Australian 16ft Skiff Championships Heat 4.
by Michael McMahon
In the hours leading up to Heat 4 the wind had settled in to a 12-17 knot south-easterly. As a result, some skippers elected to take their smaller rigs. However, as the skiffs arrived in the start area the breeze lightened to around 8-13 knots.
The first two starts ended up as general recalls, with the starter calling all skiffs back for a third start. After the race finally got underway with the third start, local skiff 'Mitre 10 Kurri Kurri' (Kieran Humphries) jumped to an early lead, followed closely by 'Fluid Building' (Clint Bowen) from the Manly Club. Both had elected to go to the right hand side of the course and they picked up a more favourable breeze.
The two skiffs battled it out for the remainder of the race and on the final beat to the finish, 'Fluid Building' found a favourable shift after 'Mitre 10' made the fatal mistake of not covering them. 'Fluid Building' subsequently finished 11 seconds in front of 'Mitre 10'. Third place went to 'Straight Azz' sailed by Joel Rose an up and coming young skipper from the Belmont Club.
The win for 'Fluid Building' has now placed them at the top of the Championship points for the series on 15 points, with 'Mitre 10 Kurri Kurri' now second on 21 points.
Racing continues on Thursday 7th January with Heat 5.
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9:51 AM Wed 6 Jan 2010 GMT
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