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7 January 2005, 09:40 am
Hamilton Set to Win Title
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Australian Contender Championship
Melbourne, Australia

Another hard day on the water at Sail Melbourne, 'big seas, big waves,' is how West Australian Contender sailor Gene DONRAADT described conditions on coming ashore after two races on Port Phillip today.
Winds were around 20-24 knots with gusts up to 25, according to some of the fleet, with the most mature member of the fleet, 60 year old Englishman Alan MOLLATT commenting, 'yesterday was easier, the seas are big today - around 7 to 8 feet - it's survival mode rather than pleasant sailing.'

Sandringham Yacht Club race officials confirmed that the three metre swell and waves were the problem today and not the wind.

Some competitors did however enjoy their day. Donraadt commented, 'I loved it out there today. I really enjoy this sort of weather - the seas are much bigger than yesterday though - but it's exciting racing and you work out who is fit and who isn't. It does hurt the old muscles a bit.'

No surprises that the locals are handling the conditions better; Marcus HAMILTON (VIC), who did not even feature in the top five going into the day's racing, has taken the lead with a second place and two wins for a total of eight points, six clear of second placed Matt HOSIE, the winner of Race 5. He followed up with a couple of third places.

Tim HILL (VIC), the leader going into today's racing, has dropped to third overall, even though he scored 3-2-2 results today, such is the closeness of competition.

The Contenders finish their Championship tomorrow, with one race remaining, which if completed, allows for a second race drop.

Hamilton's lead is unassailable, no matter how he finishes tomorrow, but the remaining two podium places could change. However, it looks like it will be an all Victorian affair at the top end of the fleet.

Paul GREEN (WA) is in fourth place and the best placed of those from outside Victoria. His team mate, John CASSIDY, who led the series early on, is fifth place, but 10 points behind Green.

Weather reports suggest pleasant 15-20 winds, with seas abating and a sunny day tomorrow - which will make a nice change from the past few days.

Provisional top five results after one race drop

Pos Name State Pts
1 Marcus HAMILTON VIC 8
2 Matt HOSIE VIC 14
3 Tim HILL VIC 15
4 Paul GREEN WA 24
5 John CASSIDY WA 34
Di Pearson (As Amended by ISAF
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