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5 January 2005, 10:05 am
First National Real Estate Wins With A Race to Spare
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© Robert Bevan

Boag Sailing South Race Week 2005
Hobart, Tasmania

Sydney yachtsman Michael SPIES today wrapped up an IRC handicap victory in the 2005 Boag's Sailing South Race Week - with a race to spare - at the helm of his new Beneteau 44.7, First National Real Estate.

In fact, First National Real Estate won both races five and six on the final day of Race Week, sailed over short windward/leeward courses on Hobart's Derwent River in light southerly winds of under 10 knots.

In a remarkably consistent Race Week, the Sydney yacht placed 1-1-1-2-1-1 which, discarding the boat's worst placing of a second, gave it a net five points. The Sailing South Race Week success adds yet another trophy to the hundreds won by Michael SPIES. These trophies range from Australian dinghy championships to 18-foot skiff world titles and also include the record-breaking line honours winner as joint skipper of the Volvo 60, Nokia, in the 1999 Sydney Hobart and a first Overall in the 2003 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race with his previous First National Real Estate, a Beneteau 40.7.

At this evening's prizegiving, he proudly held aloft the Charleston Trophy for the IRC division winner, one of the most striking and valuable perpetual trophies owned by the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania.

First National Real Estate won race five of the IRC division, with Bruce CALVERT's ABN Amro Morgan, in second place and Hughie LEWIS' Farr 40 One Design, Euro Central, third place on corrected time. Matt ALLEN's Farr 52, Ichi Ban placed fourth, while the Race Committee declared Harold CLARK's Invincible DNF (did not finish) for failing to sail the proper course to the finish line.

The rather luckless Ichi Ban fought back to finish second on corrected time in race six, a placing that gave the defending champion third place overall behind local yachtsman Don CALVERT, helming his 20-year-old former Admiral's Cup team 40-footer, Intrigue. The Castro 40 placed third in race six.

With First National on 5 points, Intrigue finished second with 19 points from placings of 5-2-5-4-5-3, with Ichi Ban third on 22 points from placings of 3-dsq-10-3-4-2. A close fourth on 24 points was Hughie LEWIS' newly acquired Farr 40 One Design, Euro Central, with the 1993 Sydney Hobart winner Wild Oats (Howard PIGGOTT) fifth with 28 points.

First National also won the PHS Division 1 pointscore with 30 points, just one point ahead of Silver Mist, Andrew SUTHERLAND's Farr 37, which had led the series going into today's final heats. A countback saw third overall go to Jeff CORDELL's Uncensored, also on 21 points

Consistency paid dividends for Serano, skippered by Roy Barkas, in taking out PHS Division 2, finishing with 22 points, just 1.5 points head of Scott SHARP's Wildfire on 23.5, with Madman's Woodyard (Adrian PETERSON) third overall on 26 points.

Launceston yachtsman Richard FISHER also sailed a consistent series at the helm of Shoot the Dog in winning the Sportsboats division with 19 points, three points clear of Wynyard sailmaker Steve WALKER, steering Tuesday's Child.

Final overall results of the Trailable Yacht division and the Cruiser division will be announced later today. However, in race five Fly'n High (Peter HAWORTH) caused an upset in the Trailable Yacht division, taking out the light weather race five from Whatsinaname (Stewart WINTERBOTTOM) and John RADONIC in Tequila Shorta.

Going into the final race, after discards, the three equal leaders, the RYCT's Elliott 5.9s, Hobart Ports (Jock Young), T42 Fish Frenzy (John Wearne) and Tequila Shorta were still sharing top place on the scoreboard.

Peter Campbell (As Amended by ISAF)
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