Victory to Stodart
Omega Smeg (Daniel Phillips) came home strongly to grab second placing only 200 metres from the finishing line and take the overall lead in the championship. Third placing in the race went to AAPT, led by replacement skipper John Boyd, which finished a further 22secs behind Omega Smeg.
With half the championship now completed Omega Smeg has a total of 8 points, followed by Asko on 12, Computer Associates (Anthony Young) and AAPT on 14.
Defending champion Michael Coxon ( Casio Seapathfinder) is next overall on 17 points with Tony Hannan's Maytag sixth on 18.
Heat 3 was sailed in a 10-15 knot southerly wind. From the start AAPT and Asko were in or near the lead to the first mark. AAPT led Asko by 15 seconds at the mark closely followed by Omega Smeg, Casio and Maytag.
Superior tactics on the long spinnaker run allowed Asko to establish a 20 seconds break over AAPT while Computer Associates had moved into third place ahead of Omega Smeg, Casio and Rag & Famish.
The two leaders continued to battle for almost the entire course with Omega Smeg in hot pursuit. Asko increased her lead to 30 seconds on two occasions but this was dragged back to less than 10 seconds on the windward legs. On the final spinnaker run Asko again proved too speedy for her rivals and opened up the final winning break as the fleet headed for home.
The race produced one of the best fleet finishes on record when only 7mins 51secs covered the first 18 skiffs while young Jacqui Bonnitcha and her crew of Rosemount took the handicap win in the race.
This series will determine Australia's team for the JJ Giltinan Trophy, the effective 18ft skiff World Championship, next month. As an added bonus to competitors, the richest prize ever given in the history of the championship will be awarded to the winner who will receive a Ssangyong Musso Sports 4WD Utility motor vehicle.
|Pos||Boat||Elapsed Time||Handicap Place||Aust Points|
|1||Asko Appliances||01:16.1||10th||12.0 (2nd)|
|2||Omega Smeg||01:16:38||7th||8.0 (1st)|
|5||Computer Associates||6th||14.0 (3rd=)|
|7||Reg & Famish Hotel||8th||24|
|13||Fisher & Paykel||18th||27|
|18||Churchills Sports Bar||15th||49|