Georgia Racing


CRC Bay of Islands Race Week January 2019

Thursday, January 31, 2019

For what must the be 11th or 12th time, Georgia Racing participated in the Bay of Islands Race Week.  The weather was magnificent – mostly light to medium breezes but not as much sitting around waiting for the Sea Breeze to kick in as last year.  In 2018 we won PHRF and finished second in IRC.  This year there was no IRC – more about that below – but PHRF and General Handicap.

We won General Handicap from Mayhem (Harry Dodson) and were 4th in PHRF, won by Kia Kaha (Chris Hornell) ahead of Miss Scarlet (William Goodfellow) and Wired (Rob Bassett) with Mayhem 5th.   Mayhem won the Line Series with Georgia 2nd and Wired 3rd.

The Georgia Crew is listed below.  Apart from our regular sailors, we were again privileged to have Brad Butterworth, Stu Bannatyne and Daniel Fong on the boat and, for the first time, Don Cowie trimming the main.  My association with Don goes back a long way to our respective Team New Zealand days but this was the first time he and I have sailed together.   He was a great help to me in my role of helming the boat.  It is critical for the helmsman to work together with the trimmers and I felt I had never had such great rapport with trimmers as I had with Don and Daniel (who trimmed the gib and the down wind sails).  Brad and Stu once again were superb.  What is impressive about these America’s Cup/Volvo guys is not just their skill and experience but the calmness with which they go about making the boat perform better.  That feeds through into the regular crew who are inspired to lift their performance beyond their already competent standards.

This was a regatta where we started slowly with 2 out of 3 over the line at the start on the first day.  Impressively however we did manage to come back from that and on line finish with 2 seconds and a third in the first 3 races.  On Day 2, we improved this to 3 seconds on line despite being over the line again on one of those races.  It needs to be said, in mitigation, that the windward-leeward legs were very short (1.0-1.2 nautical miles) which leads to necessary eagerness to get away quickly on the first leg.   

Day 3 saw us win on line in the first race after a close tussle with Mayhem which ultimately finished last as a result of their tactician, rather foolishly, seeking to poke their nose in front of us at the top mark for the last time as we came across on starboard.  A collision was only avoided as a result of our putting our bow up at the last minute and the on-water umpires had no hesitation in calling a foul.  Inexplicably, before doing their penalty turn, Mayhem hoisted their gennaker which of course made the penalty turn that much longer to complete and resulted in Mayhem finishing last in the race instead of a probable second.  I do have a problem with a tactician who throws a private owner’s TP52 into a probable collision course with another private owner’s 52 as if he were in a match racing situation in a small boat.  One has to wonder whether, if he had been the owner, he would have undertaken the high risk of seriously damaging 2 costly racing yachts.   

The second windward-leeward race for the final day was won by us on corrected time in both PHRF and General Handicap.  This led on to the third race, with a course set around the Bay.  The start was chaotic as a result of a major windshift just before the gun which left us last boat to cross the line.   In light winds, a good tactical call saw us eventually take the lead ahead of V5 (David Nathan), Wired and Mayhem.  Rounding Nine Pin we set off for the finish line comfortably in front.   But as they say, “it ain’t over until the fat lady sings”.  We neared the line in a dying breeze and the other 3 boats, bringing up the new breeze, achieved sufficient momentum to beat us over the line into 4th place!

The Regatta was once again very well organised and we (and all the boats) owe a debt to the organisers who put on such a great event.   Special thanks to Megan and her Race Committee.
A media video of the Event with an interview of me is on Photos below also.

There were lots of rumours to the effect that I have sold or am selling GEORGIA.  The answer to those rumours is No and No.

Jim Farmer

30 January 2019

Taylor Balogh
Josh Wijohn
Andrew Cook
Denis Kendall
Daniel Fong
Chris Skinner
Stefano Nava
Stu Bannatyne
Don Cowie
Brad Butterworth
Terry Cookson
George Hendy
Jackie Hendy
Jim Farmer