Festival Of Sails

Grand Prix contenders!

A couple of Rolex Sydney Hobart retirements who thought they were making their way to Geelong via Hobart are still on track to be part of the grand prix Rating Series at the Festival of Sails.

Tony Kirby’s Sydney based 46-footer Patrice and Terry Posma’s West Australian based 39-footer Jaffa both withdrew from the tough bluewater classic race, Patrice with mainsail damage and Jaffa with engine troubles.

“We have our regatta mainsail ready and we are coming back with vengeance at Geelong,” Kirby promises. He’s fired up for two reasons; one his cut-short Hobart and the other is the chance to meet up again with Rob Date’s racy red 52-footer, Scarlet Runner.

The pair went toe-to-toe in the 2014 Sydney Hobart and finished first and second in IRC division 1 at the end of 628 nautical miles, Patrice the better boat on the day. The two crews keenly await the chance to meet again later this month.

With more regatta and bluewater miles added to the boat’s log since Patrice’s first Festival appearance, the skipper is eager for a second go. Matt Johns, who looked after the former Victorian based Living Doll and now lives in Queensland, and local guru, sailing master Barney Walker, will be part of Kirby’s effort to put right some some unfinished business.

“We came to Geelong two years ago when the boat was brand new and finished second in IRC division 1. We’ve come a long way since then,” Kirby warns his challengers!