The British crew of Leigh MCMILLAN and Will HOWDEN (GBR) moved into third place overall, obviously in their element in the stronger southerly winds which peaked at around 23 knots this afternoon.
In an unusual situation, the top three placed top three in both races today, just in a different order! "In both races the lead was shared between us, Mitch and Leigh. The three of us battled it out for the top three places in both races," Darren BUNDOCK said.
BUNDOCK went on to say: "The Spanish [World Champs Fernando ECHAVARRI and Anton PAZ] pushed us hard in the first race, but we managed to push them out of third place and into fourth."
Things got exciting in race 4, when the Aussie duo only beat BOOTH and NIEUWENHUIS over the line by a metre, such was the competition today.
"It was shifty and patchy, which is unusual for stronger winds. At one stage I said to Glenn 'let's get out of here', because the racing was so close we couldn't afford to take chances," BUNDOCK said.
Bad luck for the lone female skipper Carolijn BROUWER and her crew Seb GODEFROID (BEL) today. The two enjoy the heavier conditions and were looking forward to both races.
"We were going really well in the first race, we rolled the Aussies and were up with Mitch BOOTH who was in second place, when our jib track broke, so we had to pull out and go back to the beach and fix it, which we did.
"We got back out for the second race, had great speed, but we overlaid a couple of marks, which cost us dearly. We finished seventh, so we will try harder tomorrow," BROUWER said.
BROUWER also commented: "This is the best sailing I have had for a while. I've been to sailing events around the world for years, but I am really enjoying the racing, the venue and particularly the hospitality that Somers Yacht Club has given us. They are so friendly and helpful. It's a pretty special place with very special people."
Racing at the Sail Melbourne event resumes tomorrow with two further races starting from 14:30.
Results are provisional pending protests. The Sail Melbourne ISAF Grade C1 event continues tomorrow.
Sail Melbourne - www.sailmelbourne.com.au
Results - www.sailmelbourne.com.au/race-results/2008/tornado/series.htm