Spies skippered his previous yacht of the same name to Overall first place in the 2003 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race and finished second in IRC Division B of the recent Sydney Hobart with his new boat.
Aera, skippered by English yachtsman Jez FANSTONE, got the gun on a day of spectacular sailing in south-westerly winds that ranged from 15 knots to 30 knots in gusts.
Corrected time results are provisional because of a number of protests lodged this evening but they will not affect the top placings which saw Aera placed first under both IRC and PHS handicaps, winning IRC from First National Real Estate and Euro Central and PHS from Euro Central and First National Real Estate.
Many yachts suffered knockdowns as 'bullets' of wind ripped across the river ahead of rain squalls sweeping down from Mt Wellington.
The new Farr 40 One Design, Hughie Lewis' Euro Central shredded its spinnaker on the first downwind run.
The trailable yacht T42 lost two crew members overboard in a knockdown, but they were rescued by another boat, Team Head Coach, skippered by Mike HAWES.
Steve Walker's sports boat, Tuesday's Child, from Wynyard, was laid over twice in a wild spinnaker broaches on the first run.
Aera, a Ker 55, got a brilliant start and powered away on the first leg, a tight reach across the river, to lead around the mark from the Sean LANGMAN'S Open 66, AAPT.
AAPT surfed downwind under spinnaker in the 25-knot south-westerly wind and overtook Aera, but sailed the wrong way from the leeward mark - something that the crew blamed on not being aware of a change to the sailing instructions.
AAPT was unable to overtake Aera and the British yacht got the gun in the King of the Derwent by just over three minutes to take provisional first place in the one day event.
However, in the first race of the Boag's Sailing South Race Week, First National Real Estate has been provisionally placed first in IRC Division 1 from Euro Central and last year's Sailing South Race Week champion Ichi Ban, skippered by Sydney yachtsman Matt ALLEN.
Under PHS handicaps, the provisional Division 1 winner is Euro Central from First National Real Estate and Ichi Ban while Division 2 went to Madman's Woodyard (A.PETERSON) from Serano (R.BARKAS) and Jigsaw (N.SNARE).
The Cruiser Division 1 provisional winner is Alumination (I.BRETT) from Dick Knoop's Magellan, third place going to Innovator (Ian SMITH). Cruiser Division 2 provisional winner is Epoxy Warrior (G.Leitch) from Gnome (M.CUSICK) and Wavelength (D.WILLIAMS).
Provisional winner of the Sportsboat Division is Shoot the Dog (R.FISHER) from Steve WALKER'S Tuesday's Child and Another Girl Another Planet (D.SHEPHERD).