Another easterly breeze, stronger this time but still difficult due to its varying strength and direction, shuffled the finishing order here in Sydney Harbour on Sunday afternoon.
The race was notable for a closely fought battle between Trevor Barnabas, sailing with his son Trent and Matt Felton on Omega Smeg, and RMW Marine sailed by Rob Greenhalgh with his brother Peter and Dan Johnson. The lead changed hands several times, with Omega Smeg showing a slight advantage upwind and RMW Marine holding the edge downwind.
The Omega Smeg team looked confident on the windward legs to Rose Bay, no doubt helped by Trevor's long experience of 18 footer racing in the harbour, where it is important not only to read and make the best use of the shifts, but also to choose a route that is likely to offer the best pressure, and they did this to perfection.
At the end, Omega Smeg held a lead of 26 seconds over RMW Marine, leaving these two boats at the head of the leaderboard with the British team holding the advantage by a single point. Obviously it is still early days after only two heats, but these teams will be pleased to be already at the head of affairs, and they will be aiming to build on their advantage in the middle stages of the regatta. With Trevor Barnabas having won this championship on five previous occasions, and Rob Greenhalgh having been at the head of the skiff world rankings for the past eighteen months, they both have the form to take the biggest prize in Skiff sailing.
Today is the first of the two traditional lay days, and racing continues on Tuesday with the Lewmar Race Day
Heat Two Results
1. Omega Smeg, Trevor Barnabas, AUS
2. RMW Marine, Rob Greenhalgh, GBR
3. Casio Seapathfinder, Michael Coxon, AUS
4. Aristocrat, Gary Phillips, AUS
5. Total Recall, Tony Hannan, AUS
6. Computer Associates, Jack Young, AUS
Overall (After 2 Races)
1 RMW Marine (GBR)
2 Omega Smeg (AUS)
3 Yandoo (AUS)
4 Express Post (AUS)
5 Total Recall (AUS)
6 GE/US Challenge (USA)