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Creswell Cup taken home by Navy.

posted May 2, 2012, 12:22 AM by Unknown user

Creswell Cup taken home by Navy.

Upon Jervis Bay on the weekend of 17th and 18th March 2012, the racing of the annual Creswell Cup took place; a tradition dating back some 30 years and holding a hallowed placed on the racing calendar of both the Jervis Bay Cruising Yacht Club (JBCYC) and the Creswell Sailing Club (CSC).

With recent weather patterns threatening rain and Saturday dawning a grey overcast, wet-weather attire was donned by one-and-all. The winds, predicted to swing around from the south east and south west, provided a challenge for skippers and tacticians during the course of the race.

Fourteen vessels hoisted sail under the relatively new format for the Creswell Cup, of match racing: whereby half of the fleet represent the JBCYC and half the CSC.  

After the ubiquitous jostling at the start line, most of the fleet sailed in relatively close proximity for the run to the first marker. Between the second and third marker the fleet was more widespread with skippers taking various tacks in an attempt to gain the advantage. Heading for the southern end of the bay and the unpredictable winds around HMAS Creswell, the fleet tackled the shorter legs of the race with gusto and many varied tactical manoeuvres.

The Navy vessel, Alexander hugged the shore and, catching the lift from the land sprinted past Plantation Point with a strong wind line to the next marker. She powered ahead, the skipper and crew a shining example of competence at sea, crossing the finish line near the front of the fleet, she won her match race.

A near miss early in the race between Eves Delight and Sapphire Dancer saw Eves Delight completing a 360⁰ penalty turn. However, the skipper and crew of Eves Delight were undaunted, tacking into a strong wind line and skilfully easing around the markers, made very good time and won her match.

The experience of skipper and crew on board Discover showed, as she tacked and took her own line past other vessels labouring with the fickle winds. However SasSea, with boldness befitting her name, engaged in a spirited race against Overture and won her match.

Rockhopper showed determination by chasing Motion around the course. Motion, skipper and crew, rose to the occasion proving the more fluid vessel on the day, winning her match race.

Sapphire Dancer, owned by David Bennett who unfortunately was unable to sail that day, had at her helm Anthony James Byrnes, Former Commodore of JBCYC. He and a number of his crew are recently returned from The Festival of Sails, Geelong Race Week 2012. They sailed on Arabesque to become runners up in the Farr 1020 National Championship.

A distinguished guest of Colin Apps was Peter Rogers, both Sydney to Hobart veterans. Peter is owner and skipper of She and has sailed in 16 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Races, including the notorious 1998 race. In 2011 She was runner up in PHS Division 2, and winner of PHS Division 2 in 2010.

Taking Line Honours in the Creswell Cup 2011/12, was the Navy vessel Friendship, with Skipper Richard (Blue) Timms; respectfully regarded as ‘old man of the sea’; at the helm. Friendship lead the fleet for the entire race!, a daunting task for all but the most intrepid skippers. One of the few yachts to fly a spinnaker that day, he hoisted the glorious kite at a time when other skippers were assessing the unpredictable winds on the south side of the bay. Skipper and crew sailed Friendship with the skill of fine sailors, resulting in their decisive win.

Though not possible to mention here all matches, suffice to say many other match races were undertaken with gusto and unquestionable sailing spirit befitting the occasion of the event. For all those who sailed, whether winners or runners up, the day proved both challenging and rewarding.

When all vessels had passed the finish line; one sailing bravely close to the start/finish boat; we moored up at HMAS Creswell for the presentation.

Commodore Mark Tobin of JBCYC, graciously opened the proceedings by thanking Commodore Jim McDonald of CSC, for handling the logistics of providing the BBQ evening meal and breakfast, arranging suitable shelter and requirements for the band and, of course, somewhere for us all to cut loose and dance. Mark provided a brief explanation of the history of the Creswell Cup and how the match racing was undertaken.

 Commodore Jim McDonald of CSC, with eloquent good humour, welcomed members of both clubs to HMAS Creswell and imparted the necessary ‘housekeeping’ tips to ensure our safe conduct on the base as privileged guests of HMAS Creswell.

We were honoured to be addressed by Warrant Officer Fred Campbell; on behalf of the Captain of HMAS Creswell, Captain Brett Chandler. He spoke of the long standing association between the Creswell Sailing Club and the Jervis Bay Cruising Yacht Club, and the esteem that ensures the successful undertaking of the Creswell Cup each year.

Cheers then abounded as the skippers of each winning yacht were announced. The reckoning decreed Creswell Sailing Club the victor, outsailing Jervis Bay Cruising Yacht Club by winning 5 of the 7 match races, and therefore, rightful holder of the Creswell Cup for the coming year! Congratulations for their formidable and courageous win!

Many thanks also to the members of the committee of CSC and JBCYC who worked tirelessly in the months before, making suitable arrangements for our entertainment. Funk House seemed to have the right beat to entice even some of the most ardent non-dancers up on to the floor.

For JBCYC this event was also Race 1 of the Autumn Series and was sponsored by Jervis Bay Yachting. Results for the days racing show, Eves Delight with Jeremy Hutchings the skipper, as winners of Division 1. Motion, with skipper David Churchward, are Division 2 winners, and SasSea, with skipper John Lawrence won Division 3.

For more information regarding race results and our racing calendar please visit