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Hobart Combined Clubs: Graney leads fleet home in Betsey Island Race

David Graney at the helm of his SB20 Wedgewood. (Credit Peter Campbell)

David Graney at the helm of his SB20 Wedgewood. (Credit Peter Campbell)

David Graney, one of Tasmania’s most versatile yachtsmen, today outsailed the Betsey Island Race fleet of offshore racing keelboats with his little 8.2m trimaran Rocket Alice, taking line honours and losing first place in the PHS category by just 8 seconds on corrected time.

Graney, a prominent member of the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, is a former champion sailor in International Mirror dinghies and International Dragons. He currently races the SB20 sportsboat Wedgewood weekly on the Derwent as well as his trimaran in the Hobart Combined Club Long Races.

Rocket Alice’s close second on corrected time to Graham Adamson’s Mumm 36 Madness has placed the trimaran (the only multihull in the fleet) at the top of the Group A PHS leader board, with a series score so far of 8-5-2-2.

In fact, it’s been a good sailing week for Graney. In another close result he sailed Wedgewood into equal second place in race two of the SB20 Thursday twilight racing, just three seconds astern to the winning boat in a blanket finish between five SB20s.

His crew of Rocket Alice today included several SB20 sailors, also enjoying a change of boats and racing in the 29 nautical mile race down the Derwent to round Betsey Island in Storm Bay and then dash home before a building sea breeze.

Derwent Sailing Squadron sailing secretary Mike Denny took time off to skipper his own yacht, Wild West, in Group A, finishing fourth on AMS corrected time. “It was a very pleasant race, with a good southerly breezing building up after a few holes heading down the river the this morning,” Denny said after the race.

“We had closes reaches from the Iron Pot across to and back from Betsey (where it was 20 knots and lumpy seas) and then a fast spinnaker run back up the river in a building sea breeze.”

Gavin Adamson, also an RYCT member, sailed an excellent race with Madness, finishing third across the line and taking first place in Group A PHS category from Rocket Alice and Tony Harman’s Masquerade, from Bellerive Yacht Club. Madness also finished second in the AMS rated division.

Bellerive boat, Harold Clark’s Farr 1104 Invincible again dominated the rated categories, AMS and IRC, with substantial winning margins on corrected time.

In Group A, AMS, Invincible won from Madness and Masquerade and under IRC scoring won from Whistler, skippered by Jory Linscott, from the RYCT, and Tony Williams’ Martela, from BYC. Invincible now has a clear overall points lead in both AMS and IRC categories after four of the seven race Long Race Series.

Group B saw Storm Dragon (Tom Pilkington, RYCT) lead the fleet home but first place on corrected time went to Stewart Geeves’ Young 88 Footloose, with a much quicker time at sea than in Geeves’ previous long race, the galeswept Launceston to Hobart late last month.

Today Footloose, which sails under the burgees both Geilston Bay Boat Club and RYCT, won the PHS category of Group B from BYC’s Just in Time (Mick Sheehan) and Clive Anning’s Twitch. Footloose now holds a comfortable overall lead in Group B from Twitch and Storm Dragon.

In Division C, the winner was Steve Mannering’s Camlet Way from Peter Alcock’s Kindred Spirit and Ian Gannon’s Take 5. Kindred Spirit leads the Group C Long Race Series from Epoxy Warrior (Ross Mannering) and N-Yacht (Phil and Glen Wilkinson) which retired from today’s race.

By Peter Campbell

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