by Lisa Racliff
One of 14 divisions at the Festival of Sails, the Maui Jim Sports Boat series, catering for a plethora of sailing predilections, wrapped up on Corio Bay with the final two races of a 10 race series today.
Festival of Sails 2014
Mark Buchback’s Stealth 850 Raptor (QLD) and Noel Leigh-Smith’s Viper 640 (QLD) stayed in touch for most of the four-day regatta, but today’s made-to-order conditions kept Raptor out of striking range. The crew finished with 17 points to the runner up’s 23.5 points.
Viper loves breeze while Raptor is better suited to light air sailing. Yesterday the Raptor crew managed to hold their own in the 15-20 south-southeast breeze and keep the boat from diving to finish with three very respectable results. When Buchbach and his crew heard today’s forecast they knew it would suit them to a T.
'We had two races in ideal conditions, flat water and eight to 10 knots which meant we were fully powered up and the others weren’t quite planing.'
Raptor is packed-up and on a trailer heading to Sydney for the NSW states then goes back to Queensland and in the shed for some secret modifications before the next round of events.
Noel Leigh-Smith is a sports boat stalwart who loves coming to the Festival of Sails. 'It’s a fantastic place to sail, great racing and facilities. That’s why we keep coming to Geelong,' he said. 'We knew Raptor would be fast in the light stuff today, and that this would be a problem for us. We had some mess-ups yesterday and that really cost us.'
Leigh-Smith sails with his adult son Ben. 'He does all the work and I just fly in and fly out, you can do that when you are 64,' he laughed. Cam Rae’s Monkey Business finished third in division on 27 points. The Geelong boat with the eye-catching apple green paintwork was too eager in the first race of today and had to restart before cleverly clawing their way back to second on SMS handicap in that race.
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