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Sydney 40 Match Racing Duel

by Rob Kothe on 4 Jan 2001
After 42 hours line honours in the 226 nautical miles Strathfield Pittwater to Coff's race in the IMS division was decided by 31 seconds.

Sledgehammer had won the start off Barrenjoey by some 10 boat-lengths. However he sail choice left her underpowered and within 15 miles Davnet had begun to edge closer. As Sledgehammer slowed in the sail change, Davnet passed her by.

Over the next 211 miles, the two duelling Sydney 40 One Design yachts, fought tack for tack, up the coastal beaches.

The lead boat, repeatedly tacked on the following boats line to leave her in disturbed air and there was no quarter given as they approached the harbour, only two boat lengths apart. The breeze had been swinging to the left.

Davnet, still in the lead sailed over towards Mutton Bird Island, but Sledgehammer tacked short and within the protected harbour, the wind had dropped away and it looked for a few minutes as if the trailing boat, might sneak through.

However Davnet picked up a puff on the right and maintained her lead.

Davnet, the likely Admiral's Cup 2001 Australian entrant, with Jamies McPhail and Phil Eiszele, beat her sister ship Sledgehammer, skippered by Ron Jones by a boat length.

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