Australian match racing champion Michael Dunstan has come through unbeaten so far in yesterday's final round-robin to decide the semi-finalists for the Hardy Cup ISAF Grade 3, under 25 match racing series on Sydney Harbour.
Dunstan, 20, won the National title in Perth last week and has sailed consistently well in the Hardy Cup, representing the host club, the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron.
He was at his best in a day of tricky wind conditions as temperatures soared and bushfires burned in the Sydney suburbs, winning four straight flights against his opponents from Italy, New Zealand, Great Britain and Sydney rivals, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia.
The Great Britain Challenge, led by America's Cup "young talent" sailor Simon Shaw, also won against the Italians, the New Zealanders and Melbourne's Sandringham Yacht Club, but lost to the RSYS crew of Michael Dunstan, Hamish Stone and James Rodger to finish the day 3-1.
The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, skippered by Ben Croucher, had a 2-2 result as did Sandringham Yacht Club's Scott Walton while New Zealand's Team Mintin, with Simon Minoprio on the helm, won just one race and list three, while the Italian team, skippered by Luca Antonini, lost all four races sailed today.
Today sees the final flights in this round robin to decide the semi-finalists, with the grand final schedules for tomorrow afternoon.
Winds yesterday ranged from 25 knots to less than 8 knots as the heatwave conditions influenced wind strength and direction.
Earlier in the day, the five teams eliminated from the series sailed off for the lower placings with the University of Hawaii taking seventh place with a 4-0 result in the 25 knot north-westerly breeze, followed by Germany's Norddeutscher Regatta Verein with a 2-2 result, followed by Japan's Team Bambino , also 2-2, New Zealand's Waiheke Boat Club with a 2-2 and Australia's Royal Prince Alfred Yacht with a 1-3 result.