The much anticipated showdown between two contenders for the Ocean Series trophy was all over by high noon when the breeze faded leaving the catamaran Sally Malay languishing at the back whilst Mulberry powered ahead to record a first and fastest, a feat repeated in the return race the following day.
Ian Walker’s big cat Sally Malay had scored two wins in the Mindarie races whilst Mark Pitt on the thoroughbred racer Mulberry also had two wins in the series and so it came down to the last two races of the season: the Hillarys to Rottnest and return races held last weekend. The two wins by Mulberry secured the Ocean Series trophy in division one. Hard Evidence skippered by wily veteran Des Riley made the most of the fickle conditions for a second and a third placing and was the most consistent performer all season whilst Bill Gilbert on Jack Tar was second and fourth.
In division two, Mark Taylor on Helga recorded a second and fourth placing to win the Ocean Series trophy for the division however he was under pressure from Show Me (Bruce Ellery) who scored a first and second place, Tropical Itch (Tony Brooke) with a win and Pinta (Kevin Stacey) who had two fourth placings. Although fastest in both races, Covert Operation (Bart Brouwer and Graham Atkinson) couldn’t overcome their handicap rating to score a pennant in the light conditions. Rob Bills was happy with his first and fastest in both races in division three with Steve O’keefe second on Comfortably Numb.
Skippers and crews now look forward to collecting the booty at the annual dinner later in May.