Day one of the Nash Advisory VX One Nationals commenced from Royal Brighton Yacht Club today, with four races sailed in a building south easterly breeze under the watchful eye of Kevin Wilson with his brother Ross Wilson as deputy.
Mack One AUS332, Ben Franklin, Josh Franklin and Alan Moffat, who have won the last four VX One National Championships lead after day one, with three wins from the four races, and a third in race four. Pipeline Drillers AUS330 were the only other team to take a win from the on form trio, Brett Whitbread, Danny Fuller, and Brayden Daunt are second overall.
“It’s a great venue, cracking breeze, big waves, a little bit like Adelaide!” said Ben Franklin, skipper of Mack One. “It’s good to have the Mack One boys back together”, he continued.
“The Queensland fleet is pretty strong at the moment, Pipeline, Conde (AUS 243 Late Shift), the whole fleet is pretty strong. We are mixing it up each weekend with results, they are on the pace” he revealed as a bit of a preview as to how the regatta might unfold.
Race one eventually started under black flag on the third attempt, set at 200 degrees, as the fleet came to terms with the Yarra river run out on Port Phillip following the recent rain. One boat was black flagged. A strong left side gain saw a clear lead group emerge, with the mini battles synonymous with the VX One class ensuing throughout the mid-fleet. The downwind leg saw big gains made by those crews with their head out of the boat. By the second top mark the top ten was all but set. Setting the tone for places for the day, positions one, two and three were taken by AUS332 Mack One, AUS330 Pipeline Drillers and AUS359 Gidget respectively skippered by Dave Alexander with Max Sturman and Max Yoshida.
Race two was set at 190 as the breeze shifted in line with the forecast. A clean start saw the fleet split again, but it remained the left side of the course that gave the best rewards. AUS332 Mack One put space on boats behind them, but there was a shakeup in the top ten, with AUS355 Beta Blvd and AUS319 Dollop taking second and third place.
The fleet struggled with changing conditions for race three with two boats scoring UFD. The course continued to shift left, and was set at 170. Regardless, it was Mack One who took the win in the third race of the day, showing why they have dominated the class in recent years with a clinical execution.
Race four saw the strongest breeze of the day, with a course again set at 170. The course was more even with the settled breeze, and it was Pipeline Drillers who led around the top mark, they held their lead to the finish.
With a northerly forecast for day two, anything is on the cards for the dynamic VX One fleet. With a possible seven races remaining in the series big movements are expected throughout the fleet.
A big thanks to ThinkImpact for their support of the racing today. Ross Wyatt said his support of sailing goes back to when he was 12 years old and was fascinated by the wind powering boats, and he is still today working on alternative and sustainable ways to move our world forward. Check our social channels for more @vxoneaus.
Nic Douglass @SailgirlHQ
VX One Australia Media