Friday 12th January, 2007.
As per the advice from the PRO the previous day, racing was on "no matter what" at 9am (8am real time) so the fleet drifted out to the start just after 8am with many quizzical looks over at the coaches boats. With the sailing instructions allowing for a full day of racing, they wondered why the early start with no breeze had to finish the regatta. Nonetheless, it was on and they were ready to make the best of the conditions.
What breeze was there was coming from the south, but clocking east, away from the coast. The AP flag wore itself out before during and after each of the 5 or 6 starts, breeze swing left almost 80deg from first start to last until the racing was called off for the time being and the fleet was sent one and a half hours later back to the beach. All boats had a paddle race back to relieve their frustration.
Melville Waters was a mill pond for the next hour, when the PRO, feeding off some clever aeronautical insiders info called race 7 back on before 12pm. All crews paddled back out to a gradually increasing breeze line some 100m off the beach and made their way to the starting line.
By 12:20 the breeze had swung to the south and was building quite nicely around 10-12kts. The fleet started with only 1311 UPBEAT Scott Schutz & Emma Knighton having to go back, and 1331 BRING IT ON AGAIN Nick Brunning & Matthew Stockes up the front heading initially to the right, the usual 1344 PANTHER Justin Sharrock & Kris Fay leading the bulk over to the left side.
The fleet were wisened up to the river by now, and all were pretty bunched up on the first work to the top mark. 1344 PANTHER rounded first with 1242 RUSTY Alan Ezzy & Liam Warburton, 1251 SCOOTER Scott Cotton & Max Vos, 1331 BRING IT ON AGAIN and 1324 FRUSTRATION Amy Lee & Maddy Nairn on their tails. 1346 RIVERDANCE Kate Brown & Grace Armstrong, 1315 OASIS Carla Doune Sexton & Shaun Hannan and locals 1317 TOO ELUSIVE Emily Oldham & Brianne Wallace made an appearance amoungst the front pack at the top too.
By the wing mark, not much had changed up front, with 1325 Tophers Toy Jay Griffin & Chris Saunders making their way into 4th position. The main battle appeared to be from 5th to 15th with some sneaky reaching work done to reshuffle the pack to the leward mark.
Over the course of race 7, the lead did not change with 1344 PANTHER up front, 1242 RUSTY confirmed in second place and a clear third to 1251 SCOOTER, with no obvious change to these positions going to occur before the finish.
1344 PANTHER crossed the line a minute ahead of 1242 RUSTY, a further minute to 1251 SCOOTER with 1331 BRING IT ON AGAIN another minute and a half from them.
Justin and Kris in 1344 PANTHER had accomplished another first to re-confirm their right to claim the title of 2007 F11 National Champions.