A dramatic finish nearly marred the final day of The Cruising Yacht Club’s Cockburn Sound Regatta on Sunday.
In a final dash for the line, Greg Hill’s 8.5m catamaran Whip It dug her bow into the water, threw a crew member overboard and, for several agonising seconds, sat with the hull perpendicular to the water.
Just when the boat seemed about to flip, the bows popped back up and the little yacht took off again with its spinnaker flogging wildly.
Whip It was finally brought under control with the help of a nearby rescue boat.
It signalled a thrilling finish to the four-day regatta, which was celebrating its 55th anniversary.
In the final analysis, most of the favourites finished the regatta well. The 83-year-old International 9m Acrospire, sailed by Gary Martin, took out the trophy for the newly formed Classic Division from Jay Lawry’s Herreschoff 28, Karoleeya.
The stand-out yacht and overall regatta champion was Peter Hickson’s Beneteau First 35 Mulberry, which upstaged some well-credentialed IRC colleagues to win with a perfect score.
Graeme Monkhouse sailed a consistent regatta in his J122 Lithium, to take out second place with 10 points.
Although there was an acknowledged problem in accommodating a multihull in a monohull fleet, there was no doubt Hill sailed an excellent regatta.
Hill’s near miss on the finish line underlined how hard the little boat was sailed.
Second place went to the little Sonar yacht skippered by Paralympic bronze medallist Colin Harrison.
His control of the boat after finishing on the last day, requiring a downwind approach to a steel mooring pontoon, was breathtaking.
Division 3 was always a close affair, with just two points separating first and third places.
In the division’s final race, Steve Morris took the honours in Freedom, followed by Ally Mounsey’s Austral 24 Lokman, with Colin Jones’ little MB21 Anelaua a further point behind in third.
The biggest division was the Jib and Main fleet which boasted 19 entries.
The popular winner, by half a point, was Graeme Martin’s Gibsea 42 Sand Crabs Disco.
The fast-finishing UFO 34 Flying Sorceress, sailed by Anita Wyntje, took out second place after winning the final two races.