03-IMG_4281 04-IMG_4287 07-IMG_4324 09-IMG_4344 10-IMG_4347 12-IMG_4365 14-IMG_4384 15-IMG_4389 16-IMG_4392 20-IMG_4483 25-IMG_4577 27-IMG_4615 Easy Tiger III Sam and Kim Williams Rock and Roll Voodoo Chile 01The Melges 32 fleet started their 2014 Australian Championships today on Spectacular Sydney Harbour.  The fleet were fired up for some tough close racing, ready to settle a few scores off the back of last weekend’s Sydney Harbour Regatta.

Two Tassie teams have turned up with gusto to the Championships. The three day regatta hosted by Middle Harbour Yacht Club, sponsored by Magic Marine, Quantum and Gottifredi  Maffioli  kicked off at 1.00pm in a twelve knot North Easterly wind on a course between North and South Heads.

Race one, Chris Way  Easy Tiger III had a good start to the series, leading around every mark, after opening up a good lead they gybed after the last mark to the middle of the harbour, Andrew Hunn Voodoo Chili  in second place gybed to south Head and picked up more pressure, both boats met at the finish, where Voodoo Chili  gybed on Easy Tiger III, winning the race by a boat length.  Greg Prescott  2 Unlimited finishing third.

In Race two East Tiger III performed well again upwind but struggled to find form downwind having trouble connecting the dots between gusts under the tricky North Head course. The fleet split at the bottom gate marks, some headed toward South Head looking for the early shift off the shore, others hunting for a left hander from the Manly side of the course.  The match fit team on board Voodoo Chili includes Dave Chapman, fresh from the Melges 24 Worlds, Geelong and Mal Parker recently returning from racing the Melges 32 class in the Miami winter regatta.  Voodoo Chile picked the shifts in the second race to finish first, setting them up for the regatta, 2Unlimited second place, Easy Tiger III third.

The third race was incredibly close, on the final run the top four boats changed places with each gust and gybe as they battled to the finish, it was nail bitting stuff. Angus Reid Maxstar  finished the last heat of the Sydney Harbour Regatta with a win. “I should have reminded the guys to pick up where we left off” said Gus.  The Maxstar team from Canberra Yacht Club finished race three a close second to Greg Prescott, Andrew Hunn Voodoo Chile in third place.

The Tasmanians are dominating the Championship heading into day two, Andrew Hunn Voodoo Chile is leading the regatta, Greg Prescott, 2 Unlimited one point behind followed by  Pittwater boat Chris Way Easy Tiger III .

Heath Walters