dodge the storm cells...
For convenience the IRC 0 and 1 classes have been combined and despite Ray Roberts TP52 Team Hollywood roaring off into the distance, when the storm hit with increased gusts, the crew went into preservation mode and allowed the rest of the fleet to catch up. The Russians on Alexey Mashkin's Cookson 12 MegaZip came through to beat Scott Bradley's East Marine Emagine by just over a minute and last years champion Craig Nicholls Sydney 40 Aquari relegated to 3rd place.
As the storm began to clear, Niels Degenkolw's X3/4 Ton MK2 Phoenix was the only yacht to finish with the spinnaker still flying. That's why they have won three IRC Racing 2 titles in a row and victory today puts them on the path to defend the title again. The battle between the two Aussie Platu 25 teams, resulted in Simon Oliver's The Dragon taking 2nd place, in front of Garry Holt/Michael Spies Sydney Premier Karting Park.
The 10 entries in the Cruising Monohull Class had a bumpy ride around the course and at the end of the race, when handicaps are applied, it's late entry Ian Loderwyckx's Phalin, coming out on top, in front of Chris Mitchell's Naut 40 Lady Bubbly. John Vickery's Hansee 400E Venture slotted into 3rd place, in front of Keith Garry's defending champion X-412 BeauX Esprit's that failed to recover from a poor start.
The Racing Multihull and Firefly 850 Sports one-design classes, renewed their battle with zest and look quite frightening when they are fully powered up and bearing down on two meter seas.
Although Mark Thornborrow's Moore 36 trimaran Bonza, with Warwick Downes on the reigns, flew off the start line, they were held in check by Andrew Hurford's Stealth 13 Phantom V, who come through to secure the first race victory. Recovering from a back row start, Dan Fidock 10m Bakewell-White catamaran Fugazi, also came through to slot into 2nd place and further reduce the high flying Bonza to 3rd place.
John Newnham's Twin Shark and Hans Rahmann's Voodoo, renewed their rivalry with Voodoo having a slight advantage on the first lap but when they approached the shortened finish line, Twin Shark led by 44 seconds and drew first blood, in the highly competitive Firefly 850 Sports One-Design class. Marc Chapus' Moto Inzi held on for 3rd place, as George Eddings Blue Nose and Ray Waldron's Surf Patrol found the going tough and did not finish.
Racing continues tomorrow and hopefully the storm cells are further apart and more races can be completed.
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