Glorious sunshine and a balmy breeze may have beguiled the fleet into a state of letahrgic recreation, which the harrowing combination of a super-tide and the MRX fleet quickly dispelled in a hectic, frantic penultimate flight.
There were bumper cars on the race course and plenty more bar-karate at Swashies afterwards, but the essential lesson learned is that, in a very close fleet, it always pays to avoid trouble.
Fortunes were mixed up and down the leader board on a crowded, tide-slewn course. Echelon (1379) took out race 1, only to see their fortunes turn rapidly south in race 2 with a 9th place. A second place in race 3 proved that the bullet was no fluke, however.
Feng Shui (1348) and Alliance (1295) were also up and down, while Vilda Hilda (906) had the steadiest run of 4, 3 3.
In the end, a bullet and a second were enough for Feng Shui to hold on to first overall from Vilda Hilda and Alliance.
Next week is the final flight before the Christmas break. Please take a look at next year's calendar and note that the Auckland Champs are on Monday 12th February and Tuesday 13th February. The COAST Nationals are on Saturday 3rd March and Sunday 4th March.
Please note also that the World Champs will be held in Brisbane in October next year, with a series of curtain-raisers scheduled from mid-April. At least 3 NZL crews are planning to head to Brisbane and all members are encouraged to consider a campaign.
Results are here (flight) and here (series).
Alex Webster is Auckland Fleet Captain and runs this website, so blame him.