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22 January 2005, 06:27 am
AAPT Leads Fleet
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Skandia Geelong Week
Geelong, Australia

Geelong sailors assure visiting crews that every afternoon; the southerly sea breeze comes like clockwork.
This afternoon 400 boats were ghosting towards Geelong from their Williamstown start, with a glass out stretching all the way across the bay to Port Arlington, waiting for the clock to strike.

For an hour, there were light 2-3 knot zephyrs coming over Clifton Springs while down on Corio Bay, the south easter had reached 10 knots.

Its was quite cold on western end of Port Phillip Bay, with heavy overcast, with rain clouds over the You Yang Hills to the north, so the famed four seasons in one day, would be the only thing that delivered enough land mass heating to provide the sea breeze power for a fast reaching finish.

Out in the middle of the Bay, Geoff BONU'S Calibre was leading the Sydney 38 fleet from Leon CHRISTIANAKIS' Cydon with Team Lexus next, all betting on the sea breeze, while well north towards the Werribee, Steve MCCONAGHY and Steve KULMAR aboard Shining Sea were looking to slide through on the old breeze.

At the front of the fleet Graeme TROON'S Reichel Pugh 46 XLR-8 has led the fleet for most of the race, keeping boat speed when all else has stalled.

But that all changed, Matt ALLEN'S Ichi Ban found pressure with 9-10 knots from the south and behind her Sean LANGMAN'S AAPT was starting to power up and soon hit the lead with her giant back spinnaker filling.

Behind her, the Volvo 70 campaigner Grant WHARINGTON, had steered the Volvo 60 Skandia into second place, with XLR-8 third ahead of her larger rival Ichi Ban.

AAPT crossed the finishing line at 15:59:04, six minutes ahead of Skandia, with XLR-8 five minutes further back, just 25 seconds ahead of Ichiban.

Next behind this group was Geoff BOETTCHER'S Hardy's Secret Mens Business, Prowler, Rush, Deckadence, Ninety Seven and Gomez and First National Real Estate.

Geoff BONUS Calibre won the Sydney 38 Class from Shining Sea, ahead of Cydon.
Rob Kothe
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