On day 3 of the 18ft Skiff Mark Foy Championships, three races (heats 3-6) were scheduled amid 10-15 knots N/E wind with the breeze softening throughout the afternoon. Most skiffs went with their one rigs expecting a relatively easy day.
Ugly Stick - 52nd Interdominions - 12ft Skiffs 2011
At the beginning of the first race the wind freshened to 15-20kts and continued to increase as the day went on making top end one rig challenging and creating plenty of action. Of most interest was C-Tech with its unconventional mainsail head which was first time on the water for their one rig after launching the new boat just prior to the start of the regatta.
In all races C-Tech appeared fastest boat scoring a first and second in the first two races however they scored a 10 point mine capsize in the bear away at the top mark while leading the third race of the day dropping them to fifth place in the race.
DeLongi had good speed and sailed well to record a 1,2,2 for the day being beaten on the line in the last race by CST.
The minor placings in each race were sorted out on the second downwind leg in each race which was a 'death' angle two sail reach with the very over powered one rigs. Capsizes. Unplanned round ups and green wet stuff all over the foredecks had all boats right on the edge of disaster.
CST had a mixed day with a fifth then their headsail traveller jammed on a tack throwing them over in the second race and then a win giving a 5,7,1 for the day.
Yamaha and Maersk had good racing with a 3,3,9 and 4,4,3 respectively. Yamaha had the mine of the day in the third race when their spinnaker halyard let go and the boat stood on its nose in about two seconds giving spectators a brilliant example of the challenges of sailing an 18ft skiff.
Rest day Thursday with two more heats scheduled for Friday.
For the 12 foot Skiff 52nd Interdominions, race 7 and 8 provided some big challenges for the fleet. The wind was from the north again but lighter than the day before.
There was a split rig decision in the fleet with some going big rig and others going second. The course was also the same as the day before. The big rigs were struggling their way around the course whilst the two second rig boats had good results. Some boats managed to sneak in and change down a rig as the wind built but the fleet predominantly stayed with the big rig. Race seven had Gemmell sails winning followed by C-Tech and a well sailed third for JJ Robertson.
Race 8 saw one of the second rigs come through with ugly stick winning followed by C-Tech and then Gemmell sails.
Today is a Lay Day and time for some well earned rest. Two races to go and we will have a winner. The top four boats are close on points and it is anyone's game yet.