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Black Betty blitz at Redink Homes Geographe Bay Race Week    
Sat, 23 Feb 2013

Black Betty capped off a wonderful week of sailing on the picturesque waters of Geographe Bay in a wide variety of wind conditions to finish the Redink Homes Geographe Bay Race Week with a perfect score of eight points in the IRC Red Division. Points were taken on the best eight of 10 races for the division. Paul Eldrid and Scott Disley finished second in the Bakewell-White designed General Lee, ahead of Terry Posma’s Runnals 38, Jaffa.

Peter Hickson secured back to back wins in the IRC White fleet, finding great consistency after a nervous first race in the Beneteau First 35, Mulberry. Mulberry finished second to Alan Stein and Will Hammond’s BW 36, the X Factor today, to finish the week with 11 points ahead of Brad Skeggs’ Beneteau 34.7 Minds Eye and the X Factor.

Two protests concerning the sailing of the course were heard during the week, resulting in attempts yesterday to have them re-opened, even though the time for requesting a re-opening had expired. The protests appear to be the direct result of some last minute course changes by organisers, brought about by the need to open up an area for a national championship in front of the Geographe Bay Yacht Club. The changes resulted in unintended consequences.

There was no need for protests in the very competitive under 10 metre racing division. Great handicapping kept the result in doubt right to the end, with Mike Davies’ d’Vine (his business, Portavin, is the region’s major wine bottler – get it?) ended the regatta with 24 points while Alan Thomas sailed his little BW8 very consistently all week to finish on 28. D’Vine was second in today’s last race.

Rod Turner’s Farr designed Nexus sailed a beauty today for his first win, but the overall honours went to Graeme Monkhouse’s J122 Lithium.

Spritzig won the final race today to ice the Division 7 overall result, and was then rewarded for his loyalty to the regatta with a free entry for next year. What a super incentive offer!

Martin Smith’s Carousalambra also won today in the Jib and Main fleet, to win the division’s overall prize ahead of Martin Chambers’ Sandale.

The 'Spirit of the Regatta' award went to the tiny 25ft heritage gaff rigger, Janet Anne, which followed the fleet around in every race but enjoyed every moment of her time on the water.

When the official round of thanks and back slapping was over, the Perth Rock Bank Peace, Love with former television weatherman Tod Johnson up front, shook up the Geographe Bay Yacht Club with a great selection of hard driving, rockin’ dance music. What a superb way to finish off a regatta!

Final results overall:

Division 1 IRC Red: Black Betty – Gary McNally
Division 2 IRC White: Mulberry – Peter Hickson
Division 5, under 10 metre racing: d’Vine – Mike Davies
Division 6, Premier Cruising Blue: Lithium – Graeme Monkhouse
Division 7, Premier Cruising Green: Spritzig 2 – Gordon Dunbar
Division 8, Jib and Main: Carouselambra – Martin Smith

by Bernie Kaaks

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