Grant Wharington started his 30 metre super-maxi Skandia fast at the pin end of the line in Race 4 of the Scotchmans Hill Series at Skandia Geelong Week today, with Sean Langman’s 92ft AAPT, (the former Nicorette) on her hip.
The two engaged in a short tacking dual in light five-six knot breezes, as they went up the first beat of the two-lap windward/leeward course on Corio Bay. Steven David’s 60ft Reichel/Pugh Wild Joe, the handicap series leader after the first three races had chosen to start mid line, stayed clear of the pair for clean air and found a favourable shift.
Three quarters of the way up the beat, the Don Jones designed Skandia had sailed away from both yachts to round the windward mark the first time almost two minutes in front of Wild Joe, with AAPT now third.
Round the windward mark the second time Wharington had extended his lead over Wild Joe and AAPT, as the three boats finished fast down the run in increasing winds of up to 15 knots and in an approaching thunderstorm.
Skandia claimed line honours from Wild Joe by over five minutes, with AAPT over two minutes behind, third.
However, the real race was the back in the 46 footers where the Sydney DK46 Quantum Racing (Ray Roberts’s) started with speed to lead local Geelong sailor Graham Troon’s Reichel/Pugh 46 XLR8. Shortly after the start, Roberts tacked, leading XLR8 to the right.
XLR8’s sistership Hardys Secret Mens Business (Geoff Boettcher) chose to stay on the left of the course, knowing it was the only way he was going to beat Troon. But it was not to be; the right was favoured and Boettcher trailed the Geelong boat the whole way round the course.
As the wind increased in strength and the smaller boats made up time, particularly on the run to the finish.
Alan Whiteley’s Beneteau 40.7 Cougar (Vic) scored second place behind Quantum Racing and Roger Hickman’s Farr 43 Wild Rose placed third. Placed 11th, on handicap was Wild Joe.
In the Scotchmans Hill Series overall, Quantum Racing now leads from Wild Joe, relegated to second place overall with XLR8 (Graeme Troon) third overall on count back.
Race officials delayed the start of Race 5 this afternoon, but the expected thunderstorm skirted around the course and after a general recall, racing got underway again in 12 knot winds.
Top five overall following four races:
1. QUANTUM RACING Ray Roberts CYCA 13
2. WILD JOE Steven David RPAYC 21
3. XLR8 Graeme Henry Troon SYC 21
4. CHALLENGE Lou Abrahams SYC 28
5. HARDYS SECRET MENS B Geoff Boettcher CYCSA 29