It has been a busy season of racing, with Doyle boats proving their mettle across Australia.
Sydney to Hobart Race
Following the usual spectacular start the competitors soon settled down to the business of a hard ocean race. As usual the race lived up to its reputation and with increasingly severe weather conditions towards the end of the race two yachts carrying full Doyle inventories shone in the battle for the finish.
Roger Hickman's Farr 43 Wild Rose performed well, coming 45th on the line and 1st in IRC-Div 4 and 1st in ORCi - Div 3.
John Newbold, taking his new purchase, Primitive Cool, for her first serious outing romped home to 4th in IRC Division 1 and 18th on the line:
Bruce Taylor’s Caprice 40, Chutzpah, finished a very credible 24th on line honours and took IRC overall: 5th, IRC Div 2: 3rd , IRCi Overall: 5th and ORCi Div 2:1st.
Whilst the Sydney-Hobart teams were starting their battle across the Tasman, Peter Jackson’s Niche, also carrying a full Doyle inventory came 3rd (Division 1 IRC and Division 1 AMS) in the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria’s Boxing Day Dash.
Rounding up this phase of Trans Tasman Ocean races and with gale force winds forecast, Justin Brenan’s Alien participated in the West Coast leg of the Melbourne to Hobart Race. Fighting increasingly strong winds and high seas the Doyle sails proved equal to the challenge and helped Alien finish 2nd in Division 123 IRC, beaten only by Extasea, the overall victor.
Taking the East Coast leg of the Melbourne to Hobart Race and also carrying a full Doyle spread, David Stoopman’s Samskara surmounted similar conditions to post 3rd in Overall PHS.
The Sabot Nationals
Held at the Drummoyne Sailing Club, Sydney Harbour (Dec 27th –Jan 3rd 2013-14). Experiencing variable weather conditions, from virtual calms to challenging 20 knot plus breezes, four youngsters with Doyle rigs proved their worth amongst the 76 strong fleet.
Will Wallace came 2nd overall on Loose Cannon, closely followed by Josh Harris 5th on Guided Missile, Josh Jones was 6th on Whisper and Josh Ragg came 12th on White Knuckle Ride.
Bellerive Yacht Club Crown Series Regatta
This increasingly popular series, which was held on 21-23 February, provided some exhilarating racing with a significant number of Doyle bearing yachts posting excellent results.
In Racing Group 1 David Rees’ Whistler came 1st in AMS and 1st in IRC, closely followed by Don Calvert on Intrigue which came 2nd in IRC and 5th in AMS.
In Racing Group 2 Team Wildfire’s Wildfire came 2nd with Nat Morgan’s Hot August Night close on their heels taking 3rd place.
Mike Rowley’s Planet X cleaned up in the Performance Cruising Division, taking a convincing 1st place. In Performance Cruising three Doyle equipped yachts swept the board with a 1 2 3 victory; Piers Findlay’s Rum 2 Paradise came 1st followed into 2nd by Greg Rowlings’ Another Toy, with Rod Williams’ Alibi II taking 3rd
In Cruising Red, Steve Mannering’s Camlet Way came a solid 3rd.
Meanwhile in the Off the Beach Series young sailors excelled, fighting stiff breezes which while providing ideal conditions for keel boats, posed challenges for the sailors in dinghy classes. In the Sabots, three boats with Doyle sails took the entire Podium; Josh Jones coming 1st on Whisper with Clinton Blazely on Sailfish 2nd and Nathon McKillop on Power of One 3rd.
Farr 40 State & National Titles.
Following exciting racing and solid performances in the State Titles, held in Queensland on the 24-27 October, 2013, New South Wales on the 9-12 January, 2014 and Tasmania on 15-17 February, 2014 three yachts with Doyle inventories competed in the National Titles hosted by the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania and held on the 19-22nd February. During the series conditions varied from fluky shifting light winds to strong breezes.
Flying a brand new Stratis ICE mainsail Jeffry Carter’s Edake battled against professional crews on many of the mainland yachts to win race three of the series and finish 5th overall. Carter later remarked, “It was all very competitive with some great teams”.
POW co-owners Michael Cooper, Craig Clifford and Richard Fuder came a convincing 6th, followed by Wayne Banks-Smith on War Games in 7th place.
The Adams 10 Nationals, hosted by Gosford Sailing Club on the 25th-27th January featured some stunning racing on Brisbane Water, NSW.
The star of the show was Grant Botica’s Executive Decision, skippered by Josh White. Flying a brand new Stratis ICE genoa with double ultra light taffeta for added durability, Executive Decision dominated the series. Despite challenging conditions throughout, Botica and his crew vanquished their rivals convincingly, winning six out of seven races. Botica said the idea of testing their mettle across the border was the natural 'next step'’ after winning the Geelong Week regatta for three years in a row and the Australian championships in Geelong in the IRC division C. "It was six wins and a fourth but it wasn’t as easy as it seems on the scoreboard," he said in an interview with Sail-World.com. "In every race we just had a little edge on them - they were all experienced and skilful sailors sailing well, it often only comes down to one little mistake."
Throughout Geelong Week ( 21st-27th January 2014) Doyle-powered yachts challenged the rest of the fleet and clocked excellent results overall.
In Racing Series Division 3 David Ellis in his Archambault A 31 Penfold Audi Sport, literally swept the board, winning six out of the eight race series and finishing seven points ahead of his closest rival, White Noise.
Ellis later told Sail-World.com: "'You have to take the good with the bad, and one of the things about racing here is that you’re never out of it until you cross the finish line. You just have to stay optimistic, keep your eyes out of the boat and find the breeze."
Gary Mackinven skippering Stitched Up finished a sound 6th overall.
Amongst the 12 strong S80 fleet, two yachts with full inventories of Doyle sails made their mark; Bas Huibers’ Merak streamed home to victory in the five race series and Jane & Paul Richards’ Gravitas came a credible 8th.
In the Cruiser/Racer series Division 2 (EHC Division 2) four of the 10 entrants carried full Doyle inventories and The Bookmaker a partial Doyle inventory. With a stunning 1-2-3 victory for Doyle equipped yachts; Kevin Curtis’s Sea Eagle came 1st, Jurgen Pfeiffer’s Take Five 2nd and Ray Borrett’s Laurelle 3rd. To further seal the success of the day Andrew Slagmolen’s The Bookmaker finished 6th and Jonathan Apted on Fabulous Action, 7th.
To wind up a great week, David Stoopman’s Samskara came second out of a 33 yacht fleet in Cruising with Spinnakers Division 1.
Moving on to Sports Boats; the ASBA NSW Titles were held on February 8-9th, 2014 and hosted by the CYCA in Sydney.
David Ellis and The Stigs’ Audi Driving Cousin stamped their authority over the series on the first day of racing and posted three straight wins. On day 2, after a few traffic jams, they took a drop in the fourth race but then went on to win the final two races convincingly, attaining a perfect score and winning the title.
The Stigs’ Audi Driving Cousin
Amazing work all round.