Yet another North-East wind (the fourth from as many races) greeted the 23-boat fleet for the Mick Scully Trophy 3-buoys race on Sydney Harbour today.
For the former Australian champion Micah Lane and the Macquarie Real Estate crew of Paul Schulz and Niall Kinch it was a great result for the newly formed team.
Macquarie Real Estate took line honours by 33secs from James Francis’ Pure Blonde while Thurlow Fisher, skippered by 18ft skiff rookie Bruce Savage, was a further 1min 24secs back in third place.
For father and son John Winning (Yandoo) and John Winning Jr. (appliancesonline) it was a race they will probably both prefer to forget. The pair, along with Cameron Mc Donald’s Club Marine lost all hope when they tangled at the start. Each lost several minutes with Yandoo capsizing during the incident.
Early honours went to the David O’Connor skippered CST Composites which led the fleet to the first windward set of buoys.
The boats rounding the red (nearest) buoy totally dominated as CST Composites was followed by Macquarie Real Estate, Pure Blonde, Thurlow Fisher and Omega Smeg 2 (Ian Henderson).
This group maintained their advantage downwind to the wing mark where CST had increased her lead over Macquarie, Pure Blonde, Thurlow Fisher, Omega Smeg 2 and Panasonic 2 , sailed by Andy Budgen and his Project Racing Team from the UK.
This group had opened up a good break over the next group which was headed by Active Air-2UE (Matthew Searle) and Kinder Caring Home Nursing (Brett Van Munster).
CST continued to lead to the bottom mark and held off the Macquarie Real Estate challenge on the second windward leg.
While CST Composites was first to set an extra, the 3-buoys handicapping system turned this around as Macquarie took advantage of the red buoy while CST had to go to the blue on this lap of the course.
There was still little between this pair and Pure Blonde at the end of the long spinnaker run back to the bottom mark.
The three teams approached the mark with little between them but CST’s hopes were dashed as the skiff capsized as she attempted to round the mark.
Macquarie Real Estate held off the Pure Blonde challenge to the final set of windward marks and headed for home with a 20secs lead.
Lane and his team eased this out to the final 33secs margin at the finish.
Omega Smeg, skippered by Daniel Phillips, finished fourth, ahead of the UK Project Racing Team (sailing a borrowed Panasonic 2 skiff until their own skiff clears Customs) and the early leader CST Composites.
Race 1 of the NSW Championship will be sailed next Sunday.