At the beginning of day 2 of the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship Martin and Lisa Hill’s Estate Master was leading the 20 boat fleet on count back from Guido Bjorni-Nettis Transfusion, with 2010 World Champion Massimo Mezzaroma's and Antonio Sodo Migliori's Nerone in third place.
Martin Hill was hoping for a light day, confident that is his ace tactician Tom Slingsby would do the business for Estate Master’s star-studded team. But one always needs to be careful what they wish for.
Yesterday the triple Laser World Champion Slingsby was happy after the day one effort ‘You can’t win a regatta on the first day but you can lose it.’
We are not sure what the story was on day 2 but Estate Master, and their day, did not go well.
It was a light start to the day 2, with Peter ‘Luigo’ Reggio holding the fleet ashore for an hour. It was almost another hour later that the fleet finally got away. There would only be two races and it was definitely a game of light weather snakes and ladders.
The fleet started in a light north-easterly breeze of eight to nine knots, at 050.
Jim Richardson the three times Farr 40 World Champion on Barking Mad started on the far left side of course, Nerone started on the far right, but it was the middle that paid.
Tactician John Kostecki positioned Transfusion well and she was first around the top mark, followed by Helmut Jahn’s Flash Gordon, Chris Way and Ian Burns’ Easy Tiger, Wolfgang Shaefers’ Struntje Light and Marcus Blackmore’s Hooligan.
Transfusion led at the bottom mark by three lengths followed by Easy Tiger, Flash Gordon and Struntje Light. Estate Master was seventh and Nerone tenth.
At the top mark for the second time Transfusion was 120 metres ahead of Flash Gordon, followed by Struntje Light, Plenty (Alex Roepers) and Hooligan. Yesterday’s series leader Estate Master and Nerone were not at this point, gaining on the leaders.
Transfusion went on to win by ten lengths followed by Flash Gordon, Plenty, Hooligan, Struntje Light, with Estate Master seventh and Nerone back in tenth.
Transfusion was now the series leader.
The Race 5 warning signal sounded at 1515hrs. The breeze was blowing 10-12 knots from 035º on the racecourse.
After a general recall the race was away with Barking Mad fast of the start. Estate Master was buried on the second row.
Nerone took the lead just short of the top mark. The Damien King skippered Southern Star with Noel ‘Nitro’ Drennan calling the shots, was third. Sputnik (Ivan Wheen) and Voodoo Chile (Andrew Hun and Lloyd Clark) were next. Transfusion was ninth. It was a shocking start for Estate Master who was well back in 15th place.
As the breeze built the protest flags were flying on Goombay Smash (William Douglass) and Le Renard (Steve Phillips), while Hooligan was doing circles.
The course was shortened at the leeward mark back to 1.5 nautical miles.
Nerone was first around gate followed by Barking Mad, Sputnik, Southern Star and Voodoo Chile.
Nerone held the lead and rounded the top mark in first place, 20 seconds ahead of Barking Mad, Voodoo Chile, Southern Star and Sputnik.
Nerone won Race 5 by four lengths from Barking Mad, Voodoo Chile, Strunjte Light, Kokomo (Lang Walker) and Southern Star. Transfusion finished seventh and Estate Master ninth.
Race Six was another excellent start from Nerone in 12-15 knots of breeze. The World Champions rounded the top mark ahead of Voodoo Chile and Flash Gordon, Edake (Jeff Carter), Southern Star and Barking Mad. Estate Master climbed into seventh down the first run while Transfusion was mid fleet.
Nerone gybed a quarter way down the run into the middle of the course and opened up a four length lead on Voodoo Chile. Gradually Barking Mad sailed into the picture while Estate Master was sailing her best race of the day; she was now fifth.
Nerone extended and rounded the bottom right hand mark five lengths ahead of Voodoo Chile with Southern Star third. Then followed Edake and Barking Mad. Estate Master had fallen back to 10th place.
Nerone and Voodoo Chile cleared out with five lengths between them, then 15 back to the rest of the fleet. Round the top mark for the last time Nerone, now leading the series, was three lengths ahead of Voodoo Chile while Barking Mad had found a nice shift and had closed up to be only three lengths back. Transfusion was sixth. It was a miserable day for Estate Master who was back in 10th.
Nerone finished three lengths ahead of Voodoo Chile with Barking Mad third, Transfusion was fourth, then Flash Gordon and Southern Star.
But one thing is certain, ‘a world of hurt’ for Martin and Lisa’s Estate Master Team, who finished race 6 with a tenth place and a 7, 9, 10 day.
At this stage Transfusion is leading the series from Nerone and Estate Master while the official results will reveal the remainder of the overall placings.