ANZAC 18ft skiffs: Fresh to frightening on Australia's Day

Steinlager ANZAC 18ft Skiffs, Day 3

Day three was Australia Day at the Steinlager 18 foot skiff ANZAC regatta in Auckland. Michael Coxon and his crew of Thurlow Fisher Lawyers shone in the strong winds, picking up wins in both races today.

In doing so, Coxon stole the lead from Kiwi favourite Alex Vallings onboard C-Tech, and now that the drop has come into play, Coxon leads the regatta by three points with two races to sail.

Conditions today started out as rather frightening, with gusts of 38 knots keeping the sailors shorebound for an hour after the scheduled start. The crews were all itching to get out on the harbour and while the breeze may have dropped enough to get a start away, there was still plenty of carnage on the race track.

Once again, the windward leeward courses provided some intense and close racing. The first top mark in race one saw a pileup with C-Tech, Yamaha Grey, Kenwood-Rabittohs getting a bit close for comfort and Thurlow Fisher managing to sail around the outside and get some clean air and blast off down wind and staying clear to win. All crews showed some impressive boat handling and posted some terrific speeds in the flat water and gusty wind.

Tomorrow’s forecast is for slightly more sedate sailing, giving the sailors some respite after what has been an extremely testing three days. The top spot on the podium is still undecided, with three crews separated by just four points.

Yamaha (NZL) and Thurlow Fisher (AUS) ANZAC 18ft Skiffs, Day 3

Steinlager ANZAC 18ft Skiffs, Day 3

Steinlager ANZAC 18ft Skiffs, Day 3

Steinlager ANZAC 18ft Skiffs, Day 3

Steinlager ANZAC 18ft Skiffs, Day 3