Ginger leaps to the lead after three bullets at Hamilton Island

Leslie Green skippered Ginger to three bullets from three races in the MC38 Australian Championship at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week today, snatching the lead from Chris Hancock’s Vino, which led after yesterday’s two windward/leeward races.   

At the end of Day 3, Ginger holds an eight point advantage over John Bacon’s Dark Star. After scoring a pair of fifth’s and a seventh, Chris Hancock’s Vino dropped to third place. Marcus Blackmore, basking in his first ever foray into the class, is fourth overall, so far scoring fourth places in all but Race 2, in which he finished third.

Green, who warmed up for this event by winning the Sydney Harbour Regatta in July, finished bridesmaid at Hamilton Island last year and at the Australian Championship last November. He is hoping to remedy both those situations at this regatta.

Racing on the windward/leeward courses got underway in the predicted 8-14 knot south-west to southerly wind which transitioned to the south-east and north-east at 5 to 10 knots during the day; enough to make or break any tactician.

Green, from the CYCA, acknowledged conditions were tough. “It was pretty shifty, but we did the classical things, taking the knocks and picking the shifts. Richie (Allanson) and David Chapman did their jobs well – in fact the whole team did a wonderful job – it was a real team effort,” he said.

On paper it looks simple, but the reality is that Green and the Ginger crew fought for every bit of lead they could get, beating class newcomer, Robin Crawford’s Assassin (CYCA,) to the finish line of Race 4 by 39 seconds. John Bacon’s Dark Star (RPAYC), which took out the Lindeman Island Race on Day 1, was third.

Race 5 was a thriller, with Ginger nudging out Ross Hennessy’s Ghost Rider by a mere four seconds. Thirteen seconds later came Dark Star, in third place again. “All the races were very close, but this one we only won by half a boat length to Ross, it was touch and go,” Green said. “We just pipped them.

In Race 6, Ginger beat Dark Star to the punch by 52 seconds, with Ghost Rider home third, 48 seconds behind Dark Star. 

Six races have now been completed, with a further six to go to decide the new MC38 Australian champion.

Racing continues on Thursday, while the fleet enjoy a lay day tomorrow. Officials are planning up to three windward/leeward races starting from 11.10am local time.

Full results for the MC38 Australian Championship will be available at: www.hamiltonislandraceweek.com.au/

Di Pearson, MC38 media

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