First up, the results for the Invitation race were confirmed. After a misunderstanding over the course that saw the leaders sail past the finish line, Firestorm ended up 1st, closely followed by Devocean and Meeks Real Estate. Tim showed his experience when, aiming for an upwind finish, he quickly corrected & finished downwind to claim 4th place.
So after another go at briefing the courses all crews were raring to go. With a gentle breeze the start of the first race was hotly contested. All crews pushed hard but the starter declared a clear start & the fleet got away in an 8-12 knot NE’er. John, Dale & Ryan on Firestorm made a good start, picked some nice lifts & pressure lines to round the top mark with a handy lead that they would not surrender. Mick, Brad & Ben were next around on Planet Beer, closely followed by Troy Botting Shipwright & Meeks. Jeremy, Tom & Hugh on SFC Computers were next, having a close battle with Chook, Hayden & Adam on Black Diamond with the rest of the fleet close behind.
At the finish Firestorm lead TBS home, with Meeks just getting the better of Planet Beer after a tight tussle around the course. SFC finished 5th, winning their battle with Black Diamond by 2 seconds!
On handicap Roger, Nick & Will on Devoceaan sailed a great race to finish just behind Raptor across the line to claim their maiden handicap victory at a nationals. Shows yesterday’s invitation result was no fluke. 2nd was Brian, Max & Kallan on Narwahl, with Planet Beer converting their strong scratch result into 3rd on corrected time.
Race 2 started in a nice breeze that was again fiercely contested. This time the boats that went left, looking for the that were there in the first race (Firestorm, Meeks etc) were hammered. SFC were looking good after making a good start & getting right – until Black Diamond came from further right to round the top mark with a nice lead. Not far behind them was Devocean, proving that their previous results were no fluke. Firestorm was close behind, as was SFC.
From here the race became difficult, with the breeze dying and fluctuating in direction regularly. Most skippers I talked to after the race spoke of their frustration of sailing a knocking work. After Firestorm wore down Black Diamond, Col, Adam & Janine on TBS did likewise to both boats, opened up a lead & looked unstoppable. Then the breeze changed yet again, as did the lead. Firestorm snuck around the top mark with a small lead for the final run to the finish that they would hold, narrowly taking the honours from TBS. Mick, Robbie & Mark looked to have risen from the ashes after rounding the first mark in last place but Black Diamond continued their good form to hold them off for a great 3rd across the line. Not much further back there were some more great battles underway. Next home was the TD sub-fleet boats, SFC taking the bragging honours from Stowe, Raptor & Planet Beer.
Roger & the boys claimed another scalp, beating Narwahl home on scratch, but this was not enough to claim the handicap victory – this belonged to Black Diamond. For two days now they have lead the fleet more than once. Well sailed!
Check the results pages for race times & scores.