Newcomers Russell Benshaw and crew aboard Magrette (1240) set the cat amongst the pigeons with a convincing bullet in race 1 of the season's opening flight.
Shifty conditions on an sweltering evening saw the wind clock through all points of the compass as the fleet limbered up, until a merciful southerly prevailed and allowed the race committee to set a relatively short course across the ebbing tide.
A pronounced pin-bias in race 1 was offset be the strong left-to-right tide and the right hand side paid off for those in phase. As ever, the shifts under the tank farm were perilous - particularly to those caught down-tide and in a hole.
In addition to Magrette's firm statement of intent, Feng Shui (1348), Upfront (814) and Lincoln Fraser's Alliance (1295) each posted strong performances on a tricky night and there was a three-way tie on points in fourth place (resolved on count-back). All in all a very satisfying and tantalizing start to the season. In the words of Dean Barker, if you didn't enjoy that, you need to find another sport...
From next week, we hope to be able to offer live race tracking (and of course replays to your hearts' content). Instructions for signing up to this initiative have been sent to all oweners and we will follow up later in the week.
Live action and replays will be available via the website, with a link beside each (recorded) race on the website calendar.
Results here (flight) and here (series)
Alex Webster is Auckland Fleet Captain and runs this website, so blame him.