Hard yards on the water today with PRO Olsen pushing the yachts and crews to the limit.
Not content with a simple catch up from the previous day, today was the day that separated the front from the back. The Fremantle Doctor was in, with the breeze building as the day progressed. We started with a gentle 8 to 10 knots out of the south south west and the breeze swung into the south west by the time that the first lap was completed.
A great two lap race had Aussies Peter Nicholas and Luke Payne relishing the local breeze, grabbing the front and staying there all the way. Right behind them, they had the USA’s Mike Martin and Adam Lowry on their tails all the way with GBR’s Penny and Russ Clark coming in nicely in third.
The second race, they took the length out another .1 of a nautical mile and put an extra lap in. A real tester. This time Mike Martin found the lead in front of Peter Nicholas and stayed there as though it was his to keep. The shore line looked as though it was the way to go, but the centre proved to be the winner again and in the burgeoning breeze, the boats could only go faster.
The third race and another three lapper. I heard the sailors talking about it afterwards… relentless. The breeze just kept on coming and despite the best that a sailor could offer, they were starting to get tired and the boats were starting to flip as tired hands let go of a rope, or the tiller slipped in the hand momentarily. But as relentless as it may sound, the best kept going and the results were clear with Mike Martin beginning to erect a picket fence with yet another win. But this time GBR’s Nathan Batchelor and Harry Briddon put their hands up for second and for the double for GBR, Ian Pinnell and Reeve Dunn made it into third place.
The leader board is starting to take shape with established crews putting together claims on the top three spots, but there is the room to move and the lighter weather forecast for the next two racing days may change all this. A lay day tomorrow and then the hot weather is forecast to arrive.
Every one is off to Rottnest tomorrow. Sandy beaches, great pubs and the ubiquitous Quokka to have a selfie with.
The first drop has been allowed and the standings so far are:
Mike Martin and Adam Lowry of the USA lead with a nett 6 points, followed by another US pair of Mike Holt and Carl Smit in second with a nett 23 points. Howard Hamlin and Jeff Nelson are currently third with a nett 34 points.
From the water off Fremantle where the Doctor resides by Rick Steuart.