Marlborough Sounds Marinas Spring Twilight Series 2018 – Race #10
Classic sounds sailing conditions greeted the fleet for race 10 of the Marlborough Sounds Marinas Spring Twilight series on Tuesday night. Light airs and large calm patches meant all divisions were still alive with the chance for some major reversals of form lending a real spice to the evening. Despite a number of boats being out of contention for the podium, a fleet of 40 crossed the start line, ensuring the leaders would have to work to maintain their place at the head of the table.
Division 3 line and handicap honours went to Bryce Ecklein’s Young 88 Crossfire III from David Paul’s Spencer 36 Sirrah, Paul also achieving the line/handicap double ahead of Shenanigan, Freerk Kempkers making the start line for the first time this season and bringing his 10m Lidgard home 14 seconds clear of series leader Entertainer. On corrected time Paul Williams produced his best result of the series, taking third in his Townson 34 Moonspinner II. Series leader, Mark and Sue Altoft’s Davidson 35 Entertainer finished one place clear of Pip Maslin’s Ricochet, Entertainer taking the series from Ricochet with Key Largo, Trevor and Linda Thompson’s Lotus 10.6 taking third for the series.
Division 2 looked to be all done and dusted after race 9, Olmari, Kerry Kirk’s Lotus 9.2 holding a commanding 11 point lead on the table with one race to go. The memo obviously didn’t get through to Andrew Wilson aboard Rapport, the Farr 1104 making it a hat trick of wins on line and handicap in the last three weeks. Matt Michel sailed a fine race for second on line and handicap, Bump n Grind heading off Ron and Liz Ives’ MacIntosh which took the line/handicap double for third. Series leader Olmari, one of nine Division 2 boats who failed to finish within the race deadline had a nervous wait while the points were tallied, their comfortable 11 point lead cut to 4, still enough for them to take away the title ahead of Rapport with Bump n Grind third in the series.
Division 1 was set for a battle royal, Bluebird, Bob and Jennie Crum’s J120 leading the table by a single point from Oldsmobile with Flying Fox 8 points back in third. With many expecting a match race between the two, an early split off the line ended up determining the final outcome. In the light conditions Matt Kerr’s well drilled crew aboard Satellite Spy took line honours to make it a perfect seven from seven in the faces they have contested. Second across the line was Midnight, the Davidson 45 of Chris and Chris Webb. Not noted as a light airs performer, the big boat delivered her best result of the series to jump four places on the table. Third on line, Flying Fox Chris and Sara Williams’ Farr 38 finished only 23 seconds back from Midnight, enough to comfortably take the handicap win ahead of Satellite Spy with Midnight third on handicap. Back in the fleet the battle for the series finished with Bluebird crossing in fourth (fifth on corrected time) to shut out Oldsmobile, Aaron Blackmore’s Young Rocket having a less than memorable end to the series, squeaking home inside the time cut-off by 11 seconds. The final points table saw Bluebird take the title by three points from Oldsmobile with Flying Fox closing the gap right up, finishing only two points back from Oldsmobile in third place. Satellite Spy will be left wondering what might have been after not contesting three races during the series but still finishing fourth overall.
With a total of 54 boats involved across the series, the Marlborough Sounds Marinas Spring Twilight series has been a great success, the fleet now turning its attention to January and the Lawsons Dry Hills New Year Regatta.