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25 October 2005, 09:53 am
Classic Veteran's Upset
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Flinders Islet Race 2005
Sydney, Australia

Stormy Petrel, the oldest yacht so far entered for the 2005 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, caused a major upset by winning the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's Bluewater Championship race to Flinders Island and return over the weekend.
The 35 year old classic wooden yacht outsailed a fleet of modern ocean racing boats to win first place on IRC corrected time after taking just over 24 hours to sail the 92 nautical mile course to Flinders Islet, off Port Kembla, and return.

The race started at 2000 hours local time on Friday; Stormy Petrel finished at 2019 Saturday. The race was sailed in very light winds overnight, not freshening until Saturday afternoon, with line honours winner Ragamuffin of Syd FISCHER taking 18 hours, 35 minutes and 58 seconds to sail the course - ten hours outside the race record of 8 hours, 47 minutes and 52 seconds.

Ragamuffin, a Farr 50, sailed an excellent light weather race to beat the Volvo 60 Seriously Ten around the course.

Stormy Petrel, the lowest rating boat in the fleet, won the Bluewater Championship IRC division from Ragamuffin and David MASON's Prime Time and also took out the Tasman Series (PHS) division from Ragamuffin and Colin and Gladys WOODS' Pretty Fly II.

Ironically, it was FISCHER who skippered Stormy Petrel to her greatest victory, winning the One Ton Cup World Championship in New Zealand in 1971.

Designed by the famous New York naval architects Sparkman & Stephens to then popular One Ton level-rating rule, the 36 foot Stormy Petrel was launched in 1970 for Charles CURRAN who chartered the boat to FISCHER for the 1971 One Ton Cup.

Current owner Kevin O'SHEA has steadily restored Stormy Petrel and also lifted her racing performance to a degree that obviously makes her competitive once more for ocean racing.

Stormy Petrel is one of 32 Applications to Enter the 2005 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race so far received by the CYCA, with the deadline for nominations Friday week, 4 November.

Peter Cambell. Image, Stormy Petrel:© Kevin O'SHEA
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