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20 December 2002, 11:31 am
Heavy Winds and |Chinese| Gybes Result in Injured Crewman
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British Trophy Regatta
Sydney, NSW

The Farr 40s racing today were jumping the gun with premature starts and the Sydney 38s were rocking and rolling in freshening breezes, with a crewmember injured in one out of control gybe.

A fresh north-easterly sea breeze saw the offshore IMS and IRC fleets powered up with Neville Crichton's Alfa Romeo again leading the fleet in both races with his closest competition Canon (Mike Slade) choosing to retire from the second race rather than risk damaging their carbon foil after a problem with reefing the headsail.

"Tonight we will attach new luff ropes and in tomorrow's races we will test it out," said boat manager Chris Sherlock this afternoon after the racing.

Bob Roberts and Alex Thomson's 60-footer, formulaonesailing.com, also retired from the second race after they blew out the only spinnaker they had on board when the breeze strengthened to 25 knots.

Corrected time results from today's racing have delivered Neville Crichton a sixth consecutive win on IRC handicap while the Swan 48 Loki (Stephan Ainsworth) enjoyed its first appearance in the top three handicap results with a second on IRC ahead of the bright red Farr 52 Hollywood Boulevard (Ray Roberts).

Anthony Skinnner's Sydney 38 Chainsaw finished first in today's second race with their win marred by the injury of crewman Brett Perry in a 'Chinese' gybe on the finish line. Perry has been admitted to hospital for X-rays after tangling his arm in the mainsheet and being thrown across the deck.

Jim Richardson's Farr 40 Barking Mad from the USA is proving a strong contender for an overall win in the Farr 40 State Championship with two wins today. The eight-boat fleet had a general recall in race two today, and then three boats started prematurely when the second gun was fired and failed to return.

A sixth consecutive win in the eight race series for Chris Tillett's Mumm 30 On the Edge means the Adelaide yachtsman is looking at an overall win in the classes' Australian Championships.

Tomorrow is the final day of the four-day regatta and the last time there will be organised racing for the fleet lining up for next week's Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. The forecast is for 20-25 knots in the afternoon and a two-metre swell.

Peter Campbell/ISAF News Editor
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