It wasn’t quite a case of déjà vu, but the feeling was very similar for Bendigo sailor Corvan Hughes when he and his crewmates took out the Salamanca Series of yacht races.
A year after winning Australia’s oldest sailing trophy – the Rudder Cup – at the first attempt, the crew of Déjà Vu took out this year’s three-race Salamanca Series.
The series began with the Boxing Day Dash across Port Phillip Bay, with the 38-foot Déjà Vu finishing fifth on line honours but first under the Australian Measurement System and Performance Handicap System.
The Royal Victorian Yacht Club team-mates then made the treacherous crossing from Melbourne to Hobart.
The nine-sailor crew worked in teams of four in four-hour shifts to make the crossing.
The Steven Carey-skippered Déjà Vu managed to lead for parts of the crossing, eventually winning the AMS division, and finishing second on PHS and third on IRC.
“We were leading for sections of it and then we dropped back to second or third,” Hughes said.
“Then we ended up having a good run, we lost time at certain times – during the night, in particular, it’s hard to navigate.
“We blew a spinnaker out on strong winds, which put us behind but we made it up in the end in the run down the Derwent, which can be very flukey. That’s where we picked it up and won the AMS.”
Déjà Vu led into the final leg of the Salamanca Series – the King of the Derwent.
Seeking local knowledge to help them before the tricky four-hour race, the RVYC clubmates weren’t successful but still won on AMS and PHS.
“The locals didn’t want us, because they knew we were up there, to have any sort of advantage so they weren’t offering,” Hughes said.
“According to one of the local guys they said we were wasting our time because the winds here are unpredictable, really. It was all over the shop and coming from every direction. It was a four-hour race so it was bloody hard.”
Hughes said the Déjà Vu crew were considering taking on the Sydney to Hobart on December 26.