Balance is back as Next Light takes the City of Sydney Cup

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  • By Damian Maclennan
  • 29 Jan 2018 17:47:50
Image: - David Brogan



The 182nd Australia Day Regatta saw an exciting fleet race down to Botany Bay with winners crowned across the CYCA's Mount Gay Ocean Pointscore, Short Haul, Short Ocean and Combined Pointscore series.

Taking the big trophy on the day however was Derek Collins' Next Light which topped the PHS division in the Australia Day Regatta and secured the City of Sydney Sesquicentenary Cup.

Fresh from finishing second overall in the Rolex Sydney Hobart but racing under Bob Steel as Quest, Paul Clitheroe's TP52, Balance, took the win on IRC and was the first across the line, lifting the Geoff Lee Ocean Racing Trophy for their efforts.

Clitheroe's strong performance had positive ramifications across the Mount Gay Ocean Pointscore Race 5 where he again topped IRC ahead of Ian Short's TP52, Fifty Two Hundred, and series leader Julian Farren-Price in the Cookson 50, About Time. Balance also topped ORCi while Michael Rowe's Bull 9000, Bullet, took out the PHS division.

Speaking after racing Paul Clitheroe was very happy to be back at the helm of Balance.

"It's fair to say the conditions were tricky. We started out in a 6-7 knot breeze in the harbour, more north, north east and managed to take the lead out of the heads ahead of Fifty Two hundred and About Time. We got out of the harbour with them and the fleet and then decided to have a parking session."

"You know what it's like when you park outside the heads in the washing machine and we all slopped about for a while. But it was a lovely day for slopping, there were dolphins, and it was very nice but not what we were looking for. Ourselves and the other TP52 headed out to sea while About Time stayed closer to shore."

"We managed to lead round the Botany Bay mark, ahead of the others in the group and Triton. By that stage it was pretty pleasant with an 8-9 knot easterly. Then we all reached home under a bit of code zero and a bit of head sail. It was a wonderful day."

When asked about the naming of the boat and the return to Balance, Clitheroe joked, "As much as I like Bob Steel, it was great to see the Quest stickers off and the Balance stickers on. She'll be Balance for the rest of the year."

In the day's other racing, Fifty Two Hundred, skippered by Ian Short, took the win on IRC division 1, Race 5 of the Short Ocean Pointscore. Peter Franki's Saltshaker topped IRC division 2 while Seb Bohm's Smuggler took out PHS division 1 and John Blair's Bear Necessity, PHS division 2.

In the Short Haul Pointscore, Michael Selby's Cyrene 3 won PHS division 4 while Ian Guanaria's One More-No More, division 4 non-spinnaker.

In the Combined Ocean/Short Ocean Pointscore, Smuggler took IRC and PHS divisions 1, Dennis Cooper's Amante took IRC division 2 and Michael Rowe's Bullet PHS division 2.

Full results available here 


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