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3 January 2002, 11:46 am
One of The Fastest Races In Events History
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Strathfield Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Race

Traditional bets of bottles of Bundaberg Rum were settled by the mere margins of seconds in another exciting 227 n/mls of sailing to decide the division handicap winners in the Strathfield Pittwater to Coffs Harbour race today.
Settlement day for some will have to wait, as the results remain provisional with division yachts still racing and charging home with a favourable reaching wind.
Generally there have been the usual post race could be or would be with a mix of exciting finishes in all of the three highly competitive divisions in the IRC class which attracted an Australian record entry for this race.

The wide range of designs offered an interesting cross section in a race that had a mixed bag of winds from almost all points of the compass.

That's yacht racing some steal the breaks with a little luck while others spend the entire race on deck because they are so keen to protect their reputations and have little intention to pay up at the bar if they can help it.

With so much variance in the wind velocity and the projected boat speed this race produced a changing result at almost every fleet report.

Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron's Corum a well-sailed Mumm 36 skippered by Bill Wild has provisionally scored a close win in IRC class Division 1 over the Ron Jones helmed Sledgehammer.

These two crews appeared to have the edge on last year's winner Heaven Can Wait (Warren Johns) when they reached at peak hull speed for a longer period in the second half of the race.

But these positions still remain as provisional with the official results to be declared tomorrow.

Meanwhile the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club David Lyons designed 38 Amity steered by Michael Lee and assisted by first mate wife Gaye has provisionally recorded the fastest overall corrected IRC course time to win division 111.

Match racing featuring the one-design Sydney 38 class has dominated honours in division 11 with London Tavern (Justin Lambeth) surviving a 200 n/ml nip-n-tuck 'dog fight' to score a career best result and a narrow class win on line and handicap over the equally well sailed Blowfly (Barry Moore).

Both yachts sailed the entire race within hailing distance of each other Blowfly called the pace early before London Tavern established a minor break but there was never much in it sailing the final 7 hours in a tenacious boat against boat mate against mate test of stamina technique and speed before London Tavern surfed over the finish line to claim the class 'Battle Flag' and the division handicap prize by 13 seconds in almost 27 hours of racing.

Final placing's in all classes will be confirmed by race officials when all yachts complete the course later tonight. Visit the Event Website for full details.
Ian Grant/ISAF Secretariat
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