnick has also issued a challenge to all 38 owners. “We are pushing for 10 Sydney 38s to enter this year’s Sydney to Hobart with the aim of being the largest one design fleet in the world racing one of the longest and toughest ocean races. Five owners are committed, the association is calling for five more to take up the challenge.”
The class’ 2016 Australian title returns to Geelong and the Festival of Sails in January 2016 where it’s hoped fleets from South Australia, NSW and Victoria add up to 20-25 starters. Next on the Sydney 38 calendar are the Victorian and NSW state titles planned for the same weekend in April, 18-19. The NSW states fall under the Sail Port Stephens regatta banner.
Link to video from day 2 of racing
2015 FESTIVAL OF SAILS
An excellent fleet of 10 Sydney 38’s participated in the Festival Of Sails hosted by the Royal Geelong Yacht Club over the Australia Day weekend. The three day regatta made up of 8 windward leeward races was again highlighted by close racing, extreme weather conditions and a strong performance from the local boat, ‘Phoenix ‘ which dominated the racing. The additional of ‘Slipknot’ from South Australia added an interstate flavour to the regatta. The fact that we had our own race course, internationally qualified race management team and our own sponsor, Morris Finance also set us apart from the other fleets and we are grateful for those benefits. There are very few One Design keelboat classes that can boast those standards at the local level. It was also great to see the late Lou Abrahams ‘Challenge’ competing for the first time under a new owner ship.
Conditions were ideal with a building sea breeze peaking at 20 knots. With 2 first placings and a second, ‘Phoenix’ (Brenton and Jen Carnel) dominated the day with great speed, tactics and consistency. The boat looked great through the water and the crew work set the standard for the regatta. However, ‘Audacious’, (Class President Greg Clinnick and Paul Holden) won the other race and looked threatening. ‘Sierra Chainsaw’ (Mollison family) and ‘Playground’ Andrew Robinson were also on the pace. ‘Chutzpah38’ (Bruce Taylor) was seen during turns after running into the back of Sierra at a leeward mark! Overall, it was a very good day on the water.
In the evening, thanks to Jen Carnell, crews enjoyed a great social function at “The Edge” on the Corio Bay foreshore where crews had the opportunity to mingle and talk about the day’s racing.
Very light conditions contributed to a general recall and different winners. ‘Phoenix’ struggled more so in the light but ended the day with another first when the wind filled for the last race. However, in the first race of the day when the wind was light and shifting to the left, ‘Playground’ scorched the fleet with a fine win. The second race was won by ‘Chutzpah38’. ‘Audacious’ moved up the ladder with two second places and a third.
After two days of racing, the form guide suggested that ‘Phoenix’ was best in a breeze, largely due their very strong crew work. (The crew swing harder!). ‘Playground’ was quick in the light, ‘Sierra’ was brilliant at times but lacked consistency. ‘Audacious’ was fast and consistent and ‘Chutzpah38’ was coming to terms with some new crew!
Whilst only two races were scheduled, this was by far the most testing racing with gusts exceeding 30 knots. After a number of postponements, one to allow ‘Slipknot’ to rerig after a broken main halyard, racing finally got away with a somewhat diminished fleet.
‘Sierra’ picked the port end and was well clear at the top mark only to broach on the downwind leg to give up the lead to ‘Chutzpah38’ .
However, ‘Audacious’ powered upwind to overtake her and to go on to win comfortably with ‘Phoenix’, after also recovering from a broach, finishing third.
The final race saw “Chutzpah38’ recalled at the start, a costly error in those conditions and ‘Phoenix’ hold off a fast finishing Sierra to make it four wins for the regatta! The consistent ‘Audacious’ was challenged by ‘Chutzpah38’ but sailed her best series for some time to finish second overall and to take out the Corinthian Trophy. ‘Mille Sabords’ (Stephane Howard) and ‘Slipknot’ (Sebastion Bohm) did very well to finish both races close to the leaders.
With a number of Victorian Sydney 38’s entered for the Nationals to be held at Pittwater latter this month, the regatta was a great rehearsal. ‘Phoenix’ has the form and pedigree (Ex London Tavern) to do well, ‘Audacious’ is quick and more consistent whilst ‘Chutzpah38’ has room for improvement! Great to see ‘Challenge’ (Chris Mrakas) keen to improve and gain more experience. All should represent the Southern Chapter well. It is a major effort to travel interstate so we wish all crews every success in the series.
A very big thanks to Ian Murray and his company Morris Finance for his continued sponsorship of the class, to the Royal Geelong Yacht Club for accommodating our requirements and running a great regatta, to Jen Carnell for organizing the social function and to Sebastian Bohm and his Slipknot crew for making the long journey from South Australia to support the event.
Event: Performance Boating Sydney Yachts Pittwater Regatta, February 20-22 hosted by the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club at Newport, Sydney
Victorians tuned up for Sydney 38 national titles
The Victorian Sydney 38 fleet is tuned up for the class’ upcoming national title having contested the Festival of Sails series across a full spectrum of conditions over the Australia Day long weekend.
Brenton and Jen Carnell’s Phoenix from the host Royal Geelong Yacht Club clinched the Morris Finance one design victory on the final blowy day, Sunday January 25, 2015, the perfect confidence shot for last year’s national runner-up.
Second by four points at the Festival was Sydney 38 Class Association President Greg Clinnick and co-owner of Audacious, Paul Holden, from Royal Brighton Yacht Club. Third was Bruce Taylor’s Chutzpah38 from the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria.
The home of one design racing on Sydney’s northern beaches, the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, is hosting the once a year showdown over three days, February 20-22, 2015, and five teams from south of the NSW border have the championship in their sights.
Greg Clinnick reckons the 14 Sydney 38s already nominated for the Grade 1 regatta could grow as high as 20, and gauging the interest from Sydney 36 owners it looks like up to five will be scored in their own division.
The Sydney 38 One Design Australian Championship falls under the overarching Performance Boating Sydney Yachts Pittwater Regatta. Sydney 36s (PHS) and Sydney 32s (PHS) plus an EHC handicap division for any other Sydney Yacht owners who wish to compete complete the box set.
Following on from this month’s ISAF Sailing World Cup, Sydney based Paralympic SKUD gold medallist Dan Fitzgibbon will transition to the helm of his Sydney 38 Another Challenge in the run up to his first crack at an Australian class crown.
Fitzgibbon’s current world cup campaign in Miami is just one of a raft of international events that takes the busy Australian Sailing Team athlete and 2012 London gold medallist far from home seeking re-qualification with his crew, Liesl Tesch, for next year’s Rio Paralympic Games.
Missing the camaraderie that comes with a larger yacht crew prompted the quadriplegic sailor to approach the RPAYC and the class association about purchasing and modifying a Sydney 38 so he and other disabled sailors could integrate into existing club racing programs.
RPAYC not only embraced the concept, they went way beyond, launching their own Integrated disAbled Sailing (IdS) program with the support of a handful of key club members.
“Disabled sailing is usually very segregated,” admits Fitzgibbon. “I train by myself and spend a lot of time overseas competing. When I got back from the last Games I realised what was missing. Growing up Bayside in Brisbane I sailed with all my friends, and then again in the 470s and other dinghies. We had a great laugh and I was missing that element.
“I approached the RPAYC about adapting a yacht and spoke to the Sydney 38 Association about fitting into the class’ one design rules with the modifications. Both were so accommodating and have to be commended for their open mindedness.”
On Another Challenge Fitzgibbon’s seat moves to windward through the tack on a roller rail and cants when the boat is tacked. There are handrails throughout and his joystick controls a ram that manoeuvres the boat.
“The Sydney 38 is a great boat for what we need, it’s stable and there’s plenty of room,” the skipper offers. “I’m loving every minute of it. It’s the best sailing I’ve ever done, without any of the pressure of the Paras. We go out every Wednesday RPAYC race and have a laugh and enjoy the camaraderie and on the weekend we train for upcoming regattas, including the nationals.”
Victoria and NSW are fielding strong state teams all vying for a rededicated championship trophy named after the much missed grandfather of Sydney 38 racing, Lou Abrahams, who passed away last year. His crew, some now racing with other 38 owners, are the defending national champions and his winning boat is returning to the start line with class newcomer, Chris Mrakas from Sandringham YC, at the helm.
Weather dependent the racing will be run either on a course to the north of Scotland Island, Pittwater, or in the Broken Bay offshore zone. The RPAYC’s Steve Merrington is the PRO.
Up to four windward/leeward short course races are scheduled to start daily at 1100hrs. The presentation of awards will take place immediately after racing on Sunday February 22nd at the RPAYC.
A number of sponsors are supporting the upcoming Sydney Yachts Pittwater Regatta including principal sponsor Performance Boating; gold sponsors Pantaenius Insurance, G- Brothers and Coca Cola; and silver sponsors Zhik, North Sails, 316 Fasteners, Quay Marine and Wettons.
Eligible boats can enter here before Wednesday February 18, 2015.
For further information please contact;
Greg Clinnick (class info)
Sydney 38 Class Association President
m. 0412 264 268 e. [email protected]
Lisa Ratcliff (media info)
Sydney Yachts Pittwater Regatta & Sydney 38 nationals media
m. 0418 428 511 e. [email protected]
event management | public relations | freelance journalist
OCC – On Course Communications
m. + 61 (0) 418 428 511
e. [email protected]
fb. OCC – Lisa Ratcliff
a. PO Box 1385 | Mona Vale NSW 1660
ABN 91 277 494 267