The veteran S&S34 AZZURRO with SCYC Commodore Harry Blom and Simon Tyler on board took 1st Place in ORC2 in the 75th edition B2G race. Azzurro also had the fantastic result of 3rd Overall (IRC) and 3rd in IRC3 and 3rd in AMS. What a great result for “the little boat that could” as Azzurro is known. (Previous owners of Azzuro include our past member Frank Pearce when it was at SCYC as Shenandoah II.) It’s interesting that you don’t have to have the latest yacht to win a classic event like the Brisbane to Gladstone Race – even in 2023 which included particularly wild weather “on the nose”. First place went to Joanne Brodie (1960) and second was Pagan (1962) with the veteran Azzurro third.
Azzuro was launched in 1981 and the highly competitive pocket rocket yacht is now under Queensland ownership and has been immediately successful in the Gladstone Ports Corporation 75th edition Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race. You can find some more details about Azzurro at SS34.org. Azzurro’s new owner is Jack Kliner who swiftly made a deal to buy the boat from former owner and legendary Australian sailor, Shane Kearns on Constitution Dock at the conclusion of the 2022 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. Azzurro came very close to winning that Hobart race. The much-loved Sparkman and Stephens 34 (S&S 34) yacht, often touted as the darling of Australian offshore racing, has had a rich racing pedigree.
Club members Fiona Bengtsson and Warren Venaglia also had a great result on Skimmer. Skimmer was sailed particularly well in tough conditions to take 2nd place in the PHS3 category. The SCYC members and all other finishers in the Brisbane to Gladstone race which started on Good Friday did particularly well just to finish, with 9 of the 46 entrants unable to finish the race. The race included very dangerous weather with thunderstorms and having to beat into gale force winds which pummeled the competitors.
Our Sailing School friends on Sunshine Sailing Australia Gintastic also had a top result with 1st Place in the PHS2 Category. Congratulations to Piers Dudin and Crew.