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7 June 2001, 01:11 pm
Tight Winter Racing In Sydney
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BMW Sydney Winter Series

First prizes have gone to a remarkable 37 different yachts in the eight handicap divisions.
Only seven yachts have each won two races, just one has notched up four wins in a tribute to the CYCA Sailing Office which regularly updates the performance handicap data base for some 200 yachts, ranging from Hood 23s and J24s through to grand prix ocean racers and even a former America's Cup challenger.

After six races, the overall pointscore is tight in most divisions and probably will close up if the fleet experiences some fresher breezes on Sundays during the rest of of June and early July.

In Division A, Neill Whiston has opened up a 13-point lead with his consistently well sailed Farr 40 One Design, Fruit Machine, to be on 262 points after one discard. In second place is another Farr 40 OD, Richard PeriniÕs Corinthian Doors, on 249 points, and just two points back is Ron EllisÕ fast Elliott 56, Future Shock, winner of the last two races in Division A.

Consistency is the name of the game in any series, with Bob GilliesÕ Northerner 28, Anna, also holding a 13 point margin in the non-spinnaker Division J. Trieste, Peter VersiÕs Beneteau 47.7, Trieste, has won four races but also has missed two, and with only one discard so far, is still down the ladder. Chris RodowiczÕs Jayded, has yet to win a race in the BMW Sydney Winter Series but consistent high placings have given enabled the J24 to establish an 11 point lead from nearest rivals in Division G, the Noelex 30, Wild Blue Yonder (Terry Rhodes) and another J24, David WestÕs Hard-On.

In Division B, only six points separate Andrew LygoÕs Farrst Forward and the former Admiral's Cup ocean racer, Drakes Prayer, skippered by Ted Crimmings, but then there is a gap of 17 points to Nips-N-Tux (Howard De Torres) and Trecento (Peter Uscinski). The Bruce Farr designs seem to be excelling in the Winter Series, with Ian and Shane GuanariaÕs Faarst Company holding an eight point lead from the Sienna Partnership's Northshore 38, Sienna, in Division D.

Overall standings in Division C are provisional because of a protest against the Race Committee claiming that shorten course signals were hoisted in last Sunday's race. Urban Guerilla (Chris Bowling) which is just two points behind overall leader Sommerbreeze, skippered by CYCA Commodore Hans Sommer, has lodged the protest with outcome expected on Friday.

Only seven points separate the top six boats in the hotly contested Division E, with the Elliott 11m, Enticer (Michael Emms) on 257 points, the Sydney 36, ASX Alpha Carinae ((Trevor Jarrett) on 254, followed by 3 Carats (John Santifort) on 253, Foreshore (Don Young) and Lyoness (Robert Trotter) each on 251, and Hill PDA Bullet (Martin and Lisa Hill) on 250 points.

The Pittwater 30, Sirroco, campaigned by the Always Sailing School, has opened up a handy nine point lead in Division H, with BRIAN CLAYTON'S improving Nantucket 31, Quetzal, in second place, just one point ahead of the converted Soling, Millshot, also entered by the Always Sailing School.
Peter Campbell / News Editor
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