Defending champion Ichi Ban sailed back into top form in race two of the 2004 Boags Sailing South Race Week on a fickle Derwent River this morning.
The Farr 52, skippered by Matt ALLEN from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia in Sydney, cleared out over the shortened six mile windward return course to comfortably hold her time over yesterday's distance race winner, the Tasmanian boat Intrigue, skippered by Don Calvert.
Start of the race was delayed for 80 minutes until a light but unstable breeze came up the river, with principal race officer 'Biddy' BADENACH shortening course to enable a second race to be sailed later in the day.
Out in front of the fleet, Ichi Ban's tactician Roger HICKMAN picked the wind shifts correctly as the big boat dashed around the course in one hour 49 minutes, beating Intrigue by just over four minutes on corrected time.
International Sailing Federation (ISAF) vice-president David KELLETT finished third at the helm of the Sydney 38, Pitch Black.
Bellerive Yacht Club's Harold CLARK sailed to first place in the IMS division with his aptly named Invincible, beating Skandia Cyclone (Stephen KEAL) and Tequilla Slama (John RADONIC) from the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania.
Another RYCT boat, Silver Mist (Andrew SUTHERLAND) not only came out top Farr 37 in PHS Division 1, but also won the race outright from the Beneteau 40.7, Blue Chip (Colin DENNY) with the Huon 10, Planet X (Mike ROWLEY).
Buggbear, Ron BUGG'S Van de Stadt 10, recovered from a disastrous race one to win PHS Division 2 from Rouseabout, a Bugg 35 skippered by Grahame INGLIS, and the Kaufman 30, Sunview Homes (Robert WOEHLER).
In the Sportsboats, Shoot the Dog, an Elliott 7 skippered by Richard FISHER, a member of the Tamar Yacht Club and Port Dalrymple Yacht Clubs, scored a close-fought win from the Thompson 7, Max Power, a Mornington, Victoria, based boat skippered by Perth yachtsman Steve BATTLEY.
Fastest time and third on handicap went to RYCT member Bruce CALVERT, skippering his Thompson 8, ABN Amro Morgans.
Race three of Sailing South Race Week started mid-afternoon with results expected early this evening.
Sailing South Race Week takes place in Hobart after the conclusion of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.