Following a hotly-contested Skandia Geelong Week sailing event, Sydney-based Bob Steel, announced winner of Division 1 in the Audi IRC series and Peter Sorensen, the winner of Division 2, also a Sydney-sider, have found themselves tied for first place in the opening round of the prestigious Audi IRC Australian Championship series 2008.
Mark and Mike Wella took out honours in Division 3 with their Lidgard 36 “Alien” to place second in the Championship after the first of four regattas.
Steel, from the CYCA in Sydney, took his TP52 “Quest” to a marked win in the grand prix division, winning five of the seven-race series, while Sorensen of MHYC, a renowned Sydney skiff sailor, won three out of seven races and placed second in two others with his Sydney 36CR “Philosophers Club”.
When the final scores were tallied, the two friends found they were tied for the leadership with three events of the national championship series remaining.
The pair will now hoist their bright orange ‘leader flags’ aboard their respective yachts for the second round of the Championship, the Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta, hosted by Middle Harbour Yacht Club in Sydney from 1-2 March this year.
“Actually, we’re very pleased with ourselves. We were a bit lucky to carry the disqualification (they were disqualified from a win in race 2 after a protest) and we were living with a bit of apprehension – the Passage Race could have been a small boat race and that would have been the end of us,” said Steel, who has not previously competed at Geelong Week.
“We’re definitely doing all the other Audi Championship events (Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta in March, Audi Sydney Gold Coast in July and Audi Hamilton Island Race Week in August) and have our eye on the Championship trophy – and the Audi Q7.”
The Audi IRC Championship continues in 2008 with the upcoming Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta in March, Audi Sydney to Gold Coast in July and Audi Hamilton Island Race Week in August
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