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1 December 2002, 08:34 am
Day of Dramatic Wipe-Outs
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JPMorgan Regatta

Strong southerly winds of 20-25 knots, with sharp gusts of 30 knots and more, turned Sydney Harbour into a sea of white caps with dramatic spinnaker wipe-outs for the final two races of the JPMorgan Regatta conducted by Middle Harbour Yacht Club.

With a strong wind warning and rising seas offshore, regatta officials elected to sail all divisions within the Harbour, creating a crowded scene with some 70 boats racing, dodging Manly ferries and the huge tanker, Emerald Express, as it left the port.

More than a dozen boats did uncontrolled broaches and "chinese" gybes with the former Volvo 60, Magnavox, and the Sydney 38, The Bolter, providing the most spectacular displays.

Middle Harbour Yacht Club member Peter McNamara fell overboard from his Sydney 38, AMI Jade, in the fourth race but was quickly recovered by his crew.

The 90-footer Alfa Romeo again turned in a faultless display of power sailing as did the grand prix racers, Quest, Ragamuffin and Sting, and the 30-footers Toecutter and Krakatoa, all leading contenders for line and handicap honours in this month's Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

Alfa Romeo, helmed by owner Neville Crichton, again not only outsailed the fleet, which included three other Sydney Hobart Race line honours rivals, but won both races in the IRC division on corrected time to take the series with a unique four straight bullets.

Overall on corrected time, Alfa Romeo won the IRC division with 4 points, second place going to the well sailed Pittwater yacht, Pretty Woman, a Corel 45, skippered by Richard Hudson.

Third place overall went to the smallest yacht in the regatta, Toecutter, skippered by her designer, builder and part-owner Robert Hick from Melbourne's Royal Ocean Racing Club of Victoria.

It was an impressive display by the 30-footer Toecutter which will be one of the smallest boats in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

In the IMS Division, Sting, Terry Mullens' Farr 49, won her second successive JPMorgan Regatta championship after close boat-for-boat racing with Syd Fischer's Farr 50, Ragamuffin.

However, Ragamuffin missed yesterday's first race and, as a result, placed fourth overall, second going to Bob Steele's Nelson/Marek 46, Quest, and third to Howard Piggott's Beneteau 40.7, True North,
Peter Campbell/ISAF News Editor
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