Sydney 38 battle to Hobart still wide open

  • Racing
  • NEWS
  • By Jennifer Crooks
  • 13 Dec 2004 18:50:00
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Cydon - Day 1 of Rolex Trophy

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CYCA member Leon Christianakis on Cydon reinforced his growing reputation in the class, winning the Rolex Trophy with consistently good performances.

After two days of frustratingly light breezes off the Sydney coast the wind finally freshened up on the final day of the Rolex Trophy - One Design Series, giving the eight Sydney 38s also competing in the 60th Anniversary Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race a chance to see how they are shaping up for the big race.

CYCA member Leon Christianakis on Cydon reinforced his growing reputation in the class, winning the Rolex Trophy with consistently good performances that included two wins and two second places in the seven race series.

It was a fantastic performance for a team that has only been together a year, and the self-effacing Christianakis is tickled pink.  “It was a very challenging three days,” he says.  “I have a great crew, it’s a lovely quiet boat, the racing is fast and furious but great fun.  I do what I am told.”

Of the 38s going to Hobart, Christianakis identified Estate Challenge, sailed by Martin and Lisa Hill, and Lou Abrahams’ Challenge from Melbourne as having been particularly quick during the Rolex Trophy.

Challenge is a brand new boat, and ominously Abrahams says he and his crew had not had time to tune the boat before the series.  They had been hoping for lots of wind over the three days and found the first two days very frustrating. 

The veteran yachtsman was very relieved when the fresher breeze and jumbled seas of the third day finally kicked in. These were more like “Hobart” conditions, and even though ferocious storms truncated the day he feels that he saw enough to know what adjustments he needs to make to get Challenge optimised for Boxing Day.

Martin Hill has a lot of changes still in mind for Estate Master before the start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart.  Estate Master was on fire on the more rugged third day of the Rolex Trophy, winning both races convincingly.  Still, Martin says that it will be quite a different boat that goes to Hobart. “Most (of the 38s) will go in different configurations. We will have a different mainsail and carry extra crew weight on the side.  We will also step down a gear earlier and sail flatter.”

As well as Challenge, Hill thought the Victorian Chutzpah (Bruce Taylor) was another Hobart bound Sydney 38 that looked good during the Rolex Trophy.

“I think there is hardly any difference in boat speed between any of these boats,” he says.  “It will all come down to tactics.

“I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a group of us racing up the Derwent River together.”

The top six placings in the Sydney 38 Rolex Trophy were:

1. Cydon  (Leon Christianakis)  1,2,6,3,1,2,2,  17 points
2. Estate Master (Martin & Lisa Hill) 3,1,3,4,7,1,1 20 points
3. Challenge (Lou Abrahams) 5,3,8,1,4,4,6, 31 points
4. AMI Jade (Peter McNamara) 11,13,2,5,2,3,3, 39 points
5. Team Lexus (Rupert Henry) 2,6,7,13,12,6,5,  51 points
6. Chutzpah (Bruce Taylor) 14,4,4,14,3,9,4,  52 points
 

Estate Master - Rolex Trophy Day 3 Image: Daniel Forster

Estate Master - Rolex Trophy Day 3

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