Scarlet wins Audi Invitational
03 Feb 2010
Victorian yacht Scarlet Runner won the Audi Docklands Invitational on January 22.
Rob Date’s Reichel Pugh 52 eventually snared the overall win in the Grand Prix division after scoring consistently throughout the series finishing just one point ahead of Sandringham Yacht Club mate Alan Whiteley’s TP52 Cougar II,
which was leading on points going into the decider.
“We are happy chappies. You don’t get many wins so you have to enjoy them”, a smiling owner/skipper Rob Date said at Docklands after the event.
Scarlet Runner’s day wasn’t without incident though. A broken runner caused them to spear off downwind in race four while they recovered it. Amazingly they clawed back lost time, rounding the top mark in very good shape and in the company of the TP52s.
In the final shortened race, a diminished fleet elected to keep kites in their bags for the last downhill slide to the finish gate but even without their spinnaker, Scarlet Runner managed 21 knots of boat speed.
Scarlet Runner’s tactician Graeme Taylor admitted that this was “the best big boat racing I’ve done in Australia. All the boats have got different personalities, it was just awesome fun.”
“One little mistake and you lose three places. It’s like one design racing,” Date added in reference to the quality fleet of 50 footers racing at Audi Victoria Week.
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