Lawrie Smith GBR 751 crewed by Tim Tavinor and Ossie Stewart, recorded their first win on the Port Phillip race track since arriving in Melbourne over a week ago. After finishing a creditable 6th place in the Prince Phillip Cup, Lawrie turned on the power yesterday to take line honers in the first race of the 8 race series World Championship. Hard on his heels was Jens Christensen DEN 399 crewed by Kim Andersen and Anders Bagger, who had also shown well in the previous event after finishing 7th overall. In 3rd place was Anatoloy Loginov RUS 27 who once again shows such consistency in all areas of sailing.

The race was started at the first attempt after PRO Kevin Wilson had set a square line of around 0.4ml in 13kts of increasing southerly wind, with a choppy sea and an overcast sky. The majority of the fleet opted to start towards the main committee boat as the gusts seem to give more of a lift on starboard tack, others spread themselves evenly down the line towards the pin end, hoping that by going left the land would have an affect an give them an opportunity to cross the fleet further up the 2.5 ml beat…..

However, the right side of the course paid handsomely and even boats who had messed up their start at the committee boat end, were able to tack onto port, take many sterns, then find themselves in more pressure out on the starboard side of the fleet….So when they were also rewarded with a 10 degree lift half-way up the beat many of the right hand side boats came out “smelling of roses”….   One such boat was DEN 372 which is normally helmed by the great double Olympic Gold Medalist, Valdemere Bandalowski, however after breaking his leg back in Denmark when he was running to catch the bus, meant his crew of Soeren Hvalsoe and Karsten Hay had to call up Stig Lassen to take the helm and they rounded the top mark first ahead of Smith.

After many surfing oportunities on the downwind legs the two remaining beats seem to pan out evenly with many sailors boasting in the Royal Brighton Club House Bar of making major gains from each side of the course, maybe they did or maybe it was just the copious amount of beer being consumed by all as once again the host club put on an excellent Bar-B-Q to feed the many empty sailors stomaches since successfully weighing in prior to the regatta………  One thing is for sure, all the usual suspects sailed well yesterday to keep this wonderful, competitive World Championship very much alive…

Today the 10th (My Birthday:-), sees two races scheduled with a starting time of 13.00hrs. A strong easterly is forecast which may bring a flatter sea and a more oscillating wind so big gains can be made and boat speed plus tactical awareness are a must. Lets see who tops the leader board this evening ??

Higher, Faster, Longer……………….    Stavros.