Crichton catches breeze to leave rivals standing

A four-leaf clover was working its magic for Kiwi Neville Crichton’s 100-foot Alfa Romeo yesterday as his main rivals saw him steal away on a zephyr of breeze as they sat wallowing and becalmed half way across the Bass Strait .

British rival Mike Slade could only hope that a new weather system would give him a chance to attack once again when the remaining 95 of the 100 starters close on southern Tasmania . But all know that a record for the 628-mile run south, which again attracted big crowds to an unusually chilly Sydney Harbour on Boxing Day, is not going to happen this year.

Said the skipper who set the 1 day 18hr 40min 10sec target in 2005, aboard Bob Oatley’s Wild Oats: “We could see Alfa when she got her nose into the new breeze. These things happen. There is always an element of luck and things went his way.”