2017 Melges 24 Australian Nationals - Newman, Wharton to Battle in Blockbuster Finish
February 4, 2017 - Blairgowrie, Australia - The ending of this year's Helly Hansen Melges 24 Australian Championship has come down to a two-horse race on the final day as Jon Newman on Penultimate Challenge and Andy Wharton on Accrewed Interest go head-to-head in the last two races with one point separating them.
The third day of racing yesterday was a challenging one with another delayed start due to a lack of wind, however the scheduled three races were still sailed.
Racing has come right down to the wire for the final day of the Helly Hansen Melges 24 Nationals. Photo: Ally Graham
Newman and his team lead the regatta by one point after eight races with Wharton right on his hammer, while third-placed Kraken, skippered by David Young, has moved into third place after a dominant day yesterday winning two heats and claiming a third.
After good starts to the regatta, reigning national champion Chris Links on Roger That and Heath Walters on Amigos slipped back to fourth and fifth respectively, which puts the title all but out of reach.
Going into the final day it looks like Newman and Wharton will be match racing each other for the title, while third spot is wide open with four boats all within striking distance, as Dave Alexander on Kowabunga (sixth place) could also shake things up with good results today.
The final two races are scheduled for 12 noon today followed by the presentation evening at the Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron.
Edited by Harry Fisher - Down Under Sail