Race 3 of the 2018 JJ Giltinan Championship provided an abundance of thrills and spills.
The Kiwi boats, Maersk Line, C-Tech, Honda Marine and Knight Frank all had fantastic starts which set them up well from the beginning.
The tricky south-easterly conditions provided shifts, lifts and knocks at every tack and it was Finport Trade Finance (AUS) who took the early lead with Maersk Line (Josh Porebski, Dave Hazard and Jack Simpson) in second.
Honda Marine (Dave McDiarmid, Matt Steven and Brad Collins) rounded the top mark in fourth, but managed to pass Harken (USA) on the first downwind to Obelisk. Unfortunately C-Tech had a capsize however managed to recover quickly.
The top five boats, Finport Trade Finance, Honda Marine, Maersk Line, Harken and C-Tech had an almighty battle for the duration of the race. The lead changed several times with Maersk Line and Honda Marine managing to get in front at one point or another. But for Race 3, Fineport Trade Finance was just too good and they took the gun and the win.
After an up and down race, Honda Marine crossed in second with Maersk Line just moments later in third. They also had a spectacular capsize on the line which provided some extra entertainment for the spectators who crowded the finish line.
Harken had an outstanding race and managed to hold onto fourth with C-Tech finishing fifth. Knight Frank, although slightly unhappy with their result considering they were well up the front during the first half of the race, crossed in a very respectable seventh to round out yet another all Kiwi top 10 finish.
After three races, Honda Marine and Maersk Line lead the regatta on seven points each. Finport rounds out the top three and sit on 12 points.
The regatta is breaking from tradition and on Wednesday 7 March, there will be two races back to back. Race 4 and Race 5 will be windward leeward, giving the sailors an extra challenge. If something was to go wrong in Race 4, the chances of being able to return to shore to fix before Race 5 are quite slim.
There is still a long way to go, and it’s anyones game.
1. Finport Trade Finance
2. Honda Marine
3. Maersk Line
7. Knight Frank
8. The Kitchen Maker
10. Rag and Famish Hotel