COMPETITION ANYONE'S WITH ONLY ONE ROUND TO GO
THE Club Marine Range Series leader boards remain incredibly close over several divisions after a sensational day of sailing in the latest round of the competition.
Heat six got off to a great start last Saturday, with the fleet enjoying warm conditions, flat water and a solid Northerly breeze of between 18 - 22kn. Gusts of up to 25kn kept all crews focussed.
Division 0's morning race was held off Sandringham Yacht Club around a short course which thoroughly tested crew work. The fleet finished in approximately one hour, with Alan Whiteley's COUGAR II from Sandringham Yacht Club narrowly defeating DEKADENCE on IRC, with LIVING DOLL third. On Performance Handicap, DEKADENCE won from AUDI CENTRE MELBOURNE and COUGAR II.
Division 1 again joined with Division 0 off SYC for the afternoon race. Division 0 got off to a clean start, however the Division 1 fleet showed how competitive racing in this series is, with two general recalls before racing finally started under threat of a "black flag" disqualification for any premature starter. The Division 1 start was also made interesting after Division 0 participant XLR8, experienced spinnaker difficulties around the leeward mark just as the Division 1 fleet were converging on the same mark upwind after starting. Fortunately no damage resulted as boats took swift action to avoid any collision.
In Division 0's afternoon race, LIVING DOLL sailed extremely well to take a convincing win on IRC from TERRA FIRMA and AUDI CENTRE MELBOURNE. LIVING DOLL also won Performance handicap from AUDI CENTRE MELBOURNE and TERRA FIRMA.
In Division 1, the new Beneteau First 45's from Royal Brighton had a stand-out performance, with Alan Woodward's REVERIE convincingly winning IRC from sister ship SCHUSS. JUST A MINOR HICKUP made it a 1-2-3 for RBYC in IRC. REVERIE also took out the AMS division, from HORIZON SPRINT and JUST A MINOR HICKUP. In Performance handicap, Peter Dusting's new yacht ENVY from Royal Yacht Club of Victoria won from REVERIE and AUDACIOUS.
Over on the separate course off Brighton, Divisions 2 and 3 battled it out. In Division 2, David Ellis' SURPRISE continued their winning way, taking out Division 2 IRC from APACHE and YOUNG LION. In AMS, Max Peter's TOP GUN came out on top from YOUNG LION and LEBROK. On Performance handicap, John Duffin's
ENESAY sailed well for the win over BLACK BETTY and EMPARA. In Division 3, Tim Say's ASSAILANT continues their strong series with a win in IRC from FOOTLOOSE and MOOD INDIGO. In AMS, Lowa Paszko's RHIANNON also continued a strong series with a win over FOOTLOOSE and IMAGINER. In Performance Handicap, Rob Hurrell's SWEET DREAMS won from DECISIVE and IMAGINER.
With just one heat to go, the leader boards remain tight across several divisions.
In Division 0, AUDI CENTRE MELBOURNE holds a 1 point lead over DEKADENCE in IRC, and also leads the Performance handicap division.
In Division 1, REVERIE is having a strong first season leading IRC by the narrowest of margins over EXECUTIVE DECISION, and is also leading Performance handicap. In AMS division, HORIZON SPRINT holds a slender 1-point lead over EXECUTIVE DECISION.
In Division 2, SURPRISE looks to have the IRC series wrapped up with a perfect score of five straight wins, and is also leading the AMS Division. Peter Jackson almost has the Performance Handicap division STITCHED UP after a strong season.
In Division 3, ASSAILANT is convincingly winning the IRC division, however SPELLBOUND is holding only a half-point lead over RHIANNON in AMS, whilst also leading Performance Handicap.
The final heat of the Club Marine Range Series will be held on April 4.
Mark Welsh, Jennifer Milligan.
Ends: Jennifer Milligan
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