Fiat reigns supreme
Fiat took the victory by one minute 26 seconds from New Zealand’s CT Sail Battens, skippered by Phil Airey, with Maytag (Tony Hannan) a further 42 seconds back in third place. Asko Appliances (Hugh Stodart) finished fourth ahead of Pegasus Racing (Howie Hamlin) and Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin).
After discarding their worst race to date, Coxon and his team have a total of six points, with Gotta Love It 7 still in second place on 14. With discards taken into account, Asko Appliances is third on 17, Pegasus Racing fourth on 20 and Club Marine fifth on 25.
The fifth consecutive north easterly wind greeted the fleet today but some ominous clouds in the west made things a little uncertain.
Shortly after the start Fiat and Maytag were clearly at the head of the fleet while Gotta Love It 7 was recovering after being buried at the start. Fiat held a 12 second advantage over Maytag at the Beashel Buoy. Pegasus Racing was 30 seconds further back in third place, ahead of CT Sail Battens, Rag & Famish Hotel (John Harris), CST Composites (Chris Dixon) and Gotta Love It 7, which was one minute 15 seconds from the leader.
Fiat increased her lead at the wing mark then extended it to 30 seconds over Maytag at the bottom mark.
Pegasus Racing just headed CT Sail Battens at that point but the New Zealanders were showing some good boat speed in the light wind.
Fiat continued to hold off the chasers in the fading breeze on the work back to the Beashel Buoy for the second time. CT Sail Battens were the big improvers on this leg and moved into a clear second place. A great battle developed for minor placings amongst Maytag, Pegasus Racing, Gotta Love It 7 and Rag & Famish Hotel.
Coxon took an entirely different course to the rest of the fleet on the long spinnaker run back to the bottom mark but still held a 15 second lead over CT Sail Battens as the pair turned for the final lap of the course.
Despite a determined challenge by the kiwi team, Fiat was too strong in the ever fading breeze and went on to an easy win and clear championship favourtism.
Race six will be sailed on Saturday with the final race on Sunday.