Woollahra on Sunday, with the forecasted 10-15 knots seeing the usual rigging park anxiety, all the fleet finally chose the big-sail.
The start of Race 4 saw a swing left in the last 30 seconds before the gun, leaving the fleet just crossing the line on Starboard and bunched on the pin. The front runners headed to the western shore, with the bulk of the fleet going east into Nielsen Park. Into the top mark was Garde, followed by Gemmell Sails, then LCC, with PB Towing pulling up the rear.
Down the square run, the whole fleet gybing back and forth across the harbour seeking pressure. At the bottom mark it was Garde ahead of Gemmell Sails ahead of LCC then PB Towing.
Up the last work these places maintained, with Garde extending slightly. On the final run PB Towing pulled deeper and passed LCC into 3rd, with Skol in 5th, this being the order of the finish.
Race 5 was the longer course to Beashel Buoy, a little fresher than the 1st race.
From the start, most went left to the western shore, where a Manly ferry pushed Garde back to the right, with Gemmell Sails crossing the ferry to take the western shore. Halfway up the work it had settled into a tussle between Garde, Gemmell Sails and LCC, with Giddy-Up right on their heels.
Down the square run, Garde and Gemmell Sails went to the West, LCC stayed in the east and found some pressure keeping them in the running. Murray Press made his move on the run, eating into the small lead that Garde held, gaining a small lead at the bottom mark.
Up the final work, the breeze now kicking in to 14 knots getting the big-rigs right to the top end of their wind range, Garde struggled in the increased pressure more than Gemmell Sails, letting them stretch their lead to a more comfortable margin, with 50m between 2nd and 4th.
The days racing saw Garde seal the overall regatta victory with a first and second, giving them the Australian Championship with a race to spare. The day’s racing also saw the first heat winner other than Garde, with Gemmell Sails taking victory in a closely contested Race 5.