by Ian Grant
By Ian Grant.
Kevan Pearce and Roger Hickman have proved to be a lethal sailing team in the 'think tank' of 1996 Telstra Sydney Hobart Race winner Ausmaid.
The highly experienced duo that are well supported by an equally smart team on the deck 'bruised a buoy' to do some damage to their reputations and pointscore off Hayman Island today.
However there were some excuses with sailing in a savage current and a breeze spiced with many nasties including unpredictable 60 degree shifts.
This caught the Ausmaid team a tad short in sea room to squeeze around the mark.
The time lost with the penalty did some damage to what was an impressive overall score.
No doubt the result will be their drop in collective series performance that has left interest in the trophy race focused on who will fill the minor places behind Ausmaid.
Tactician Pearce and principal helmsman Hickman have piloted the Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia ocean racer into a commanding series lead.
Leaving Rob Kothe's Sword Of Orion and the Wayne Millar skippered Townsville sloop Zoe as the best placed to fight out the minor championship places.