Day three of the Rhodes Waterside F40 regatta was a tough one for tacticians. Race five of the series had the fleet start in a 10 knot westerly breeze, which fluctuated in strength and direction during the day three.
Series leaders Richard Perini's Evolution and Marcus Blackmore's Emotional Hooligan started at the boat end of the line and went to the right side of the course for the first upwind leg. Matt Allen's Ichi Ban followed Blackmore and Perini to the right side which paid dividends for these three boats when they rounded the top mark for the first time in the top three spots.
Allen lead around the mark but fell off the pace on the first downwind leg which allowed Blackmore slip into first and lead Perini around the bottom mark with Steve O'Rourke's Panther sliding into third. O'Rourke and his crew on Panther sailed a terrific second upwind leg to round at the front of the fleet with Perini and Blackmore close behind followed by Matt Short's Short Shipped which pulled back three boats on the beat.
The second downwind leg of race five had Blackmore opt for the left side on their own which benefited them immensely as they crossed the line in first with a large gap back to second for Perini. Typical tight one design racing made the finish interesting with the second to ninth places finishing within one minute of each other.
A 200 degree change in the breeze to the Nor 'East had the race committee reset the course for race six. Allen had to restart after an individual recall while David Gotze's Brighton Star was the first boat to head out to the right and was closely followed by the rest of the fleet. Gotze jumped to a comfortable lead from Blackmore with Perini in third. Gotze and his Brighton Star crew dominated the race to take the gun from Perini with Allen finishing in third.
Race seven of the regatta had the race committee recall O'Rourke's Panther after an early start which had them at a disadvantage for the rest of the race. Perini worked his way to the front of the fleet to round in first with previous race winner Gotze's Brighton Star in second and Lang Walker's Kokomo in third. Second time around the top mark the top four places remained the same with Allen in fourth. Perini extended his lead to take the gun and the regatta, while Gotze pipped Walker at the post to take second. 'We're really pleased with our result and are working towards our 2005 worlds programme' commented Perini.
The next regatta in the Farr 40 Australian calendar is the Savills SORC at Middle Harbour Yacht Club on November 27-28.