There were various new combinations on the water in Lane Cove this Saturday, for the last practice possible before boats are shipped to NZ.
Nick Press (reigning Interdominion champion) practiced in his dad’s boat Gemmell Sails with ring in rock-star crew Andrew Hay from the 18’s.
Murra Press (Nick’s dad) skippered Vantage Real Estate with Brett Philips in their Interdominion form, while Variety (Adam Forbes and “Macca”) had a river practice session.
The breeze was light, looking a bit uninteresting, but a fresh change at start time looked to turn things around.
With a handicap start, Gemmell Sails, Lincoln Crowne & Company (Jonathan Temple and Richard Jones) and Variety had to wait to try and chase the earlier starters down.
Vantage Real Estate had the wobbly boots on out of the start, sailing into the moorings and wiping off a portion of their handicap, and then again off Clarkes Point on the run to Schnapper Island bottom mark, allowing the scratch boats to catch them.
LCC and Gemmell Sails together for the long work to Manns Point, trying to reel the earlier boats in, and then back to Schnapper Is. The breeze was quite shifty and puffy, making it important to look for pressure and shifts.
Gemmell Sails got a great gust on the tight two-sail reach across Cockatoo Is, separating them from the other two scratch boats and bringing them up into the earlier boats: Skol (Peter Polec and Jamie McCrudden) and the Bird (David Lusty and Glen Farquhar)
On the run down to Cove Street from Manns Point the fleet was spread out. On the run back to Manns Point, LCC got good pressure, bringing them back into Gemmell Sails for the last run down to Schnapper Is. Skol capsized in the tidal chop off Clarkes Point.
Only At Call (John Williams and Bill Lusty) and Madonna (David Winning and Peter Bevis) and The Bird still ahead, LCC and Gemmell Sails passing the latter two in humbug for the sprint to the finish, with At Call holding out for first across the line, followed by Gemmell Sails then Lincoln Crowne & Company, with Gemmell Sails taking fastest time from Lincoln Crowne.