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UNEXPLAINED TACTICAL ERROR COSTS KIWI CREW CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD.

by Ian Grant on 16 Aug 2000
Highly respected New Zealand One-design yacht racing tactician Brett Neill squandered the chance to become the outright leader in the Hog's Breath National Sydney 38 class sailing championship over the Whitsunday Sailing Clubs Pioneer Bay course today.

Neill normally a reliable and clever tactician surprisingly elected to sail his own course that was in complete contrast to his rivals.

The New Zealand crew in The E Business had good reason to be confident following their masterful tactical win in the morning windward leeward race.

Neill took advantage over his rival Australian skippers with a clear wind start that gave them an early option to sail the wind shifts with maximum advantage.

The 'Clone'class Sydney 38 design that is relatively new again displayed the excitement and uncertainty of One-Design racing particularly when human related mistakes occur.

Skipper Neill assisted by an equally talented crew sailed to an overall lead with the impressive 1-2-2-1 score.

They expressed fast and efficient crew work and clever match racing tactics when they outpaced and out-thought Barry Moore's New South Wales crew in Blowfly and Victorian World sailing champion John Savage in 38 Degrees South to score a clear win in race four.

But they certainly 'run of the rails' in the crucial fifth race when the wind faded and became tricky with various direction changes.

They were in the thick of the tactical 'dog-fight' with 38 Degrees South, Blowfly and Queensland's Asylum when the rigs were tensioned for the second windward work.

However the elected tactics produced a disastrous result when they finished a distant fourth to compact the championship pointscore with 2 points separating The E Business, Blowfly and 38 Degrees South after five intensively competitive races.

RESULTS:
Hog's Breath Sydney 38 National Championship race 4: The E Business (B Neill,NZL) 1, Blowfly (B Moore,NSW) 2, 38 Degrees South (J Savage,Vic) 3, Asylum (W Kirkpatrick,Qld) 4. Race 5: 38 Degrees South 1, Blowfly 2, Asylum 3, The E Business 4: Progressive Pts (No Drop): The E Business 1-2-2-1-4 10pts on countback 1, Blowfly 2-3-1-2-2 10pts 2, 38 Degrees South 4-1-3-3 12pts 3, Asylum 3-4-4-4-3 18pts 4.

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