Harrison basking in the regatta limelight
Harrison basking in the regatta limelight

Brisk south-westerly winds provided ideal conditions for the final day of the Cockburn Sound Regatta run by Rockingham’s The Cruising Yacht Club on Friday, with Neil Harrison grabbing the limelight as overall winner.

Rockingham yachtsman Russell White shows the way as D’Boat, left, clearly wins the division two start. PICTURE: BERNIE KAAKS

Courses for all divisions were set directly in front of the yacht club and the spectacle of more than 60 racing yachts dashing across the bay with their brightly coloured spinnakers was a fitting finale to a successful week of racing.

Harrison sailed his new Beneteau 35, Deckchairs Overboard, with his wife, his son and his son’s friend in the laid-back jib and main division, scoring four wins from the seven-race program.

A surprised Harrison was elated by his yacht’s performance and he vowed to be back next year, perhaps in a division that allows the use of spinnakers.

In the big boat division, Busselton’s Doug Lawler, sailing Twist and Shout, took the honours on a countback from Brian Todd’s Marten 49, Sue Sea, with Graeme Monkhouse taking third place.

The same boats also competed under IRC ratings, and once again a countback was required to decide the winner, giving the prize to Lithium, which won three races, ahead of Laurie Flynne’s Dynamic, which won two.

The Addams Family, skippered by Greg Hansen, was third.

Local skipper Russell White, sailing the S80 D’Boat, won division two by just two points, with yet another countback required to give second place to Ian Joel’s YW Diamond, Top shelf, ahead of Ken Stokes Farr 9.2, Toravean.

The popular Kevin Ritchie won division three ahead of Ernst van Walsum and TCYC rear commodore Darren Kearnes.

A wide variety of yachts entered the Jib and Main division, ranging from Paralympic gold medallist Grame Marten’s Sand Crab’s Disco, to Colin Jones’ tiny MB21, Anelaua.

The absence of spinnakers allowed many to sail with minimal crew numbers and afforded an opportunity to include their children in the excitement of racing.

While winner Deckchairs Overboard was dominant, competition behind was close, with John Holder’s Plus 16 winning second place and Sand Crab’s Disco third.

Windrush surfcats enjoyed lively competition,with places in each race constantly changing, but Bluestone, sailed by Ben Del Guidici was clearly the best of them despite finishing second in the final race.

The Cruising Yacht Club called on international race officer Andy Curnow to oversee the program.

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