|SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA-(19-12-2004) After four days and eight races, just one point separated Sydney yachtsman Steven David’s 60-footer Targé and New Zealander Stewart Thwaites’ 98-footer Konica Minolta at the end of the prestigious Rolex Trophy off Sydney Heads today.
Giving the event an international flavour, third place overall went to the well-performed British yacht Aera, a Ker 55 skippered by Jez Fanstone.
In the inaugural Rolex Challenge teams event, the New Zealand team of Konica Minolta and Geoff Ross’ Yendys, is leading the pointscore going into the 60th anniversary Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race which counts double points. The New South Wales state team of Targé and Ragamuffin (Syd Fischer).
In perfect sailing weather, a north-easterly seabreeze that freshened from 12 knots to 18 knots and kicked up a short wave chop that almost produced surfing condition, Konica Minolta scored a runaway double of line and IRC handicap honours in offshore races.
The Kiwi supermaxi’s performance enabled it to almost close the five-point margin held by Targé going into today’s races.
The final points for the IRC division after four days and eight races in this international contest are Targé (AUS) 377, Konica Minolta (NLZ) 376, Aera (UK) 355, followed by Geoff Ross’ Judel/Vrolijk 52, Yendys (AUS), on 351 points, Leslie Green’s Swan 45, Ginger (AUS) and Matt Allen’s Farr 52, Ichi Ban (AUS), both on 344 points.
The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia issued the final overall points this evening after a protest committee reinstated all yachts in yesterday’s race six in which all but nine boats in the IRC division and 10 in the PHS division were listed as DNF (did not finish) because they finished outside the time limit.
The protest committee’s findings did not alter the placings of the leading boats in race six of the IRC Division nor the final overall results, but they did change the PHS race six results and the overall pointscore.
Race six of the PHS division went to the British yacht Leila (Patrick Quinn) from the 36-year-old Kaufman 41, Ray White Unlimited Koomooloo, which won the Sydney Hobart Race back in 1968. Queenslander Don Freebairn now owns the lovingly restored varnished timber-hulled 41-footer. Third place went to the Victorian yacht Fuzzy Logic (Bill Lennon and Paul Roberts).
Overall winner of the PHS division was Nips N Tux, Howard De Torres’ well-performed IMX 40 with 339 points, from the West Australian boat Courtesan (Philip Childs) on 334 points, with George Snow’s famous Jutson 79, Brindabella and Nick Lykiardopulo’s Ker 55, Aera, from Britain, both on 329 points.
In the Rolex Challenge teams event, New Zealand (Konica Minolta and Yendys) leads the National/State competition with 727 points from New South Wales (Targé and Brindabella) on 652 points and the Australian team (Ragamuffin and Ichi Ban) on 644 points.
Clubs Victoria (Another Challenge and Fuzzy Logic) lead the Clubs teams section of the Rolex Challenge with 570 points with the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia team (Prime Time and Nips-N-Tux) on 423 points.
In today’s final two races, IRC handicap results in race seven gave Konica Minolta the double of a line honours and handicap win over Targé, the second time she’s collected both, with the Ker 55 Aera skippered by Jez Fanstone, creeping into the top three for the first time and showing ominous signs for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race.
Race eight, the final race of the Rolex Trophy began in a 17-19 knot nor nor’east breeze with Konica Minolta hitting the line at top speed and quickly breaking away from the pack.
Konica Minolta continued to power away over the longer course to finish more than 17 minutes ahead of Aera, followed by George Snow’s famous maxi Brindabella.
Fortunately, the hot westerly bringing temperatures in their high 30s to Sydney did not reach the course until after the final race finished, giving the fleet continued ideal sailing conditions in a 15-18 knot nor’easter.
On corrected time in race eight, Konica Minolta won from Dick Cawse’s Lyons/Cawse 60, Vanguard, and Howard De Torres’ IMX 40, Nips N Tux.
The final race of the Rolex Challenge is the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race which counts double points.
Targé, Reichel/Pugh 60 (Steven David, AUS) 3-11-1-4-1-2-2-4, 377 points
Konica Minolta, Bakewell-White 98 (Stewart Thwaites, NZL) 2-3-16-1-8-3-1-1, 376 points
Aera (Nick Lykiardopulo, UK) 6-4-8-5-21-6-3-5, 355 points
Yendys, Judel/Vrolijk 52 (Geoff Ross, AUS) 5-7-4-9-10-5-5-6, 351 points
Ginger, Swan 55 (Leslie Green, AUS) 10-14-3-6-2-11-7-9-14, 344 points
Nips N Tux, IMX 40 (Howard de Torres, AUS) 17-14-7-4-11-4-13-1-17, 339 points
Courtesan, Farr 38 (Philip Childs, AUS) 10-11-3-3-8-6-20-17-20, 334 points
Brindabella, Jutson 79 (George Snow, AUS) 16-19-9-2-10-15-1-11-19, 329 points
Aera, Ker 55 (Nick Lykiarddopulo, UK) 3-3-18-15-24-13-3-8-24, 329 points
Ginger, Swan 55 (Leslie Green, AUS) 12-20-8-6-2-12-16-10-20, 326 points
Picture: Daniel Forster / Rolex>