Alfa Romeo, Neville Crichton's super maxi, today turned in one of the most impressive exhibitions of power sailing seen in Australian waters as she swept to victory in the first two races of the JPMorgan Regatta.
Alfa Romeo, Neville Crichton's super maxi, today turned in one of the most impressive exhibitions of power sailing seen in Australian waters as she swept to victory in the first two races of the JPMorgan Regatta, Middle Harbour Yacht Club's short ocean championship series.
The Reichel/Pugh designed, state-of-the-art carbon-fibre 90-footer launched last August just gets faster with every race.
Today, Alfa Romeo (previously called Shockwave) not only outsailed the IRC division fleet that included two of her line honours rivals for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, but won both races on corrected time by convincing margins.
"We are very pleased with our results - two bullets - in particular holding our time on the smaller boats in the first race, only six miles in a light breeze," owner/skipper Neville Crichton said after the racing.
Crichton, who helmed Alfa Romeo throughout both races, said that in the second she was averaging 18-20 knots downwind under spinnaker in the 22 knot breeze.
Over the 10 nautical mile windward/leeward course, the 90-footer finished nearly 11 minutes ahead of Sydney Hobart Race line honours opponent, Grundig, Sean Langman's fast, skiff-like 66-footer, and more than 16 minutes ahead of George Snow's 80-footer Brindabella.
In the first race, sailed in an 8-10 knot southerly easterly breeze, Alfa Romeo, the biggest boat in the 71-boat fleet, won the IRC Division on corrected time from the smallest competitor, the Melbourne 30-footer Toecutter, skippered by her designer and builder, Robert Hick. Third place went to the Pittwater yacht, Pretty Woman, a Corel 45 skippered by Richard Hudson,
In the fresher afternoon breeze, Toecutter finished seventh on corrected time, still an impressive effort in the rising seas offshore and is third overall in the IRC Division pointscore with 7 points behind Alfa Romeo (2 points) and Pretty Woman (5 points).
Alfa Romeo won the second race from George Snow's Jutson 80, Brindabella, and the consistent Pretty Woman.
In the IMS division, defending JPMorgan Regatta champion, Sting, Terry Mullens' Farr 49, also underlined her chances for a grand prix win in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, to lead the series with 4 points from two seconds, while Bob Steele's Nelson/Marek 46, Quest (4-1) and Howard Piggot's Beneteau 40.7, True North (1-4) are equal second on 7 points.
Michael Jones, CEO of REX Airlines and founding president of the Sydney 38 One Design class association, was flying high after scoring a third and a first in the hotly contested Sydney 38 division in his new boat, Cinquante.