2017 Melges 24 Australian Nationals - Tight Racing at the Top of the Fleet
Faebruary 3, 2017 - Blairgowrie, Australia - Only three points separated the top four boats yesterday after five of 10 scheduled races were completed at the Helly Hansen Melges 24 Australian Championship at the Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron. The racing has been mixed right throughout the fleet showcasing the incredibly close one-design racing the Melges offer, which has kept everyone on their toes on the clear waters off the Mornington Peninsula.
The Melges 24 fleet off the start line - Photo: Ally Graham
Andy Wharton and his team on Accrewed Interest lead the way at the half way mark of the series, two points clear in the lead, however the two teams in equal second, Chris Links on Roger That and Jon Newman on Penultimate Challenge, are right in the mix coming into the business end of the regatta.
Andy Wharton's Accrewed Interest is first overall, two points clear. Photo: Ally Graham
Chris Links and his team on Roger that are second overall. Photo: Ally Graham
A further point behind the top three is Heath Walters and his team on Amigos, who managed to win race three of the series after being late for the start.
Walters said although they were late to the start, it was one of those races where everything went right and they were able to pick the right shifts, sail through the fleet and take a confidence-boosting race win.
The fleet has begun to spread out from that point on, however it's become clear that all boats in the fleet are capable of top three results and therefore everyone is also capable of getting a bad result.
Three more races are scheduled for today, which will no doubt be an important set of races for those vying to be at the top come the end of the regatta.