Manly ferry denies Greenhalgh
The scorer had already written the name of RMW Marine at the top of his list (literally - I have a photo copy of the sheet) as Rob Greenhalgh, Dan Johnson and Peter Greenhalgh came up the final beat to clinch this championship with a day to spare.
It had been a tough, incident packed race, and they had come through it very well. Then, as they approached the lay line to the finish, they saw the Manly ferry (the largest one in this busy harbour) on a parallel course on their windward quarter, and they had no chance of tacking for the line. The championship would not, after all, be decided until tomorrow.
The race was sailed in a blustery south easterly breeze, and the majority of the fleet, including all the leading contenders except RMW Marine, had chosen the number two rig. Howie Hamlin on General Electric, who was the biggest threat to RMW Marine after winning the two previous heats, led at the first mark in Rose Bay, but the British boys were close behind until they were impeded at the mark, losing a lot of distance and two places.
Those places were quickly regained, and they began to put pressure in General Electric, until things suddenly changed when the American team capsized, allowing the Brits to take the lead.
With the breeze now around the 20 knot mark, RMW Marine was somewhat overpowered on the windward legs under their large rig, but Rob, Dan and Pete were in complete control until the moment they looked over their shoulders and saw the big green obstruction.
Hugh Stodart on Express Post gratefully accepted first place, and, in another of the week's very close finishes, Tony Hannan on Total Recall was just one second behind. RMW Marine was a further 21 seconds back.
Michael Coxon's Casio Seapathfinder was fourth, with General Electric recovering to take fifth place.
And so, we have a final race shoot out between RMW Marine and General Electric (nobody else can win). To take the trophy, the Americans have to win the race, but they will still lose if the Poms finish second or third. It's going to be fascinating.
Heat 6 results:
1. Express Post, Hugh Stodart AUS
2. Total Recall, Tony Hannan AUS
3. RMW Marine, Rob Greenhalgh GBR
4. Casio Seapathfinder, Michael Coxon AUS
5. General Electric, Howard Hamlin USA
6. Aristocrat, Gary Phillips AUS
7. Omega Smeg, Trevor Barnabas AUS
8. Computer Associates, Jack Young AUS
9. Rag & Famish Hotel, Warwick Rooklyn AUS
10. Yandoo, John Winning AUS
15. Radii, Andy Richards
16. Computacenter, Neale Fitzgerald
21. Base 1, Rob Dulson
22. Link Associates, Tim Penfold
24. Hermes, Ed Browne
25. Ovington Boats, Dave Ovington
26. Ronstan, Geoff Carveth
Points after 6 heats, no discard:
1. RMW Marine, Rob Greenhalgh GBR, 27.7 points
2. General Electric, Howard Hamlin USA, 44.7 points
3. Total Recall, Tony Hannan AUS, 42.4 points
4. Omega Smeg, Trevor Barnabas AUS 49.7 points
5. Express Post, Hugh Stodart AUS, 50 points
6. Aristocrat, Gary Phillips AUS, 70.7 points