Beneteau yachts equipped with Ian Short Sails filled the first three places overall in both IRC and ORCi in this years the 2016 Cabbage Tree Island Race. The Cabbage Tree Island Race is the fourth race in the CYCA’s Blue Water Point Score Series. The Three Beneteaus – Bravo, Black Sheep and Ariel – battled throughout the race for the top 3 positions. Queenslander Robbo Robertson sailing the Beneteau 40, Bravo, took first place overall in both IRC and ORCi. Derek Sheppard’s Beneteau 45, Black Sheep, placed second overall in both IRC and ORCi. In third place overall on both IRC and ORCI was Ron Foster and Phil Damp’s Beneteau 40, Ariel.
Ian Short Sails also figured in Division 1 results with the TP52 taking out first place on ORCi in Division 1 and second place in IRC Division 1. Bravo added a second place in Division 2 PHS to her first overall placing on IRC and ORCi.
The trio of Beneteaus stayed in touch throughout the race, according to Bravo’s navigator, Carl Crafoord. With the handicaps applied, Bravo beat Derek and Martin Sheppard’s B45, Black Sheep and Ron Forster and Phil Damp’s B40, Ariel by 25 minutes plus.
Bravo was almost to the Island when a wind change from the north-east to the south-west arrived. She ran the rest of the way to Cabbage Tree Island under spinnaker and then went wide. At one point, the crew thought they were on their way to Lord Howe and then Noumea, before the decision was made to tack.
Bravo kept ahead of Black Sheep, which has been at the top of her game, winning Race 3 of the series, the Newcastle Bass Island Race in October.
Derek Sheppard, skipper of Black Sheep, said, “From our perspective, in the bigger fleet, it’s hard to get clear air until you’re out of the Heads. Once we did, it was a great mix of conditions. Bravo – they sailed a very good race – made no mistakes. We did everything we could to get ahead of them, but couldn’t.”
Bravo, Beneteau 40 – FIRST Overall IRC, FIRST Overall ORCi
Koa, TP52 – FIRST ORCi Division 1, SECOND IRC Division 1
Black Sheep, Beneteau 45 – SECOND Overall IRC, SECOND Overall ORCi