Noel Robbins and skipper Rob Cridge use early wind to their advantage in title win

Des BeeckAlbany Advertiser
Rob Cridge (far right) with his happy Noel Robins crew.
Camera IconRob Cridge (far right) with his happy Noel Robins crew. Credit: Des Beeck

The final race of the autumn series, The Cock Of The Harbour, was a bargain win for division 3 skipper Rob Cridge after Noel Robins was never headed to win the coveted title last Saturday.

When Noel Robins, the limit boat, started there wasn’t much wind — probably around eight knots — and by the time the rest of the 13 yacht fleet began it had dropped off even more and looked like it was going to be a drifter.

Stephen Brown in Mary Maitland was chasing Cridge and under spinnaker had closed the gap and he too would benefit from a shortened course if that eventuated.

Wayne North in Frequent Flyer had slipped into third place and was in there with a chance.

Further back was a gaggle of yachts in a tight bunch with a mixture of division 2, Vipers, Flying Fifteens and division 1.

The big interest was which of them would record fastest time.

Midway through the event the call was made to shorten the course as the southerly had dropped to below five knots and many of the competitors would not have completed the course in the allowed time.

Racing yachts and a ship entering port get up close and personal.
Camera IconRacing yachts and a ship entering port get up close and personal. Credit: Des Beeck

Not too many complained about that decision, especially the three leading skippers.

Cridge drifted to the finish line and was a clear winner well ahead of Brown who had done his best to bridge the gap and took second place. North finished well to take third place. The fastest time was recorded by Murray Howson’s Chinese Moccasin who was just too quick for the larger division 1 yachts.

All in all the handicapping wasn’t bad as all boats had finished within 30 minutes of one another.

This weekend is the first of the winter series races with division 3 beginning at 1pm.

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