Jubilant wins the Cockburn Sound regatta

The Cockburn Sound Regatta, hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Western Australia, is a four-day event that takes place between Boxing Day and New Years Eve on the beautiful and protected waters of Mangles Bay off Rockingham.

Conditions were light and very warm throughout the regatta with temperatures reaching 44 degrees on Day 1, but the sea breeze finally brought welcome relief to sailors and volunteers.

The Kwinana Industries Council race at Rockingham is the feed race for all Metropolitan based yachts and this year 17 have faced starter cannon to make the 14 nautical mile journey from Fremantle to join the rest of the fleet. The race started in an 18-knot northeast breeze which eventually faded to almost nothing. This of course favored the faster boats and Ray Martin’s Farrier F85SR, Beatrix took advantage of the course to reach and won both row honors and the eventual time adjusted prize.

Fifty boats of different sizes, types and dimensions took part in the regatta this year, up from last year’s total, including five beach multihulls which added a new dimension to the show. The monohulls were divided into three spinnaker divisions, four ib and main classes, premier cruising who also decided to sail without kites and a fleet of sports boats.

As usual, sailing consistently and making as few mistakes as possible has been just as important as it always has been in the race.

Salacia II. Pic – Shooting the Breeze Photography

Anthony Kirke skipper of the Botin Carkeek GP42 Enterprise NG was the fastest boat in Division 1. But the handicap did its job and it was Zuben’ubi skippered by Alan Anderson who won the first prize, ahead of the Salacia II of Ross Norgard and the Sagacious IV skippered by Chris De Behind. Zuben’ubi also came very close to winning the overall champion’s award. Enterprise topped the fleet on IRC to win every race and also the award for best dressed ashore crew. They were obviously training for their appearance at next year’s Sydney Hobart Race fashion shoot.

Division 2 was very close with four points separating the top three boats. Phil Slee made the trip from Bunbury with winning Miss Behavin from the local boat, Vintage Red, skippered by new member Michael Gillum. The conditions obviously suited the two S80s. Jolie Breeze, skippered by David Hepburn, was third.

Division 3 was really close. There was a point between the first and the fourth. It was Sam Threlfall’s Lady Irene who won by this single point over Kevin Sneddon’s Six Pak and Matt Rose’s Spacesailer 27, King Canute. Steve Morris on Freedom was an unlucky fourth, with those spots determined on the countdown.

The jib and the main competitors were split into three fleets and in JAM 1, Twitch, skippered by Betty Walsh in Barry’s absence, was on course to win over Neil Harrison on Deckchairs Overboard and Jason Poutsma on Stimulus Package . The latter also won the IRC Division award.

In JAM 2, Kevin Schroeder led Dragonheart to victory over Kim Klaka’s still-performing Panache II. It was great to see what was once a local boat in Dragonheart, reappear on Mangles Bay. Third place went to Mark Nicholas on K-Factor.

JAM 3 was another nearby fleet. Local member John Brabazon picked up a new sail for Christmas for his Rose boat, and won the Mandurah Spacesailer 27 Pegasus countdown, skippered by Mark Barrett. Mark beat his teammate Ross Davidson, sailing Legend, in third place by a single point. Naw the Noo, skippered by Dave Reid, finished fourth by two points behind, but received the Best Dressed Crew on the Water award for their Hawaiian-themed outfits.

The leading cruising fleet has sailed in spinnaker conditions this year and Ian Joel’s Jubilant Dixon design dominated the race to win the division. Serendipity, skippered by Rick Hoad, finished second, beating Eclipse race leader Max Palleschi.

Two boats side by side while sailing close-hauled.
The champion of the general classification of regattas Jubilant leads Eclipse. Pic – Shooting the Breeze Photography

Sports Boats provided the most interesting and tightest match racing again with the Elliot 7 Tiger, skippered by Gavin Taylor, returning to winning form and beating local sailor Trevor Taylor sailing No Etiquette in second place with Michael Jones on Pretty Woman in third. In low light conditions there were often only a few seconds between the boats and the starts were crucial, especially for the short Windward / Leeward courses.

This year we were joined by catamarans off the beaches and spectators had the pleasure of seeing a catamaran come out of the water on foils and appear to fly overhead. Flying Circus, skippered by Ryan Duffield, clearly won in Darren Smith’s Blew by you and Trevor Hughes’ Budgie Smuggler.

The general regatta champion is determined by a formula taking into account the raw point score of a boat and the sum of the total number of boats starting in each race in each division. It was very close between Jubilant, Zuben’ubi and Twitch but in the end, it was Ian Joel and his crew aboard Jubilant who won to take the palm.

Representing visiting and local sailors, Ian paid tribute to President Sonia Mason and her vast army of volunteers for hosting another successful regatta under difficult circumstances. There had been a fear of COVID in WA just before Christmas and the event was to be held under new restrictions.

By John Percy

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