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Melges 32 Australian Championship - Wet and wild day 2    
Sun, 21 Apr 2013

At the Melges 32 Australian Championship, there were big grins on the faces of exhausted crews as they returned to Middle Harbour Yacht Club after an exciting day of full on racing in heavy rain and wind gusts of 28 knots. The usually busy Sydney Harbour was empty apart from the occasional Manly ferry which was just as well as boats needed a clear runway at times.

The experienced race committee worked their magic completing five races even when the number of boats on the start line varied as two crews had to return to the club, make quick repairs and pick up sails in time for the next race.

There was action a plenty and exciting racing to watch as the crews battled the wind gusts, waves and rain often coming off second best. Envy Scooters broached on the first run of race two, and struggled to drop their spinnaker eventually blowing up to the cliff face off Neilson Park, Vaucluse. Actions of a quick acting crew and the assistance of a race support boat resulted in minimal damage. The crew regrouped and headed back to Chowder Bay to wait for their next start.

Martin Cross If who recently joined the class commented that 'today’s racing was fundamentally great fun, when it was good it was very, very good and when it was bad it was horrid.'

Other crews were impressed by the pirouette that 2 Unlimited managed in race two; Chris Way said it was 'spectacular and almost look choreographed.'

Leading the regatta at the conclusion of a challenging days racing is Chris Way Easy Tiger III. The Easy Tiger III crew were not without their problems but recent coaching by French 470 Olympian Alex Pallu De La Barriere paid off as great boat handling and cool heads provided quick recoveries and consistent results throughout the day.

The forecast for the final days racing will be sure to mix the results as winds and swell ease throughout the day.

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by Tracey Walters

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