Neil Worrell and Zuri take honours in heat five of winter series

Des BeeckAlbany Advertiser
Wild One hits the front but Neil Worrell’s Zuri with the black and yellow spinnaker finishes the winner.
Camera IconWild One hits the front but Neil Worrell’s Zuri with the black and yellow spinnaker finishes the winner. Credit: Des Beeck

Heat five of the winter series was a scheduled Emu Point race but with the prospect of light winds and an outgoing tide in the Emu Point Channel it was decided to conduct a harbour course event instead and what a wise decision that was.

Eight yachts from divisions two, three and Flying Fifteens began their race 30 minutes ahead of the sole division one boat last Saturday. It wasn’t very promising minutes before the start as any breeze there was had dropped down to 1.5 knots.

The first yacht to retire didn’t even cross the start line and a further two pulled the pin half way to the first mark.

That left six boats to flounder towards Quaranup stake, the first of nine marks in the course.

The first three yachts around that mark were the Flying Fifteens followed by Neil Worrell in Zuri who hoisted his spinnaker well before any of the others and this certainly helped him to stay in touch with the Fifteens.

Murray Deere was doing well with Wild One and soon made inroads on the rest who had the 30-minute start.

Stephen Brown was having difficulty in reaching Quaranup stake and finally got around it taking 13/4 hours.

Brown hoisted his spinnaker and carried it for the rest of the race which was soon to be shortened.

A slow start in 1.5 knots of breeze and the course had to be shortened.
Camera IconA slow start in 1.5 knots of breeze and the course had to be shortened. Credit: Des Beeck

It became obvious to the starting crew that no one would complete the course and six legs were abandoned and even though the wind picked up slightly it was the correct decision.

Deere had caught the leading duo, Aileen Lucas in Crazy and Simon Lucas in FForever Young, and went on to cross the line first with a string of yachts right behind him.

Zuri was also looking good for a place as was Stephen Brown, finishing well with Mary Maitland.

The Flying Fifteens although finishing well up didn’t score too well on handicap.

The winning yacht on corrected time was Worrell’s Zuri with Stephen Brown second and Mary Maitland third. Fastest was Deere in Wild One.

Brown did extremely well when you consider that it took him 10 minutes just to cross the start line at the beginning of the race.

Many skippers related that it was one of the slowest races that they’d ever competed in.

The sixth and final heat of the winter series, known as the Brass Monkey race, will begin at 1pm this Saturday.

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