The newly launched Sydney yacht Ichi Ban has won the grand prix IRC Division of Sailing South Race Week 2003 with a last race display of power sailing in a 25 knot south-easterly sea breeze on a choppy Derwent River in Hobart.
Skippered by Cruising Yacht Club of Australia director Matt Allen, Ichi Ban (which means No 1 in Japanese) recovered from a race six seventh place to win the final race and the series by only three points from Hobart yacht B52, skippered by Hughie Lewis.
Ichi Ban finished with 526 points, B52 with 523 points with third place overall going to the Sydney 38, Obsession, skippered by defending Sailing South Race Week IRC champion, David Kellett, Vice President of the International Sailing Federation, with 510 points.
Ichi Ban's win was also a second successive Sailing South Race Week victory for prominent Tasmanian-born yachtsman Roger Hickman, Rear Commodore of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, who sailed as Ichi Ban's tactician.
Hickman won the IMS division of Sailing South last year as skipper of Bumblebee 5.
Ichi Ban is a newly launched Farr 52 One Design while B52 is the recycled Sydney 41 which owner Hughie Lewis rebuilt after the yacht, then owned by Queenslander Wayne Millar, was declared a write-up after being rolled in the 1998 Sydney Hobart Race.
The two final races were sailed in totally opposite conditions. The morning race six began in a light northerly breeze that died away to almost no wind before the south-easterly seabreeze came sweeping up the river, quickly reaching 15-20 knots.
Race seven was sailed in a brisk 25 knot sou'easter, gusting at times to 30 knots, with a short steep sea being kicked up by the wind against tide in the river.
There was a short drama in race six when the windward outrigger wing of the converted Diamond class yacht, Dictator, collapsed throwing all five crew members into the water.
The helmsman hung onto the tiller extension and climbed back aboard, but with only one crew, the yacht sailed on. The other four were picked up by a small dinghy as a following yacht, T 42 Solandra, skippered by Craig Escott, stood by to render assistance.
The PHS division went to one of the oldest boats in the fleet, Peter Geeves' Lock on Wood, a Dubois half tonner, clinching victory with its second win of the series in the final race.
Lock on Wood finished with 600 points, beating Flyin' Scud (Adam Goode) on 588 points, third overall going to Tequila Slamma (John Radonic) on 585 points.
The Sportsboat Division 1 provided the closest racing of Sailing South Race Week, with two third places today giving the series to the Elliott 780, Another Girl Another Planet, skippered by David Shepherd from Port Dalrymple Yacht Club at Beauty Point on the Tamar River.
Another Girl Another Planet finished with 544 points to beat fellow club boat, the Elliott 7 Shoot the Dog (Richard Fisher) on 543 points, third place going to Muir Race (Matthew Johnston) on 444 points following the disqualification from the final race of the winner T 42 (Fraser Read). T 42, one of the newly acquird Elliott 5.9s, was found at fault in a finishing line incident with the yacht Vitesse.
Alibi II, a Sayer 25, skippered by Rod Williams, won the Sportsboat division 2, clinching victory with a second in the final race to finish on 540 points, with second place going to Mischief (Adrian West) on 533 points, third to Madman's Woodyard (Adrian Peterson) on 520 points.
The RYCT this year added a Cruiser Class to Sailing South Race Week, attracting 14 boats with keen competition in each of the five races.
Victory went to Fat Albert, a little Holland 25, skippered by Ben Latham, which sailed exceptionally well throughout the series to finish with 371 points, beating Innovator (Ian Smith) on 362 points, and Binalong (Ernest Target) on 361 points.