The first of the two traditional lay days during the JJ Giltinan International Championship has not been a day of rest for many of the competitors.
For series leaders Howard Hamlin and his 'General Electric-US Challenge' team mates Mike Martin and Trevor Baylis, the priority has been to get their carbon fibre No 1 mast repaired in time for Heat 3 tomorrow, after it broke at the upper spreader within sight of the finish yesterday. They were able to cross the line without losing their Heat 2 second place.
Two other teams have needed to spend the day attending to carbon fibre repairs, after their spinnaker poles were broken yesterday. The American 'Total Recall' team of Dalton Bergan, Zack Maxam and Jeff Nelson lost theirs in a collision, while British 'White Stuff' sailors Victor Brellisford, James "Flossie" Fawcett and Dave Smith were desperately unlucky to have theirs explode due to a rigging swage failure when they were holding an excellent second place.
Other teams have been checking their boats and fittings, and doing shoreside tuning in an effort to find more boat speed.
Even after only two heats, the series points situation is very interesting. First to finish in both the opening heats were the British national champions Rob Greenhalgh, Dan Johnson and Jonny Meers on 'RMW Marine', but they lost their first place in Heat 1 following a protest from an Australian team, which resulted in their disqualification after their spinnaker brushed the other boat, which was travelling in the opposite direction.
This promoted 'General Electric-US Challenge' to first place in Heat 1, and, together with their second place in Heat 2, they hold an excellent lead on points after only two heats.
Holding second to sixth places on points at this stage we have a tightly grouped bunch of Australian teams, including former champions Trevor Barnabas and John Harris.
Whether 'US Challenge' and 'RMW Marine' can maintain their superiority over the rest of the fleet remains to be seen. The British team will have a more difficult task, having already used their discard (each team's best six out of seven heats will count towards the championship), but their performance so far seems to give them a definite edge provided that they can stay out of further trouble.
Time will tell.