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4 March 2004, 09:52 am
Ichi Ban Defeated For First Time
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Joico Australian Offshore Championship

In the Joico Australian Offshore Championship, Le Billet (Bill EBSARY, NSW) and Ticket of Leave (Kevin WOOD, Victoria) gave Matt ALLEN'S Sydney based Farr 52, Ichi Ban a taste of defeat for the first time.
Report From Day 2

The 8-12 knot northeasterly wind suited the smaller yachts in the morning's short race for the IRC division of the Offshore Championship. Le Billet, a Beneteau 40.7, won on corrected time by 22 seconds from sistership Ticket of Leave with Ichi Ban only eight seconds further back in third. But Ichi Ban was able to stretch her legs in the afternoon's middle distance race and came home a winner on time by 1m 26s from Tony KIRBY'S Bavaria 38, Game Set. Ticket of Leave was third.

The offshore yachts will do a distance race tomorrow, probably over a course from Palm Beach to Terrigal then Sydney Harbour and return. The Sydney 38s will decide three short races.

After finishing first in Race 1 and 2 yesterday, then taking the honours again in today's first race over five nautical miles at the Sydney 38 National Championship, Cydon looked set to looked set to move higher up the points table with a top four place, possibly even a win, in this afternoon's 16-miler from Palm Beach to Terrigal and return. But the decision on board not to gybe the spinnaker and sail back towards the Central Coast shore wrecked every chance they had. They finished ninth while Abrahams and helmsman Carl Schmidt, who gybed and sailed towards stronger breeze and less current on the shore, went on to win. It was a remarkably close race with little more than 90 seconds separating the first 10 boats.

The big winner on the eight mile leg back into Broken Bay was Robin Tedder's Stoneybroke which by sailing close to the shore all the way home went from eighth to a close second on the line. Locals Cameron Miles and Steven Robson sailed Rush into third place and kept their championship hopes very much alive. With seven races to be decided over the next three days Cydon is on 12 points, Rush 13, London Tavern (Justin Lambeth, NSW) 25 and Another Challenge 25.

Report From Day 1

In the Offshore Championship Matt ALLEN'S Farr 52 design, Ichi Ban, won both races by narrow margins.
Ichi Ban's victory was double sweet for Matt ALLEN who had prepared the yacht for the IMS division of the Joico Offshore Championship. Final entries saw Ichi Ban as the only entry for that division so he had no option but to contest the IRC championship.

But if there were a prize for determination on the day it would go to yachtswoman Erin MANDER who raced aboard Tony LEVETT'S Sydney 38, Eleni. She dislocated her shoulder when she slipped and fell heavily on deck during a spinnaker drop, yet in spite of the acute pain she was suffering she insisted the yacht complete the six nautical mile race before she was transferred to a support boat and rushed ashore for medical attention. Eleni, which was being steered by former 18ft skiff world champion Peter Sorensen, finished third in that race; a placing that delivered a creditable fifth overall on accumulated points at the end of the day.

The combined fleet of 40 yachts drifted aimlessly off Palm Beach for more than two hours after the scheduled start time while officials waited for a suitable breeze to move in. Eventually a 3-6 knot east/north-easterly arrived for the first of the two short races. The second race was sailed in a slightly stronger breeze.

On corrected time Queensland's Joanne KERRISON'S Mumm 30, Enigma, finished second on IRC in Race One while local boat High Anxiety (Peter HAYES) was third. In the second race Victoria's Phil SIMPFONDORFER'S Elliott 11, Veloce, was second and fellow Victorian Kevin Wood's Ticket of Leave third.

Denis THOMPSON, sailing manager at host club, Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, has scheduled a short race and middle distance race for today. The championships for all divisions will conclude on Sunday.

The prestigious Italian watch brand Locman, and Holden, are associate sponsors of the Joico Australian Offshore Championship. Holden, a major supporter of Yachting Australia, is offering the chance for one lucky sailor at the regatta to win a weekend in the Hunter Valley driving a Holden Monaro.

This is the third year that Australia's leading professional haircare company, Joico, has been naming rights sponsor for a major annual regatta out of Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club.
Rob Mundle (As Amended by ISAF Secretariat)
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