28 Skiffs are off

Light winds on day one see light crew win after recovering from OCS.

Saturday January 4th 2003, Author: Peter Danby, Location: Australasia

Above: Heat one winners, John and Hermann Winning and Daniel Philips

From the start of Heat 1 off Kirribilli, the fleet of 28 Skiffs faced a long windward leg in a light easterly breeze to the first turning mark in Rose Bay. The early leaders were Express Post skippered by Hugh Stodart, and Howie Hamlin from the USA on General Electric, and these boats exchanged places from time to time in the fluctuating breeze.

Express Post gradually took control, while John Winning's Yandoo was moving through the fleet after being recalled at the start. The very experienced Winning, crewed by his son (also John, but known as Hermann) and Olympic 49er sailor Daniel Phillips, put his knowledge of the harbour to good use in the tricky breeze. They also had the advantage of being the lightest crew on the water, at approximately 20 kilograms below the average weight.

Yandoo caught and passed Express Post, and once in the lead never looked like being caught. General Electric was still holding a rather distant third place, but was a long way ahead of the chasing boats.

Britain's Rob Greenhalgh on RMW Marine was moving through the pack after an indifferent start and some cruel wind shifts in the early stages but he, Dan Johnson and Peter Greenhalgh got into top gear and reached fourth position on the final windward leg to Rose Bay. However, they found themselves on the wrong side of a major wind shift which dropped them a couple of places. They were able to recover to fifth, and were gaining rapidly on Tony Hannan's Total Recall when the finish came.

The remaining eight British boats finished in the lower half of the fleet, all wishing for heavier and steadier breeze, but all enjoying the competition and the wonderful sunshine.

Heat 1 results:

1. Yandoo, John Winning, AUS
2. Express Post, Hugh Stodart, AUS
3. General Electric, Howard Hamlin, USA
4.Total Recall, Tony Hannan, AUS
5. RMW Marine, Rob Greenhalgh, GBR
6. Fisher & Paykel, Grant Rollerson, AUS

other British:
15. Ovington Boats, Dave Ovington
17. Radii, Andy Richards
21. Link Associates, Tim Penfold
22. Computacenter, Neale Fitzgerald
23. Ronstan, Geoff Carveth
25. Ernst & Young, Jarrod Simpson
26. Base 1, Rob Dulson
27. Hermes, Ed Browne


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