along on the crest of a wave...
The seasoned crew on Ray Roberts TP52 Team Hollywood brushed off these conditions with ease and flew around the course to record two bullets and fire a opening salvo at the rest of the IRC 1 class. Only seconds separated Scott Bradley's rejuvenated Sydney 40 East Marine Emagine and Gordon Ketelbeys Farr 40 Ramrod to finish the day in 2nd and 3rd overall. Craig Nicholls Sydney 40 AquarII managed to sneak into 3rd place on the second race and provide some separation to the boats in front of them.
It's as if the defending IRC 2 champion Niels Degenkolw's X3/4 Ton MK2 Phoenix, has never been away and scored two bullets on the first day, to put themselves in a good position for the rest of the regatta. Max Palleschi's IOR Farr 40 Prime Factor followed through with two 2nd places to keep Phoenix on the hook. Aussie Lyn Evans on the all girl crew Sailescapes Farrgo Ladies and David Turkington's Platu 25 The Fox traded 3rd and 4th places, to be tied on 7 points and fighting over 3rd overall.
While the IRC classes completed windward/leeward races, the Cruising Class embarked on a round Koh Lon race, into Ao Chalong and back. Keith Garry's X-412 BeauX Esprit's made the most of the conditions to score the daily double. Defending champion Chris Mitchell's Naut 40 Lady Bubbly had to settle on 2nd place, while Rick Blomfield's Bavaria 39 Linda came from behind to jump into 3rd place at the finish line.
Hot off the successful Multihull Solutions Regatta, Dan Fidock’s Moore 36 trimaran Fugazi stayed on the pace and two daring port tack starts, left the Multihull fleet in their wake and went on unchallenged to score two bullets. Scott Galle's Diam 26 Blade Runner IX and Peter Wilcox Stealth Cosmo traded 2nd places to end up 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Having won nearly every Firefly 850 One Design race and regatta in the last four years, it came as a big surprise to see John Newnham's Twin Sharks, trailing the fleet in third place. George Eddings Blue Nose picked the right path up the windward beat to lead the fleet around the course and win the first race. Although Hans Rahmann's Voodoo were slow of the start line, they made up ground as they tacked away early and slotted into 2nd place. It takes allot to keep a top team down and as expected John Newnham's Twin Sharks were back up to speed in the next race and by scoring the daily double, find themselves in familiar territory, with 1st overall. Jonathan Kingdon's Moto Inzi and Ray Waldron's Surf Patrol also come to the fore in the second race and further jumbled up the minor placing's.
Only one race for the five Pulse 600’s as the breeze faded and changed direction so much, that the second start was abandoned. Brian Wood's SuDu Yellow managed to pip Mick Tilden Pixalux Blue by 13 seconds at the finish line and claim the first race. Simon Oliver's Sudu Red took advantage of the wind shift to sneak in front of Zam Bevan's Multihull Solutions H30 and reduced them to 4th place.
Racing continues tomorrow and expect some mighty comebacks as the regatta unfolds.
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