With another win overnight on his brand new Beneteau 44.7, Michael SPIES and the First National Real Estate crew have proved they are in devastating form as they prepare for their second assault on the 60th Anniversary Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
The annual race to Bird Island and return is Race 2 of the CYCA's 8-race Bluewater Pointscore Series and Friday night it began at 7.00pm without incident on a congested start line in Sydney Harbour. The 28-boat fleet enjoyed a fast spinnaker ride as they charged north to Bird Island, off the NSW Central Coast, in front of a fresh west sou'wester before rounding the island and slogging back into the breeze.
The beat back to Sydney Harbour slowed the pace of the fleet with race record holder Brindabella missing out on its own record by just over an hour, but it was still a relatively quick race with the last yacht finishing the 85 nautical mile passage just before 10.00am yesterday morning.
The Beneteau design dominated this offshore race on IRC with First National Real Estate finishing first Overall and another 44.7, David MASON'S Prime Time, finishing third. Sandwiched in between the two Beneteaus in the IRC results was Matt ALLEN'S Farr 52 Ichi Ban, another strong IRC performer that finished second to Howard de Torres' Nips n Tux in last season's Bluewater Pointscore Series.
In the Tasman Performance results, Peter MOSELY'S Local Hero proved too strong for David FORBES & Richard BROOKS' Merlin and John CAMERON'S well-sailed More Witchcraft. After a night at sea with no sleep, Spies was back on the water yesterday afternoon racing a 12-foot skiff.
Full results for the Bird Island Race are available at under Sailing then Blue Water Series.