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Top Dog at MC38 Act 5 on Sydney Harbour

by Lisa Ratcliff 29 Sep 2019 18:19 PDT 28-29 September 2019

There's a new top dog in the MC38 one design fleet, Shaun Lane and Quentin Stewart's Lazy Dog just scraping past the class' newest addition, Swish, the pair separated by a countback at the conclusion of Act 5's seven races.

Lane and Stewart's core team have been training hard to climb over the class stalwarts, and for the latest event of the 2019 season they pulled out a new weapon - a brand new Doyle mainsail made from film with carbon strength, and semi see through. "It's hot off the press, the latest in Doyle technology and pretty light. We were happy with how it performed," Lane said.

On the countback finish, the result of a three second split with Swish in the final race, Lane added, "We didn't think we got over the line. A quarter boat length advantage was all it came down to. We got ahead of ourselves after day one, we are good at that. On Saturday we had the crew weight spot on, and the guys were hiking hard. Today we could have picked the breeze a bit better. We've been sailing together for a couple of years now, and understand how each other works."

Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron hosted the two-day spring series, fresh, cool south-east winds 17-20 knots on Saturday on Sydney Harbour and 12-15 ENE on Sunday September 29, 2019.

Full results available here.

Swish owner Steven Proud and tactician Billy Sykes had the advantage of a number of former key Maserati crew joining the program, now that Neville Crichton's MC38 has been sold to an Adelaide owner. In only their fourth regatta Swish picked up their best result, boosted by the likes of James Corrie on jib and kite trim and the great man Doug McGain on mainsheet.

"Doug's one of the best amateur sailors there is, good at keeping the young guys under control and highly experienced in one design given his time in the Etchells class," Sykes shared. "There's a good culture on board; everyone gets along and it's a calm boat. That's our ethos."

Going into the final race Lazy Dog found themselves in the red by a point, encumbered by a last place in race six. "We thought we had Lazy Dog tucked away, turns out we didn't," Proud acknowledged. "We knew the points and we had a plan, but we didn't quite execute it. Still, it's our fourth regatta and we are pretty happy to be at this stage. One design racing is unforgiving; make one mistake and you can go from first to fourth in half a leg. If we build a team that stays together and improves, we should do alright," the skipper said of the future.

Third overall and five points off the leading two MC38s was Leslie Green's Ginger.

Each of the five MCs contesting Act 5 scored a bullet, and North Sails supported the series. The next MC38 regatta is November 2-3 at Middle Harbour Yacht Club where regulars Hooligan and Lightspeed are expected to rejoin the fleet, and there's talk of Clare Crawford returning with Assassin.

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