Shark attack

Black Snake upsets the wildlife on day one of the Rolex Trophy Series in Sydney

Friday December 8th 2006, Author: Lisa Ratcliff, Location: United Kingdom
The current Rolex Farr 40 World Champions Mascalzone Latino, skippered by Vincenzo Onorato, asserted themselves early on day one of the Rolex Trophy One Design Series, winning race one from a classy local field.

In race two of the Farr 40 division it was a different story and by race three the runner up world champion, Matt Allen’s Ichi Ban, had stamped its authority on this regatta and was named boat of the day.

There was also a clash with wildlife on the water today. Michael Milne’s Farr 40 Black Snake hit something on its underside, likely to be a shark, which then flipped up out of the water and bent a stanchion and hit a crewmember before falling back in the water.

After a win in race one, the Italians broke the start in race two and never recovered, finishing sixth. The first five places went to Australian boats led by Lang Walker’s Kokomo, which started clean out of the starting blocks and held the advantage to take race two from Matt Allen’s Ichi Ban. One of the most capped Australian Olympians, Colin Beashel, is calling tactics for Walker's Kokomo while American sailor David Scott has also joined the crew for this event.

“It was a fine day on the water and sailing in Australia is beautiful, but Matt Allen was the better man on the water today,” said Vincenzo Onorato, skipper of Mascalzone Latino.

Winning skipper Mat Allen said, “It was reminiscent of sailing in the 2005 Rolex Farr Worlds - it was glorious sailing conditions and really tight all the way around the track.”

Heading into race three, Kokomo and Ichi Ban were on equal points but it was the runner up world champion, Matt Allen and his enviable crew line-up of Michael Coxon and Gordon Maguire, which was named boat of the day after finishing at the top of the pointscore.

Ivan Wheen’s Sputnik finished fourth overall after today’s three races. They got off to a shaky start with an individual recall in race one which looked like upsetting their chances, however they managed to turn it around to finish second over the line behind the Italians.

In the Sydney 38 division, Guido Belgiorno-Nettis’ Transfusion outclassed his one design counterparts but hot on his stern is the Tony Walls skippered Acuity. Just two seconds separated the boats in race one and they finished in this order, first and second, for all three races.

In the Sydney 32 division, Anna and Martin Cross’ If was the most consistent of the seven boat fleet, with two seconds and a first and at the top of the leaderboard after day one.

Stuart Muirhead’s Quickie was true to its name today, beating the third placed Reality (John Groves) by just one point.

Conditions were ideal for racing today - the Farr 40’s and Sydney 38’s battling it out off Sydney Heads while the Sydney 32’s raced off Middle Head within Sydney Harbour. Racing started in a moderate southerly before gradually clocking towards the east at 10-12 knots.

Tomorrow’s forecast is for E/NE 10/15 knots increasing to 15/20 knots during the afternoon.

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