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18 October 2005, 11:17 am
Round One To Shogun
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McCutcheon Cup Range Series 2005
Port Phillip, Victoria, Australia

Following an inauspicious start, Robert HANNA's new DK 46, Shogun, from Royal Geelong Yacht Club, took out the IRC class in the first heat of the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria's McCutcheon Cup Range Series in Phillip, Victoria, Australia on Saturday.
Sailed in ideal eight to twelve knot south easterly breezes, the first race of the series was sailed on a 14 nautical mile four leg windward/leeward course, attracted around 117 of Victoria's top boats, competing for trophies in IRC, AMS and PHD divisions.

In the IRC class, Michael HIATT, and his new Cookson 50, Living Doll, made the best of the start, along with Chris DARE's newly purchased Corby 49, Flirt and the DK 46 Dekadence, owned and skippered by Sandringham Yacht Club Commodore, Phil COOMBS.

Buried under two Beneteau 44,7s; Ray SHAW's Outrageous and Alan WHITELEY's Cougar, Shogun, which had its first outing at Hamilton Island's Hahn Premium Race Week in August, did not get of the line as well as her crew would have liked.

As they made their way up the first beat, the fleet was fairly evenly spread across the course and a close battle was being waged between Dekadence, Shogun and John PATERSON's ILC 45 Rush.

The pressure stayed consistent, occasionally moving ten or so degrees left and good crew work on Shogun found it ahead of Dekadence at the bottom mark, after Shogun's crew executed a slightly better float drop.

From that point on, Shogun's crew never looked back, finishing six minutes behind the line honours winner, Living Doll, which finished eleventh overall, and four minutes behind Flirt, which was second on line and fifth overall.

'It was fantastic.' HANNA said afterwards. 'This is only our second event - Hamilton Island was our first, but we finally got it right here, after making some adjustments to our rig and sails.'

Although the light and flat conditions were more suited to the Beneteau 44.7s, Shogun was the faster boat on the day, beating two consistently well sailed yachts, second placed Cougar, by a corrected time margin of three minutes four minutes in front of third placed Challenge, Lou ABRAHAMS' Sydney 38.

Heat two of the Range Series will be sailed on Saturday 5 November, with the third head to be sailed on 3 December.

Di Pearson. Image:© Royal Yacht Club of Victoria
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