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7 January 2005, 02:28 pm
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2005 Strathfield,Pittwater and Coffs Harbour Series
Hobart, Tasmanai

Bruce STAPLES and Jim KING didn't win the 24th series on a brand new plastic fantastic, their boat is nominally a Murray 37; actually Dark & Stormy Witch is a 'bitzer'. The two skippers joined forces after Staples sold More Witchcraft and they proceeded to cut and paste Jim's Dark & Stormy.
They have added a Sydney 38 rig and a Sydney 41 keel and added Staples statutory Witch moniker. It seems there are only two things original on the whole boat; the rudder and the crew.

The evergreen crew including Bruce STAPLES and Brian ELLIS on their 19th trip to Coffs Harbour along with Jim KING, proved once again that they are some of the best left-turners on the Australian East Coast. They gave the IRC fleet a sailing lesson, with their 1,4,1,2,2,2,5 results.

Andy OFFORD owner of the Farr 40 Marsim Weapon, produced her best results to-date coming second, ahead of the father and son pairing Geoff and Chris PAYNE on Risk.

Staples who was the RPAYC Commodore from 1996-1999 is obviously committed to the Pittwater sailing community. But the reason they all keep coming back is the camaraderie and friendliness that exists within clubs and in the racing community. It's a great re-union every year and this was a particularly good regatta.

The Performance Handicap series winner is John McCOONGAHY's Second Time Around, who managed to hold out Colin WELL's Gusto and Michael PHILLIPs' Poppy in this hard fought division.

'A fantastic regatta', said McConaghy. 'We had every kind of weather. The highlight for me was the night of the long race where we were the furthest boat 24 miles offshore. We had great pressure about 28-30 knots but it was black, really black, no moon, no stars, we had an asymmetric on the bow with a narrow angle and it was pretty hard work. We had five round-ups, we were really pushing the limits but it was a lot of fun.'Today was a great day right up until we broached. I think we might have to try and buy up all the footage and all the stills from today's race so that no one else sees it.'

Rob Kothe (As Amended by ISAF)
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