by Ian Grant
Consistent sailing in a wide range of conditions has paved the way for Craig Piccinelli to hold a progressive lead in the Whitsunday Sailing Club Division 2 offshore championship.
Skipper Piccinelli and his Wobbly Boot crew are seasoned campaigners and deserve to lead the series but while they hold a five point lead over the Mike Keyte skippered Beneteau Take Flight there is no latitude to become complacent.
Both Take flight and the big improver the Ross Winterbourne steered Bobby D winner of four from five of the last races are preparing to turn up the tactical heat on the Wobbly Boot crew.
The separation of a single point suggests that Take Flight and third placed Bobby D will continue to improve forcing the experienced Wobbly Boot sailing team to become selective in matching the tactical strategy and handicap rated speed of their rivals.
There is no mistake about Craig Piccinelli having the placid nature to handle the expected pressure but he will need to stay in touch to protect his handicap rated speed against the larger, faster and higher handicapped Take Flight and Booby D.
All three crews possess the skill to win however the Wobbly Boot crew who have survived on their consistency needs to record a win in the next Club Championship race to ward off the challenge from their equally determined rivals.
The same applies to Club Commodore Rob Davis and his Breakaway crew as the battle for the honour of winning the Division 3 class series heats up.
Two wins from the past two races suggests Breakaway is back on the pace but they have not broken clear from the boat on boat challenge against the Dewi Hughes helmed Anthea.
Breakaway presently holds the upper hand with a narrow two point lead over Anthea but both crews have been evenly matched throughout the series which suggests the battle for their class championship is far from being decided.
Naturally wind and sea conditions will play an important role however the present situation on the progressive championship points table suggests that the crews of Wobbly Boot and Breakaway are the nominated favourites to win their respective titles.