by Di Pearson
SLAM 12ft Skiff Interdominion Race 4 on Sydney’s upper Harbour was a thriller to the end, Lane Cove’s Dimension Polyant taking the lead from New Zealand’s Frankenskiff down the last run of the easterly course and fighting off challenges from the Kiwis for the rest of the race to consolidate their series lead.
Andrew Short Marine picked up third place - SLAM 12ft Skiff Interdominion
Nick Press and Brad Yabsley representing Lane Cove 12s, came ashore exhausted but happy with their third win from four races. They are on six points, 13 clear of nearest rival C-Tech (Chris Reid/Ben de Fluiter, NZL), after beating 59 year-old Tim Bartlett, the record-holding winner of six Interdominions and his crew Adam Miller (Frankenskiff) over the line by seven seconds.
Press said this afternoon 'It was good tight racing. We didn’t get a good start and rounded the top mark in sixth place. We started to pick them off one by one. We got Frankenskiff on the last run when they screwed up a gybe and we sailed straight through them in good pressure.
Yabsley takes up the story: 'After that, they got a good lift off Greenwich and we got the headsail twisted around the forestay and they caught us up,' he said.
Press continued: 'From there, it was tack for tack. It was very stressful. They were smoking downhill – they’re very quick. At the top mark for the last time, there was only a millimetre between us, and we gybed just in time to beat them over the line.'
Frankenskiff’s Adam Miller responded: 'It’s hard for us old boys to keep up with the younger guys. It’s really hard work sailing against Dimension Polyant, they’re really good sailors and we don’t get out every week and sail like a lot of these guys do.'
Third place today went to Michael Spies/Damian Vlotman on Andrew Short Marine from Lane Cove, but not before a challenge from Woollahra Sailing Club’s Brett Hobson/Alex Johnson on Garde.
'It’s the first time we had the second rig in – so it was great to lead the fleet early on, we’re not as fast as some of the others,' Spies, from Lane Cove, said ashore this afternoon.
'I think that’s my best result as a skipper in the Interdominion,' said Spies. 'I think Garde let us off the hook a bit,' he said, referring to the last run when Hobson/Johnson overtook them momentarily but allowed back in.
Gemmell Sails (Murray Press/Ben Gemmell) from Lane Cove are third overall on 21 points after their sixth place today, with Andrew Short Marine just one point adrift of them, with Garde holding down fifth spot, a further point away.
The oldest team in the fleet, Jack Winning (62) and Brett Phillips (53) also had a great day, their seventh place overall handing them the handicap win.
There was less carnage today as the gusts were fewer and far between in a predominantly easterly breeze that veered east-north-east at times, on a hot and humid day.
Early disappointment for five-time Interdominion champion Alex Vallings (NZL), who broke a side stay on Nuplex before the race started, and that was the end of the boat race for he and Cameron McDonald.
After returning to the start line yesterday, convinced they were over early, Adam Forbes/Richard Johns on D Unit should have considered that move for today, as they were pinged for being over the start early and having no idea, the Woollahra Sailing Club pair continued to race.
At Call Powered by Bainbridge International Ed Blackman/Brad Greenrod (Lane Cove) and ASCC crewed by Nick Catley/Joshua McCormack (NZL) also retired.
Hosted by Lane Cove 12ft Skiff Sailing Club, with the cooperation of Hunters Hill Sailing Club, tomorrow is a layday.
Races 5 and 6 of the 10 race 51st Interdominion will be held on Tuesday, starting from 2.30pm, weather dependent. Once six races are completed, a race drop will come into play and is certain to change the results up, with some of the top contenders already scoring DNF’s over the last three days.
Provisional top five after four races:
1 Dimension Polyant (AUS) 1-3-1-1, 6
2 C-Tech (NZL) 2-1-7-9, 19
3 Gemmell Sails (AUS) 3-4-8-6, 21
4. Andrew Short Marine (AUS) 5-5-9-3, 22
5 Garde (AUS) 10-6-3-4, 23
2 - Solitaire du Figaro 2014
Etchells Australasian Winter Championship 2014. No Star's Michael Coxon driving the boat while Richie Allanson and Iain Murray called the tactics. - Etchells Australasian Winter Championship 2014