Just one point separates the three leading boats after day one on Botany Bay of the International Dragon Australasian championship for the prestigious Prince Philip Cup.
International Dragons fly colourful spinnakers on Botany Bay - Australasian Dragon National Championship Prince Philip Cup 2013
Matt Whitnall, sailing Akula scored two wins and a sixth place to be on eight points while equal second on nine points are Dragon class veteran and former Olympic yachtsman Carl Ryves’ Sidewinder and Riga, helmed by Ian McCrossin.
Sidewinder did not win a race, but showed consistency with a scorecard of 3-2-2 while Riga, had a 1-5-3 score.
Wolf Breit’s Shapes is fourth overall on 15 points from today’s score of 8-3-4, followed by the sole Tasmanian yacht in the fleet, Michael Wilkinson’s Xanthos on 16 points (2-8-6).
Today’s first ace was sailed in a 10-12 knot nor’easterly seabreeze which cycled constantly and made the race challenging over the three lap course with a 1.2nm windward leg and a downwind finish.
'The start was aggressive with three boats over at the gun,' said Anthony Armstrong, Sydney fleet secretary and helmsman of FrenchConnection. 'Only Marcus Blackmore’s Hooligan returned, so Gordon Ingate (Whimsical) was OCS, as was Richard Franklin in Liquidity.'
Riga, won a closely fought race with the Tasmanian Dragon, Xanthos, with just seconds to Sidewinder and the West Australian boat Linnea, helmed by Sandy Anderson.
For race two, the breeze moved more to the north, increasing to 13-16 knots. The PRO brought out the black flag after a general recall and the fleet got away to a clean start.
Sydney fleet rivals Sidewinder and Akula duelled to the finish line with Akula winning from Sidewinder, third place going to Shapes followed by Whimsical, Riga and and Xanthos.
The two top placings in race three were the same with Akula first and Sidewinder, with first race winner Riga crossing the line in third place, followed by Shapes, Linnea and Xanthos.
A fleet of 21 Dragons is contesting the Prince Philip Cup with boats from New South Wales, Tasmania and Western Australia competing.