Race day 3 got underway in a moderate sea breeze and challenged many in the fleet both physically and mentally.
Race 4 got off to a start in 15-18 knots. Although The Nude had an uncharacteristic poor start they were up with the leaders by the top mark. Siren with Nick Darlow and Mike McDonald aboard, rounded first with 1MFTBone and Blown Seal in hot pursuit. The first beat seemed to throw up a few questions especially for the sailors towards the back of the fleet with the disadvantage of the incoming tide to be weighed up against the advantage offered by a possible lift on the right.
There were a few capsizes allowing for some place changes. Orca Blush almost ended up swimming after a drop went wrong approaching the bottom mark but managed to avoid disaster, although valuable time was lost and B Alert, sailed by Tim Grant and Stuart Grant managed to slip past.
Siren finished ahead of Guy Bancroft and Lachlan Imeneo in Onemoreforthe bone. Richie Reynolds and Lissa MacMillan in The Nude completed their recovery with a close 3rd place.
By race 5 the breeze was starting to moderate, with 12 to 15 knots from the nor-nor-west. The Nude led the fleet over the start line, and 1MFTBone split from the fleet early. Again it was Siren and 1MFTBone leading the fleet around the top mark. Meanwhile The Nude and Craftsman Homes were having an epic battle for the final podium position.
1MFTB and Siren were out the front all race, with 1MFTB holding the lead for most of the time.
Epic cracked out the kite on the last run with the wind moderating, and made their way up through the fleet a bit, overtaking B-Alert and Orca Blush, who took a bit of a swim.
The final result was unsurprising, with Guy Bancroft and Lachie Imeneo holding on to win from Siren, and The Nude covering Craftsman Homes for the last two laps to take third. Kel Boyle and Amy Van Galen in Cleanskin came through in fifth, with Blown Seal in hot purtsuit.
There was a bit of a pack at the front of the fleet at the first top mark, with 1MFTBone, Siren, Blown Seal, The Hitcher, The Nude and Craftsman Homes all pretty close. After bad luck blowing a vang in Race 4, Robbie Hunt and Dave McAully had repaired their boat and got back to the race track. But in their haste they rigged their spinnaker halyard under the jib halyard, so in effect set a storm kite in what was the lightest wind race of the day, with 14 to 10 knots from the nor-nor-west. It was a disappointing day for the boys who are showing a great deal of pace.
The fleet was somewhat diminished, with four boats succumbing to the rigours of back-to-back racing. Epic, Yellow Bone, Orca Blush and Bondi Tram watched race 6 from shore.
On the second work, 1MFTBone and Siren took off to the left, while The Nude, Craftsman Homes and Blown Seal tussled up the right. The left leaners retained a bit of a break on the following pack, with Siren leading around the mark.
On the downwind, Craftsman Homes executed a nice set and quick gybe to hook into some good pressure and get a break on The Nude and move into third spot. Craftsman Homes dropped early, leaving The Nude an opportunity to round the bottom mark slightly ahead, and then cover them up the work.
Back at the front of the fleet, Siren and 1MFTBone continued their epic battle. Siren was in the lead around the top mark on the final rounding, having hit the right side, and maintaining a good lift to the mark. 1MFTBone was close behind, followed by The Nude, Craftsman Homes and Blown Seal.
1MFTB and The Nude gybed away, with Siren leaving it a bit longer, but when they did gybe, they copped a persistent wine glass, leaving the way clear for 1MFTBone and The Nude to get through into first and second place. Steve Miller and Earle Westbury in Phantom clocked up their best result to date with 6th.
At the end of Race 6, the second day of racing, Guy Bancroft and Lachie Imeneo have dropped one second place, to be well in front on the leader board with 5 points. Richie Reynolds and Lissa McMillan hold onto second, with The Nude 1 point ahead of Nick Darlow and Mike McDonald in Siren with 12 points. Blown Seal with Mark Lainson and John Nolan are 4th with 21 points, and Adrian Beswick and Clare Cromarty are close behind them with 23 points.
Race Video's at AUSB14TV: http://www.youtube.com/user/AUSB14TV?feature=watch