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Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron: Morna Cup victory to Imagination

 IRC winner in Morna Cup today, Imagintaion.

IRC winner in Morna Cup today, Imagintaion.

Today’s Morna Cup race off Sydney Head could be best described as ‘beyond imagination’ for the Hawthorn family and their Beneteau 47.7 Imagination.

“We are ecstatic with our win…we sailed brilliantly today,” said Campbell Hawthorn, one of three sons of owners Robin and Annette Hawthorn who joined for their parents today for a convincing win in the IRC division of the Morna Cup.

The Morna Cup is the second of three short ocean races conducted each summer by the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron with the Cup itself traditionally decided on PHS scoring.

The provisional winner of the PHS division overall, and the historic trophy, was the first placegetter in Division 2, Damien Barker’s Sydney 36 Alpha Carinae.

PHS Division 1 winner was the RSYS entrant Ceilidh (Peter Williams) but Alpha Carinae had the lowest corrected time in the fleet.

With Ceilidh not an entrant in the CYCA’s Grant Thornton Short Ocean Pointscore, first place in the PHS division 1 under CYCA results went to Stormaway (J Stening and C Gunn) from Wild One (Larki Missins) and Gascoigne Cup winner Jackpot (Adrian Van Bellen) with line honours winner Quest (Bob Steel) in fourth place and Imagination fifth.

PHS Division 2, and the Morna Cup went to Damien Barker’s Alpha Carinae from Velocity (Brian Carrick) and Crosshaven (Justin Pelly and Sean Rahilly).

Alpha Carinae,  Morna Cup winner

Alpha Carinae, Morna Cup winner


Imagination won IRC Division 1 from Quest, third place going to Stormaway.

“We were glad to hear over the radio before the start that the course had been changed from sailing north to mark of Long Reef to a mark that had been laid to windward in the 12-15 knot south’easter,” Campbell Hawthorn recalled after the race.

“It was great to see an 11-year-old boat hold its own on height and downwind with the newer designs,” he said, adding that new sails had “certainly helped.”

“Our only disappointment, with Imagination going so well, is that we are not doing the Rolex Sydney Hobart this year…but we will be their next year for the 70th race,” Campbell stressed.

By Peter Campbell