The defending Flying Dutchman World champions, Srabolics MAETHENYI/Andras DOMOKAS (HUN) were lucky to win today's first race of the Flying Dutchman World Championships being sailed on Port Phillip as part of the Sail Melbourne Regatta.
Victorian newcomers, Gavin DAGLEY/John DRYDEN (AUS) nearly stole the show from both Maethenyi/Domokas and the Hans-Peter SCHWARZ/Peter VAN KOPPEN (GER), leading the top two placegetters until the last downwind leg of the race, where they tore a spinnaker whilst executing a gybe.
"Yes, we are a bit disappointed, but that's sailing for you, we are just happy to be here and to finish in third place - we've only been sailing together for eight months, so we'll just go out and try hard again tomorrow,"
Dryden said on returning to the host venue, Sandringham Yacht Club.
Norman RYDGE/Richard SCARR (AUS) also had a good day to finish fourth in shifting breezes that increased from 8 knots to us much as 20 knots by the last leg of the race, giving the fleet an exhilarating last spinnaker run before beating to the finish.
Andras DOMOKOS, crew on the winning boat said "We have not been to Melbourne before, but for sure we are enjoying the good breezes here, we like it very much. We were a bit lucky to win today, and will have to really watch out for Hans-Peter (Schwarz), for Enno KRAMER (NED), Gines ROMERO (ESP) who finished fifth today, Norman RYDGE and for the Kangaroos (referring to Australian former three time World champions, Ian MCCROSSIN/James COOK). Srabolics and I have sailed together for eighteen years; it's even more difficult than being married!"
McCrossin/Cook did not have one of their better days, finishing well down the fleet in 23rd place. Also disappointing today was the ninth placing of Hans GENTHE/Hauke DRENGENBERG (GER). The pair started well but dropped back a place or so after each leg of the three-triangle course.
Racing continues tomorrow on Port Phillip Bay at 14.30pm local time.