Sometime around midnight last night, a weather front moved across the top of New Zealand, replacing yesterday's brash northerlies with gusty southwesterlies.
The difference was the waves. Yesterday the waves were steep and heart stopping, while today the mainland provided some shelter for the International 14 sailors.
Most of the 83-boat fleet lined up at the start, for a spectacular display of I14 technology. In 20-22 knots of breeze the start was clean, with nobody OCS.
Capsizes seemed to be the rule of the day, and winning meant staying upright and staying in one piece. At the first mark, Jason BEEBE and Tim BERG led the pack in AUS 628, with Great Britain's Chris TURNER, New Zealand's Dan SLATER, and Australia's Grant GEDDES and Dan WILSDON in AUS 626 in hot pursuit.
But it wasn't to last, as one dramatic moment followed another. Jason Beebe crossed the bow of a car-carrying cargo ship and capsized - just far enough to leeward to avoid being crushed.
Two of the others also took spills, leaving Grant GEDDES to take the lead.
AUS 626 managed to hold onto their position all the way around the track. The only boat close on their heels was AUS 633 with Alan VICKERY and Andrew WILSON onboard. The latter team kept it together all the way to the last bottom mark, and then capsized. AUS 626 went on to win.
There were some big wind shifts in the race, which kept both the competitors and the committee boats on their toes. But at the end, Grant GEDDES and Dan WILSDON had a convincing win.
The 'stick to it' award has to go to Katie Nurton and Nigel Ash on GBR 1415, who never gave up even though they were half a leg behind the leaders, and took both last place and 44th. Way to go, or as they say in New Zealand 'good on ya!'.
Sailed: 1 Discards: 0
1. AUS 626 Grant Geddes Dan Wilsdon
2. AUS 631 Lindsay Irwin Andrew Perry
3. GBR 1513 Stevie Morrison Ben Rhodes
4. NZL 43 Dan Slater Nathan Handley
5. USA 1157 Zach Berkowitz Steve Bordow
6. AUS 624 Dave Alexander Allan Blenkle
7. GBR 1516 Alister Richardson Ian Baker
8. AUS 628 Jason Beebe Tim Berg
9. AUS 633 Alan Vickery Andrew Wilson
10. AUS 632 Brad Devine Denis Jones
11. AUS 652 Ray Hancock Daryl Everett
12. AUS 602 Roger Blasse Andrew Gilligan
13. AUS 623 Mark Krstic Rob Oshlack
14. AUS 610 Robert Vickery Criss Vaughan
15. GBR 1496 Ian Pinnell Tim Hancock
16. GBR 1479 Andrew Penman Tim Bastow
17. CAN 585 Dick Parker David Cunningham
18. CAN 586 Kris Bundy Jamie Hanseler
19. CAN 590 Peter Hayward Norm Pavey
20. GBR 1503 Andrew Partington Ben Vernieres