The line honours race that after almost 90 nautical miles restarted at South Head
David Griffith and Rupert Henry's JV62 Chinese Whisper has reigned supreme in a fiery Flinders Islet Race line honours battle with rival David Gotze's RP63 No Limit, crossing the finish line a mere 47 second apart after 9 hours 47 minute and 33 seconds of racing.
After what could almost be described as a typical Sydney Harbour start (minus the grey sky!), the 2019 Flinders Islet Race unfolded to be anything but. Close, choppy swells averaging nearly two metres in height, combined with the building northerly breeze, created testing conditions.
“It was a fantastic run down to Flinders Islet, we were sitting on 18-21 knots most of the way, which for these bigger boats, suits them perfectly. It was just great, the TP52s are a bit of a challenge for us downwind, but once we get upwind again we grind away from them.” said Chinese Whisper owner/skipper David Griffith.
“Chinese Whisper is an amazing boat upwind, its just a perfectly balanced boat and we had a great crew on board with no mistakes. They just did everything solidly which helped a lot.”
The line honours battle however was not won or lost in the water off the coast with both No Limit and Chinese Whisper entering Sydney Harbour within touching distance of each other. This set up one final sprint to the finish line in Rushcutters Bay under the cover of darkness.
“It was a great finish for us. I feel a bit sorry for the boys on No Limit who sailed extremely well but you know, that was the challenge. We were biting their heels all the way up the coast back from Flinders Islet. It wasn't until we were coming down the harbour that we were able to nail them in different sailing conditions,” said Griffith.
“They were trying to block us but were in a controlling position, able to break gybes and seperate from them. They went over to the eastern side and we stuck more on the western shore which proved to be the winning move.
“The race for the two of us started again at south head with the finish in Rushcutters Bay. We had great fun sailing against them with only 47 second between them as we crossed the line.”
Five TP52s, led by Matt Allen AM’s Ichi Ban, were next to finish, all crossing the line within 25 minutes of each other and also just 11 minutes off Chinese Whispers line-honours-winning time.
From the quality of the competition among the faster-end of the fleet, as well as the battles that unfold for the overall win, it’s easy to see why the Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore Series is described as the pinnacle series of offshore racing in Australia
Flinders Islet Race teams can be followed live via the yacht tracker on the dedicated Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore Series website. Photo and video will also be shared across the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s socials including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – you can keep up with the conversation by using and following #AudiCentreSydneyBWPS.