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Geoff Oliver and Excitabull make up huge ground on rivals to claim heat two of winter series

Des BeeckAlbany Advertiser
Excitabull on its last spinnaker run.
Camera IconExcitabull on its last spinnaker run. Credit: Des Beeck

Eight yachts from three divisions were combined for a staggered start over a harbour course last Saturday in heat two of the winter series.

Division two and flying fifteens began 30 minutes ahead of the larger division one boats and it was close racing throughout as the division one yachts chased their smaller opponents.

Doing extremely well from the start was Simon Lucas who scampered away in his Flying Fifteen boat FForever Young to lead the fleet throughout.

He had the company of another Flying Fifteen, Wayne North in Frequent Flyer for the early stages before surging way again.

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Stephen Lee had Flasheart moving well as was Aileen Lucas in Crazy.

Division 1 start with Excitabull winning the start and the race over Jessie James.
Camera IconDivision 1 start with Excitabull winning the start and the race over Jessie James. Credit: Des Beeck

Bringing up the rear was Stephen Brown in Mary Maitland which was struggling to match it with the leaders and Neil Worrell having his first outing with Zuri after a long layoff.

Now enter Geoff Oliver in Excitabull and Brett Hawker in Jessie James to make up the 30 minutes to the rest of the fleet.

Oliver got away from Hawker right from the start but lost his spinnaker halyard which allowed Hawker to take the lead as both boats were making inroads on the others.

Oliver sent a crew member up the mast to retrieve the wayward halyard and re-hoisted the spinnaker.

Excitabull quickly ran down Jessie James to again take the front position with only FForever Young to catch.

Division 2 and the Flying Fifteens with FForever Young in front.
Camera IconDivision 2 and the Flying Fifteens with FForever Young in front. Credit: Des Beeck

Lucas looked a lone figure as he was five minutes ahead of the nearest boat to cross the finish line first but Oliver had done enough to take the race by just under two minutes, leaving FForever Young in second place.

North in Frequent Flyer who had a tremendous spinnaker duel with Lucas in Crazy had his best result for quite a while, finishing third in a fine effort.

Heat three will be conducted on Saturday starting at 1.30pm.

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