Sweet Baby Jesus, the racing is getting close out there. The margins are getting slimmer with each successive week and it is a credit to the series leaders that they are hanging on on to podium berths so tenaciously, when the slightest error can be so brutally punished by a close-following fleet.
Conditions were perfect for Flight 6 and ROs Warwick and Theresa Gair set an excellent course across the breadth of the harbour.
The committee saw off 3 races, plus the first general recall of the season, for which your correspondent was pathetically grateful, having placed all of his eggs in a boat-end start, that was about to turn to messy, eggy custard.
Guest rock-star helm, Rob Salthouse on Upfront (814) fairly hurtled out of the first start and made startling progress to the first mark, which can only be attributable to beginner's luck.
Valsheda (950) and Affinity (1059) also took good starts and worked up the left side of the course to round in touch and ultimately take 2nd and 3rd, respectively.
Aboard Feng Shui (1348), guest rock-star bow, Simon 'Stirfry' Fry must have had trouble with Matt 'G Unit' Kelway's esoteric knitting as Willzy's crew posted an uncharacteristic 8th, behind Tortuga (779) and her rock-starlette bow, Louisa.
However, knots unraveled, Feng Shui (1348) came back strongly to take 1st and 2nd in the next two races, keeping Upfront (814) out in third place.
On the day, a bullet and 2 thirds was enough for Rob Salthouse and crew on Upfront (814) to take out first place. But a late, gracious retirement (possibly unprecedented in this fleet) by Auckland Champion, Lincoln Fraser and Maverick (1077), following a tricky windward-mark call, has put Valsheda (950) ahead - and leaves all to play for when Salty returns next week.
Results are here (flight) and here (series)
Alex Webster is Auckland Fleet Captain and runs this website, so blame him.