Harris, Scott Babbage and Peter Harris sailed an outstanding race to defeat Gotta Love It 7 on Sydney Harbour but the consistently brilliant performances by the young ‘7’ crew has given them an unbeatable points lead with one remaining race.
Rag & Famish crossed the line a 16secs winner after the pair had staged a race-long battle over the four lap windward-return course between Garden Island and Shark Island.
Third placing went to Omega Smeg (Trevor Barnabas), which finished a further 2mins 30secs behind Gotta Love It 7.
Net points scored to date have Gotta Love It 7 with 7 points lost, followed by Fiat, skippered by defending champion Michael Coxon, on 16 and Asko Appliances (Hugh Stodart) also on 16 points.
Omega Smeg was awarded average points for Race 5 and is placed fourth overall on 20.5 points, with Club Marine (Adam Beashel) next on 29 and the day’s winner Rag & Famish on 33.
The wind was between east and east-north-east and proved unpredictable on the first windward leg of the course.
Adam Beashel and his crew had Club Marine in or near the lead up this leg and led Gotta Love It 7 by 20secs at the Shark Island mark.
Howie Hamlin’s Wild Oats Chardonnay was third, followed by Rag & Famish, SLAM (Grant Rollerson), Keith Piggin Estate Agents, Omega Smeg, Pure Blonde, Asko and New Zealand’s CT Sailbattens.
Club Marine, 7 and Rag & Famish all approached the bottom mark together but Club Marine lost out badly with a poor mark rounding.
Rag & Famish became the new leader as the fleet set out on the second windward leg.
Gotta Love It 7 grabbed a narrow lead off Point Piper but Rag & Famish hit straight back on the next tack before going to a 8secs lead at Shark Island.
The Rag maintained her advantage downwind to retain the 8secs lead at the halfway mark.
Behind the leaders, SLAM had taken over third place at the windward mark and held this comfortably after the spinnaker run.
Club Marine was now back to fourth, ahead of Omega Smeg, Pure Blonde, Wild Oats and Fiat, which had recovered well from a first mark 16th position.
Rag & Famish opened up a break of 30secs at the next windward mark then extended it to 35secs with one lap to go but the race was far from over with the new champions in hot pursuit.
The Rag led narrowly as the pair headed for home and edged away slightly in a tight finish.