Victory and success was the order of events for Vicsail and their owners participating in this year’s Vicsail Beneteau Cup. Now in its 21st year, and boasting their biggest fleet ever, it was fitting for Daryl Hodgkinson aboard “Victoire” to take out this year’s cup ahead of a very competitive and passionate group of Beneteau owners.
45 boats entered this year’s event, with 2011 Sydney to Hobart division winner “Victorie” joined by the largest yacht in the fleet “Vanish Point”, a Beneteau 57, with the China Cup 3rd place-getter “Immagination” also joining the field. The entire fleet was shadowed by two Lagoon Catamarans taking in the fierce racing and weekend festivities.
Race one started from Elizabeth Bay and saw the fleet head up to the Sow and Pigs and back, taking just over an hour to complete. After the initial shakedown the full field of competitors then undertook race two, allowing for some serious sailing across the entered categories.
Race one was taken out by Gerry Hatton’s “Bushranger”, but with a second in race one and a third in race two, Howard Piggot and “Flying Cloud” took out the racing on aggregate, narrowly beating “Victorie”, with “Bushranger” a close third. Queenslander “Lunchtime Legend” retired from race one for making an error with the course layout, but made amends by taking out race two.
The prestigious Beneteau Cup was eventually awarded to Daryl and “Victoire” due to their fierce racing throughout the year, their commitment recognised with the prestigious silverware.
Other winners over the weekend included Frits Mare’s “Ocean Road” taking out the Spinnaker Division. Mike Roper’s “Ropabull” had an eventful Cup placing last in race one but then taking the honours in race two.
Arthur Lane’s “Ikonkoni” took out the Non-Spinnaker A division with “Champagne on Ice” and “Breakthrough” taking a win each. In the Non-Spinnaker B division “No More” and “Elusive Spirit” had a win each but it was Ian Guanaria and his crew using their first and third to take the overall win from “Tahoe Blue” and “Nightingale”.
Proceeding the Beneteau Cup, the First 40 fleet of Flying Cloud, Lunchtime Legend, and Breakthrough battled for the inaugural First 40 National Championship during the Sydney Short Ocean Championship in Middle Harbour.
First range product lead Eric Ingouf joined the weekend event from his base in France and was overjoyed with the turnout. “Our First range is built specifically for this type of event, and it’s so pleasing to see such a big turnout for our brand”, said Eric. “Australia is a very important market for Beneteau and we’re in very safe hands with the passionate support of Vicsail and the loyalty and fierce competition our owners share down here.”