Rob Campbell in Oz 12 Jan 2015
Rob Campbell missed winning the Prince Philip Cup for the Australasian Dragon Championship by just one point – and that was sailing a borrowed boat! The winner was Sydney yachtsman Gordon Ingate, repeating his win of 2009.
Ingate, helmed Whimsical to a one point victory in the 2015 Prince Philip Cup, sailed out of the Royal Brighton Yacht Club on Melbourne's Port Philip, narrowly outsailing a fleet that included boats from Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania, Western Australia and Great Britain.
In a last day duel, sailed in steady rain and light winds, Whimsical finished just one point clear of British yachtsman Robert Campbell, sailing the borrowed Sydney boat Indulgence. Third place overall went to another RSYS entry, Shapes skippered by Wolfe Breit with an experienced crew that included Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race winning skipper Roger Hickman.
A regular visitor to Australia for the Prince Philip Cup, Campbell had already made a clean sweep of the Albert Memorial Cup, a precursor to the Prince Philip Cup but the OCS made it a question of catch-up in the major event. Day two saw Campbell and his crew of Sydney Dragon sailors Robert Alpe and Richard Franklin fight back with a 1-3 score, but still carrying the 17 penalty points.
Discarding the OCS result Indulgence and Whimsical on net 6 points each with Shapes on a net 5 points going into the final day after day three racing had been abandoned because of extremely stormy weather over Melbourne.
The last day's racing started in pouring rain and light wind. Ingate posted a win in the first race of the day, race 5, from Shapes and Indulgence with the overall scores then being Whimsical and Shapes 7 each, Indulgence 9 points. Indulgence won the sixth and final race but Whimsical's second place gave Ingate and his crew of Brad Sheridan and David Giles the winning margin and his second Prince Philip Cup in 58 years of racing Dragons.