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Blue water champion holds out Brindabella

by Lisa Ratcliffe on 16 Apr 2000
Three-time IMS Bluewater Champion Roger Hickman (Atara) is holding a slender lead over George Snow's Brindabella in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's
prestigious IMS Bluewater Championship during the final race of the series - the Sunlover Holidays Sydney - Mooloolaba Yacht Race.

Going into this race, which began in Sydney Harbour on Saturday afternoon, Atara held only a 2-point lead over Brindabella, and so far, the points separating
them in this race have also come down to the wire.

At this evening's position report, the fleet was spread out over 140 miles between Nambucca Heads and Port Stephens, with Wild Thing still in the lead by ten

Using water ballast has definitely made a difference to Wild Thing's performance according to skipper Grant Wharington. 'The breeze has been building all day
and we have been adjusting the amount of water in the tanks accordingly.'

'We have managed to maintain our lead over Brindabella and we are hoping to extend that overnight,' Grant said from his MiniSat satellite phone this afternoon.

Martin James' pocket maxi Infinity III has slipped into 3rd place behind Brindabella followed by the two Open 60s A99 (Sean Langman) and RSLCOM (John

On handicap, Fruit Machine (Neill Whiston) is still the IMS overall leader while Berani (David Todner) is the current PHS overall leader. Richard Perini's Farr 40
Corinthian Doors is first in the IRC Division followed by another Farr 40, Leroy Brown and Wild Thing.

This evening one of the smallest boats in the 42-strong fleet, Phillips Foote, skippered by 20-year-old Liz Wardley reported winds from the nor'east at 26 knots
while the frontrunners are sailing in a NE breeze of 15-18 knots.

The forecast for the remainder of today and tomorrow is for N/NW winds overnight ahead of a 15-20 knot southerly change, which is predicted to bring rain
periods and isolated thunderstorms.

The first yachts are expected to finish in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

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