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24 January 2004, 10:28 am
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Skandia Geelong Week
Melbourne

Skandia's winning streak, which started with her October launch and has continued through the Hobart race, almost came to an end in the fluky breezes off Point Wilson this afternoon in the Skandia Geelong Week long race.
With 330 boats racing the 32-mile (60 kilometre) race from Williamstown to Geelong she led the armada from the startline under leaden skies.

As the clouds began to break, the wind died away and Grant WHARINGTON'S super maxi Skandia went the wrong way and parked.

Matt ALLEN'S Ichi Ban sailed through to a two mile lead, while Skandia, the 30 metre behemoth with a keel depth of 4.9 metres, had to pick her way carefully across the shallow water west of Port Arlington.

At one stage, she had only 200 millimetres of water under her keel and she was not able to attack the new leader.

As the south easterly breeze began to build she at last began to climb back. With number three and a number two staysail she started reining in the gold-hulled 52 footer.

Through the channel at Point Henry Ichi Ban (Japanese for Number One) looked like she could hang on.

Skandia might run out of 'runway' but the breeze kept building and she swept into the lead with only a mile to go.

Skipper Grant WHARINGTON was a relieved sailor dockside. "We thought we were doing really well with a big breeze. But we were stuck in the transition between the two breezes, the dying land breeze and the sea breeze. Ichi Ban sailed through to a four-mile lead. But we climbed away and then put up our small number four as a staysail inside our two and we came through to the finish line doing 17 knots in a 15-knot breeze."

"Anyway you look at it 20/20 sounds a lots better than 19/20"

Full results are available on the event website at the address below.
Event Media (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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