STAWELL - After the previous week's event, the weather was like Groundhog Day for the latest Stawell Yacht Club pennant race at Lake Fyans, where Ararat based sailor Tony Hillier prevailed for a well-deserved win in the 125 dinghy 'Big Al'.
Tony and crewman Mal Jones from St Arnaud proved to be a formidable combination, stamping their class on a good-sized fleet of ten boats.
Regrettably and particularly on a day like this, sailing is not always a riveting spectator sport, but a fire-fighting helicopter managed to enliven proceedings at one stage by dropping in to the lake for a refill at the western end of the course.
On the water the closest competition was again provided by the five Impulse class boats, with John Knight making the early pace, (the word 'pace' used here in a relative context) soon to be joined at the front by Ibs von Seht.
Sailing in close formation, the pair proceeded to open up a big margin on the opposition in a breeze so light and variable that boats only fifty metres apart had a differential wind direction of ninety degrees or more.
Eventually Knight succumbed to the windward mark blues and found himself becalmed, while Ibs von Seht cruised off unchecked.
After regaining his momentum, Knight again ended up out of luck and motionless at the next mark, where the other three Impulses caught him.
While Ibs von Seht disappeared into the distance, these remaining four contenders fought it out over several legs in a very close tussle for outright second, with a blanket four-way finish providing some rare excitement for the day after no less than two and a half hours on the water.
Final handicap results gave Ibs von Seht second place ahead of Peter Knight with John Knight fourth.
The race was sponsored by club supporter Best's Wines.