Defending champions, Kristian Nergaard, Johan Barne and Anders Pedersen, sailing Artemis XIV (NOR 57) won the first race of the 5.5 Metre Scandinavian Gold Cup.
They opened their defence of the Gold Cup with a last minute win in the first race sailed on Saturday in Newport, Australia, overtaking Beta Crucis of Martin Cross (AUS 63), Bob Stoddard and Martin Bunch in the final stages.
The forecast predicted some spectacular conditions with 37 degrees and 20-25 knots from the north-west – an onshore breeze in the Palma Beach Circle.
However it soon turned into a race of attrition with only three of the six boats finishing and most suffering some damage during the day.
Beta Crucis dominated the race, leading at the first mark and extending round the first two laps.
A collision between New Moon II (BAH 24) and Otto (SUI 209) left Otto the first to sail for home, soon followed by Shaolin (SUI 226) with a broken forestay.
With the wind gusting 27 knots, Girls on Film (GBR 40) also pulled out to leave Beta Crucis holding a nice lead on Artemis XIV and New Moon II.
Artemis XIV found second gear on the final round to close the gap but couldn’t quite catch Beta Crucis.
But in these conditions it is not over until it is over and Beta Crucis lost their 200 metre lead in the closing stages after broaching on the final gybe.
This allowed Artemis XIV to sail past to take the first victory.
A long way behind them New Moon II (header image) was also in trouble with a broach and a lost spinnaker, but finished third.
The Scandinavian Gold Cup continues Sunday with two races scheduled. The forecast is for 20 knots from the south. The fleet will also be joined on the water by the rest of the 5.5 Metre here in Pittwater as they race for the Class Cups for Classics, Evolutions and Moderns.
Scandinavian Gold Cup Results after Race 1
1st Artemis XIV NOR57 Kristian Nergaard 1.0
2nd Beta Crucis AUS63 Martin Cross 2.0
3rd New Moon BAH24 Mark Holowesko 3.0
4th Otto SUI209 Bent Christian Wilhe DNF
4th Girls On Film GBR40 Peter DNF
4th Shaolin SUI226 Cyrus Golchan DNF