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Sydney's celebration of sails: Australia day honours to gretel II, brindabella, and about time.

Gretel II, the famous Australian America's Cup challenger of more than 44 years ago, produced another fine sailing effort in the 178th Australia Day Regatta sailed on Sydney Harbour, taking line and handicap honours in the Classic i division.

Gretel II was one of several prominent yachts to score victories on Australia Day with former Sydney Hobart line honours winner Brindabella (Jim Cooney) also scoring a double win in the Open Division i, of the Harbour regatta and Julian Farren-Price'sAbout Time winning the Australia Day City of Sydney Cup short ocean race to Botany Bay and return.

On a day of light to moderate breezes, nearly 70 yachts and skiffs contested the Harbour Regatta.

A fleet of 28 yachts contested the Botany Bay return race conducted by the CYCA, retracing the course of the First Fleet from its original anchorage in Botany Bay to Port Jackson in 1778.

Gretel II, skippered by Michael Maxwell, current 'custodian' of the veteran but beautifully refurbished 12-metre class yacht, outsailed her opposition, which included smaller metre class yachts and former Sydney Hobart: racers.

Grad II took line honours from-the 30-square metre yacht Fagel Grip (Jerry Lees) and former ocean racer Mister Christian (David Salter) and on corrected time won from Gusto (Philip Denison) and Anitra V (Philip Brown).

Brindabella back from contesting her gist Sydney Hobart Race, elected for the colourful atmosphere of the 178th Australia Day Regatta on Sydney Harbour rather than the traditional Australia Day race to Botany Bay and return.

One of Australia's best known maxi yachts won a duel for line honours with Regatta President Charles Curran's 60-foot harbour racer Sydney and on corrected time won from RSYS contenders Huntress (Philip Grove) and Braveheart (Bill Meilclejohn).

Other [ADR.sub.14] division winners were Cherub (Mark Pearse), Akela, (Alan Mather), Miss Pibb (Hamish Jarrett), Allegro (John Taylor) and Isea II (Matt Collis) while the Historic Skiff race went to The Mistake (Jeremy Sharp).

Line honours in the Australia Day race to Botany Bay and return went to Vanguard (Dick Cawse) thus winning the Geoff Lee Trophy, donated by the late longtime chairman of the Australia Day Regatta organising committee, now headed by John Jeremy.

On corrected time, well known CYCA and RSYS member Julian Farren-Price steered About Time to first place from Pazazz (Rob Drury) and Outlandish (Sean Barrett).

In the SOPS Division i, David Forbes' Merlin took line and handicap honours under PHS scoring, winning PHS on corrected time from Nine Dragons (Bob Cox) and Minerva (Tim Cox). Merlin also won the IRC category from Nine Dragons, Brannew (Chris Bran) placing third.

In SOPS Division 2, Outlandish (Sean Barrett) won the PHS category from Alpha Carinae (Damian Barker) and Velocity (Brian Carrick). Under IRC scoring, Crosshaven (Justin Pell), and Sean Rahilly) won from King Billy (Philip Bennett).

About Time added wins under IRC and ORCi in Division 1 of the Ocean Pointscore to its City of Sydney Cup victory, winning IRC on corrected time from Merlin and Brannew.

Under ORCi scoring, About Time won from Sydney Hobart competitor Midnight Rambler, skippered by Ed Psaltis, and Paul Clitheroe's Balance with Wax Lyrical (Les Goodridge) taking the PHS win.

In the Grant Thornton Short Haul Pointscore, Elusive (Paul Billingham and Pete McGee) took PHS honours from. Great Xpectations (Rod Wills) and InCahoots (Patrick and Roberta Easton). Ian and Shnne Guanaria's Beneteau First 35 won the IRC Division from Great Xpectations and Elusive.
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Author:Campbell, Peter
Publication:Offshore Yachting
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Feb 1, 2014
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