Written by Dan King of Brightlingsea SC
Day-4 saw firm, warm south westerly winds coming off the Sterling mountain- range and out across the bay. Perfect conditions for all and a great day it proved to be for many.
Many, many happy returns to Craig Bond on his 50th birthday – Craig and Tom King have smiled their way through the week and so it proved today as well.
With Millie and Jessica lying 1st by only 1 point overnight to the Irish boat of Ross Kearney, there was high hopes and jangling nerves as the boats went out for the first race of the day (Race 11).
A stonking start saw Millie and Jessica head out into the lead, easily clearing the windward mark in 1st place closely followed by the Filipino boat and Ross Kearney. However on the final beat to the line they were pushed into 2nd place with Ross coming through into the lead. So all points square at the end of 11 races – let the nail biting commence.
No such sign of nerves in the 2nd race of the day though (race 12) with the girls storming to 1st place easily beating the field. With the Tazzy girls in 2nd, the Filipinos in 3rd and Ross Kearney in 4th there should be a 3 point lead at the top for Millie and Jessica.
In the last race of the day (race 13) controversy reigned. With the girls well placed, the on-water judges decided an infringement to the rules had taken place and whistled their boat. On hearing the whistle the girls executed a 360 degree turn – not a 720 degree turn as listed in the sailing instructions. Although they crossed the line in 4th they were subsequently disqualified handing the overall lead to Ross Kearney who had crossed the line in 3rd.
They now lie in 2nd place overall 5.2 points behind Ross, with Ross’s average scores improving race by race due to an incident earlier in the week where he suffered a holed boat that was rightly adjudged to not be his fault.
The girls have graciously accepted the judge’s decision, unlike some of their supporters (namely yours truly). The Filipinos and South African lead boats follow closely behind so there is no room for any further slippages.
Elsewhere in the field, the Lulham-Robinsons took an excellent 6th in the 11th race, an 8th in the 12th race and 19th (discard) in the 13th race to stand in an excellent 9th overall by the close of day 4. Matthew and Ben are only discarding a 20th and a 19th after 13 races, proving how consistent you need to be to score well in the Worlds.
David Conlon and Charlotte Boind pulled a 12th in the 11th race, 18th in the 12th and 8th in the final race of the day (race 13) to move back up to 13th overall. This has been a frustrating Worlds for the reigning 29er UK national champion but perseverance pays off and they are still in the hunt for a top 10 finish.
Miles & Rory Odell took an 18th, suffered a black flag discard in race 12 and, with Miles sporting what can only be described as ‘war paint’ instead of sunblock, closed the day with a very solid 14th place to lie in 16th overall.
Nigel and Rob Thomas continue to show consistency with a 25th and a 23rd in the first two races. Then a very strong sail in the final race earned them a 6th place to leave them lying in 17th place overall (180 points net) just 5 points ahead of Ed Grayson & Mat Foster in 18th overall.
Ed Grayson and Mat Foster suffered a capsize in the 11th race clocking a 41st after being well placed, improved in the 12th race to take a 19th place, but suffered again in race 13 with a 51st. Allowing for discards has not damaged them that much and sets up an interesting 3 way tussle with the British boats for the final day.
Emma & Rachel Grayson came an excellent 15th in the 11th race, a 17th in the 12th putting a smile on the girls faces as they came in for lunch. Unfortunately a capsize in race 13 gave them a 46th place discard to lie a much improved 24th overall at the close of the day.
Craig Bond and Tom King took 29th, 21st and 29th to lie 27th overall. Martin Egan and Ruth Smith took a 44th, 40th and a 45th (discard) to lie 40th overall.
Ollie and James King had another torrid day with two 51st in the first 2 races and 2 capsizes in the 13th race to finish in 55th, leaving them in 54th overall.
Ben and Vicki had a really great 11th race but unfortunately Vicki then injured her hand ahead of the 12th race – leaving substitute Julie Eeles to take the helm with Ben for the last race of the day. They found the drink and retired but a great experience for the mother/son duo.
Just time to wish Craig many happy returns once again – go enjoy your birthday fella – and the girls all the best for the final day tomorrow.