The intensity of the competition facing competitors in this week's Hayman Regatta surfaced on the first day of racing with just one point separating the top three yachts on the points table after two short windward-leeward races.
It was little different in the race for the 'Gun Boat' trophy with Matt Allen's Farr 52 Ichi Ban and the Volvo 60 Andrew Short Marine (Andrew SHORT) sharing the honours in the race for line honours.
Today's contests were sailed in a light to moderate east-northeasterly breeze on the waters of the Whitsunday Passage to the west of Hayman Island. Geographic influences from nearby islands had some influence on the breeze but at the end of the day the cream rose to the top.
The first race saw IRC division honours go to Wayne MILLAR'S well-travelled Bashford 41, Zoe, but only by 13 seconds from Steve and Mary CHIODO'S new Sydney 47 cruiser-racer, Gomez. Ichi Ban was only another 11 seconds back in third spot.
Gomez retained its consistency and finished second in the afternoon race, this time almost a minute behind Ichi Ban, which benefited from a superb start and a well-calculated tack to the port side of the course on the first upwind leg. Zoe came in third.
Andrew Short is hoping stronger winds and a passage course around a series of spectacular islands in the Whitsunday Passage will provide him with the chance to have his yacht stretch its legs and dominate line honours in tomorrow's middle distance race.
The sailing schedule at Hayman is matched by a superb social agenda. Tonight the yacht owners and their partners were set to be treated to one of the week's highlights, the exclusive Five Star Yacht Owner's Dinner set in the resort's magnificent formal garden.