John Harris, Scott Babbage and Peter Harris mastered the light easterly breeze to record an all the way victory with Rag & Famish Hotel in the Life Members Trophy race on Sydney Harbour.
Rag & Famish Hotel crossed the finish line a 2m27 winner from Seve Jarvin's Gotta Love It 7 with Sharks/Coldwell Banker Real Estate (Evan Walker) a further 3m18s back in third place.
The next three teams Smeg (Nick Press), Delonghi (Simon Nearn) and Sponsor Wanted (Euan Mc Nicol) put on a great display as the trio finished only 2s apart.
It was all Rag & Famish Hotel right from the start.
The Rag took advantage of a blue buoy rounding at the first windward mark and soon opened up a break of more than one minutes on the spinnaker run past the wing mark at Clark Island.
Sponsor Wanted, Smeg, Gotta Love It 7, Sharks/Coldwell Banker and Delonghi were all closely bunched behind The Rag and ultimately this group produced a close contest for almost the entire journey.
On the second windward leg, Smeg grabbed second spot 1m30s behind Rag & Famish at the Rose Bay marks.
At this point Sponsor Wanted was third, Gotta Love It 7 fourth followed by Sharks/Coldwell Banker Real Estate and Delonghi.
This group had opened up a break on the remainder of the fleet which was headed by Pure Blonde (James Francis), Fisher & Paykel (Andrew Cuddihy), Project Racing (Andy Budgen), Club Marine (Marcus Ashley-Jones) and Kinder Caring Home Nursing (Brett Van Munster).
Rag & Famish increased her lead to 2m30s at the bottom mark the second time but the race for second place was really hotting up.
7 was in second place just ahead of Sharks/Coldwell Banker, Delonghi and Smeg which all went around almost together.
The breeze dropped over the final lap of the course but it had no affect on the leader as The Rag's crew maintained their lead to record a comfortable win.
One pre race casualty was Archie Massey's Asko Appliances which suffered from a gear breakage in the rigging area just before the start.
Some of the new teams are showing early potential and the fleet will also be boosted by the return next week of six skiffs from their USA campaign.
Australian 18 Footers League