Following yesterday's layday, the 18ft Skiff fleet is today preparing for their second long distance race

Yesterday (Wednesday) was a lay day in the 18ft Skiff Velamare Cup series and, with approximately half of the races now sailed, this is perhaps a good time to speculate on the final outcome of the championship.

The Australian team of Trevor Barnabas, Phil Hebden and Trent Barnabas on board Omega Smeg currently hold a commanding lead. Trevor has won the JJ Giltinan World Championship Trophy on five occasions, and it is unlikely that he will relax his grip on this series, but there is still a lot of racing to done and, as all sailors know, anything can happen.

With six races now having been sailed (actually five, but the long distance races count as two) the first discard comes into effect, but it must be borne in mind that the races which are finally discarded cannot be determined until the series has been completed. This means that taking discards into consideration at this stage is nothing more than conjecture, but it is nevertheless interesting to take a look.

Behind Omega Smeg, Fisher & Paykel sailed by Grant Rollerson, Glenn Raphael and Chris Cleary is in second place after a discard, and Computer Associates sailed by John Winning, Anthony Young and Euan McNicol comes up to third, showing the strength of the Australian 18 foot Skiff sailors.

This afternoon, the second long distance race will be held, and then we have three normal races tomorrow. By then, the final outcome will be looking even clearer.