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19 March 2005, 05:29 pm
Challenging First Day Conditions
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Palm Beach Regatta 2005
Newport, Australia

Experience counted offshore today, as day one of the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club's (RPAYC) Palm Beach Regatta was sailed in challenging conditions.
Principal Race Officer Denis THOMPSON commented: 'Interesting conditions on the Palm Beach Circle today 15-18 knots, with two metre swell and two metres of sea way, after much heavier winds over the last few days… We sailed trapezoidal courses to keep the fleets separated and that worked well.'

In the very competitive 19 boat Sydney 38 fleet, Chris WAY's Easy Tiger proved that regular practice sessions and time on the water really help in tough conditions. According to WAY, 'our crew work was good and we stayed in phase, both times we stayed right and that worked. We just have to be as consistent tomorrow.'

Justin LAMBETH back on the wheel on London Tavern after a year's break seemed a little rusty in the first race, but by midway through the second race, LAMBETH was back in the groove.

In both races he banged the right hard and that paid off well with a second and third place leaving London Tavern well positioned for day two.

Steve KULMAR's Shining Sea was mid fleet in the first race but showed she's on form with an excellent second race win and can improve from there.

Martin HILL's Estate Master was leading the fleet in the second race, until she had 'broach of the day'. Her recent record suggests she'll be back in force tomorrow.

Having dominated the 38 Class for the last year, Leon CHRISTIANAKIS was all smiles on the rail today, with new Cydon owner, Guido BELGIORNO-NETTIS a picture of concentration. Top third positions first up indicate, the fleet will be looking at her side-on again soon.

The second One Design fleet, the rapidly growing Sydney 32 Class, put on an excellent display offshore today.

Stan MONTGOMERY's Mainstay showed the way with two wins. Fast starts and clean air, her recipe for success.

MONTGOMERY commented: 'We seem to have good speed and we've learnt the hard way from previous regattas the need to cover once we hit the front.'

David BONALLO's Rollercoaster was at home in the seaway, she raced to Hobart in the tough 2004 race and as BONALLO commented this afternoon: 'We learnt a lot in those 630 miles, today we had two bad starts, but climbed back through the fleet, both times we went right, the favoured side and we were certainly had speed.'

Angus GRINHAM's Gusto today was racing offshore for the second time ever. In the first race they were well placed going into the first bottom mark, but sailed wide round the mark and rounded up, losing places to the fast following fleet.

GRINHAM explained: 'It was all new to us. In the second race, we'd changed jibs and had more speed and our handling was better. It was a blast out there.'

Rob KOTHE (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Action From Day One:© Ron Farley / Possum Media
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