"anything can happen in sailing and we will be pushing all the way."

They are leaving it late but fast-finishing Fluid Building is starting to cause some major damage at the back-end of the 16ft skiff season.

After a fairly barren run by their high standards, skipper Clint Bowen and crew Matt Wark and Brent Dennis pocketed the Australian sprint championship at Belmont earlier this month.

And they have carried that form into the Manly club championship, winning last Saturday's fourth heat to keep the pressure on series leader Fire Stopping.

Fluid started the club championship in disastrous fashion, failing to finish the first heat due to gear damage.

But they quickly recovered to post two seconds and a first to sit behind Fire Stopping on the overall pointscore.

"Unfortunately our rudder broke in the first race otherwise we would be even closer to Fire Stopping," Bowen said.

"We get to drop the DNF (Did Not Finish) but we cannot afford another poor performance.

"Fire Stopping haven't broken gear or had a bad race and at present they sit in the box seat.

"But anything can happen in sailing and we will be pushing all the way."

Fluid and two other boats - Korman Marine Composites (Felix Grech) and Southerly (Matt Triglone) – cleared out from the rest of the fleet after heat four started in light conditions.

Bowen took the lead early but did not have an easy time of it, particularly with renowned around- the-world champion Phil Harmer standing in as sheethand on Southerly.

Grech struck on the second beat, taking the lead momentarily until Bowen wrested back control and held on all the way to the finish.

Southerly was a close-finishing second with the ever-present Fire Stopping placing third to maintain its position at the top of the standings.

Korman dropped out of the race after succumbing to gear damage.

"It was good close racing throughout and in doubt most of the way," Bowen said.

"We are going very fast at the moment and it's giving us plenty of confidence to really get stuck into it."

Southerly was first on handicap from Ross Bell Electrical (Ross Bell) and Fluid.

Created By
Michael Chittenden

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