South Australia's Grant GEDDES/Dan WILSDON (GYC) finished the last two races of the Championship today, with second and third placings, to defeat the locals, Lindsay IRWIN/Andrew PERRY (BRYC) by one point in what was an exciting series to the end.
Disqualified from Race 1 of the Sail Melbourne event, and in ninth place overall going into today's final races, it looked like the series belonged to Irwin/Perry, but cool as ever under pressure, Geddes, the 1999 Sail Melbourne International 14 World champion, came back from the brink in the final race to beat Irwin over the line by four boat lengths, giving him that extra point and the series, after one race drop.
Irwin scored a win and a fourth place today, his undoing came earlier in the series, when, leading Race 2, the boat came into contact with what he and Perry believe was a small shark, at high speed.
The impact brought the pair to a dead stop, their centre-board pushed back into the hull at 45 degrees. Later inspection of the leading edge of the centerboard revealed no impact damage, but they are not so sure about the shark, believed to be wallowing somewhere in Port Phillip Bay.
Perry said Race 6 today was sailed in a 20-25 knot nor-westerly on sloppy seas, but by the second race they were in a comfortable west-sou-westerly wind.
"Grant and Dan had a bad start in the second race, but then they went right, picking the wind shift and picked up pressure. They nearly threw it away though, at the leeward mark for the second last time, capsizing, but recovering to finish with a bent tiller extension,"
On their second placing, Perry was philosophical, "it's a bit disappointing, but it was really good tight racing."
Locals also scored third overall with Mark KRSTIC/Rob OSHLACK (BRYC), sailing a consistent series, including a win in the last race, as did Queensland's Jason BEEBE/Chris TURNER (RQYS), who took home fourth place.
Mark ELSWORTH/Tim MOOREHOUSE (BRYC) finished fifth overall, their efforts including two second places, while Greg COUTTS/Brett TAYLOR (BRYC) finished third in Race 5 to take sixth place overall.
For full results, photos and information, go to the official site: Full results and photos are available on the event website at the address below.