Beautiful Port Vincent, South Australia is the site of the 5O5 Aussie Nationals; here’s a report on the early action, with thanks to Nic Douglass for the shout.
The first four races of the event were sailed in a southerly breeze of 5 to 15 knots with the wind shifting up 30 degrees. Racing has been extremely close with no room for error.
In the first race of the series Michael Quirk and Darryl Roos took a commanding one-minute lead after the first lap. By the end of the second work, with the rest of the fleet battling each other for the minor placings they had extended their lead to three minutes. From there Quirk and Roos went on to win in convincing fashion. Second place went to Sandy Higgins and Paul Marsh and third place to Mal Higgins and Luke Payne.
For race two the southerly breeze had increased to 12 to 15 knots. The racing was very close throughout, with the lead changing several times between Michael Baggage and James McAllister and Michael Quirk and Daryl Roos, with Quirk and Roos eventually getting the upper hand and going on to win. Babbage and McAllister held on to second and Mal Higgins and Luke Payne crossed the line with a consistent third.
For the second day, race three was sailed in around 8 to 12 knots and the breeze again from the south. The racing was very close with the lead changing several times between four boats at the top. Eventually the Quirk and Roos combination took their third straight win for the series, followed by Higgins and Payne, and then the Queensland combination of Kevin Cameron and Sam Heritage.
For race four, the wind started in what looked like a building sea breeze but ended up fading as the race started in around 8 to 10 knots. At the first windward mark a pack of about seven boats rounded together. By the bottom, Mal Higgins, still sailing well after his Sharpie National win only two weeks ago, took the lead and went on to take the win. Second place went to Sandy Higgins and Paul Marsh and third place went to Quirk and Roos.
After 4 heats of racing and one drop, Michael Quirk and Daryl Roos on Strife lead the fleet, 8 points ahead of number 2 Groove Train. Full results here.