More light winds
After trailing for more than half the race the young Australian Club Marine crew grabbed the lead on the second spinnaker run before going on to take victory by one minute 51seconds from Howie Hamlin's Pegasus Racing (USA) with Rag & Famish Hotel (John Harris, Aust) a further 12 seconds back in third place.
With the final two races of the championship to be sailed on Saturday and Sunday, Asko Appliances (Hugh Stodart, Aust) heads the pointscore on 16 points, followed by Club Marine on 18 and Casio Seapathfinder (Michael Coxon, Aust) on 21.
After discarding each team's worst performance to date the net pointscore has Asko on ten points, Club Marine and Pegasus Racing both on 12, Casio Seapathfinder on 14 and Rag & Famish on 15.
A tight finish to the championship seems assured, and with improved wind conditions expected on Sydney Harbour over the weekend the racing should be exceptional.
In race five another light Easterly breeze prevailed and caused plenty of headaches for all teams.
Pegasus Racing won the initial battle to the windward mark where she held a narrow lead over the New Zealand skiff Fisher Fine Arts Helly Hansen (Chris Skinner) which has shown some amazing form in this series.
Club Marine was third at this stage, followed by Rag & Famish, appliancesonline.com.cu, Toshiba and Asko, which was one minute from the lead.
Casio was again very disappointing and was placed 13th - two minutes 20 seconds behind Pegasus.
Pegasus continued to lead over the next lap of the course as the breeze became even lighter.. Hamlin and his crew covered every move his challengers made to try and reduce the gap.
As they turned for the long spinnaker run back to where they started Pegasus held a 30 second lead over Rag & Famish with Club Marine third and Fisher Fine Arts Helly Hansen fourth.
The wind was far from consistent as the fleet began the run and Pegasus paid the price of being in the wrong spot at the wrong time as Club Marine grabbed the lead.
On the short run to the finish Club Marine was a clear winner while Pegasus and The Rag gave the spectator fleet plenty to cheer about as they battled with just a couple of boatlengths between them right to the line.
|Pos||Skiff||Elapsed Time||Handicap Place||C'ship Points (after discard)|
|3||Rag & Famish Hotel||1.29.35||5||15|
|4||Fisher Fine Arts Helly Hansen||1.32.12||2||37|
|10||Fisher & Paykel||1.35.43||13||35|
|22||Southern Cross Constructions Groupe Sefico||1.41.26||9||88|
|26||Ssangyong New Zealand||1.42.42||21||92|
|29||Hurley Palmer Flatt||1.46.55||29||118|
|31||Barron & Smithers||Non starter||86|