by Kerry Ellis
Peter Burling (NZL) leads on Leg 1 of Race 5, A-class catamaran World Championships, Day 3, Takapuna February 13, 2014
Sailors from Emirates Team NZ dominated the third day of racing in the 2014 A-Class Catamaran World Championships, being held at Takapuna, Auckland.
Races 5 and 6 were sailed today in the heaviest conditions of the regatta thus far, the wind prior to the first race was gusting to 18.3 so the race committee waited for several big puffs to pass through before starting.
The fleet got away into relatively steady breeze in the 15 to 17 knot range. The Emirates team immediately broke free from the fleet, favouring the left hand side of the course. At the first rounding of the bottom mark there were two distinct fleets, the Emirates boys and the rest.
Peter Burling led the Emirates crew and dominated the first race, finally leading his teammates Glenn Ashby and Blair Tuke across the line.
‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going,’ is probably the only saying that fits the conditions that the competitors raced in today. Spectators who were able to view the race were treated to a masterclass of control and speed displayed by the frontrunners.
Race Two started in more consistent breeze which built close to the wind limit of twenty two knots towards the end of the race.
The boats got off to a clean start with most of the fleet again favouring the left hand side of the course. Peter Burling rounded the bottom mark first followed closely by Glenn Ashby and Blair Tuke. Blair took the right hand side of the course hoping for a shift which could allow him to pass the leaders on the beat.
By the second rounding of the bottom mark the race was clearly split in to two groups once more; the Emirates peloton some minutes ahead of the chasing pack.
Nathan Outteridge had another shocker today with a sixth and a forty eighth due to a broken rudder bungee. resulting in a drop to ninth place overall. Many sailors would have given up, but not Nathan. He sailed the entire second race with only his starboard rudder functional. He simply never gives up.
There was carnage across the fleet with damage hitting many crews. For Alexis Reeves it was armageddon when a gybe went badly wrong resulting in a broken forward beam which saw the boat split in two. The three major components of the boat were eventually rounded up, rescued and brought back to the beach. The clear consensus of the many experts gathered on the beach was that Alexis’s regatta was over.
Again the Team New Zealand crew dominated, with Glenn Ashby crossing first ahead of Blair Tuke and Ray Davies. Peter Burling ended up fifteenth after suffering a broken starboard foil on the run to the finish.
Andrew Landenberger and Mischa Heemskerk continued to impress with rock steady performances coming in fourth and fifth.
The overall results have Glenn Ashby (AUS) on 7 ahead of Blair Tuke (NZL) on 21 and Peter Burling on 22. Andrew Landenberger (AUS) also finished on 22 and Ray Davies (NZL) on 30.
For the latest results click here
Official website: www.sailingeventstakapuna.com!new
Quotes of the Day:
Ray Davies NZL
It’s great to see the young guys going so well, I’m pleased to be within striking distance going into the final races.
Alexis Reeves (GBR): On the three piece A Class - I gybed and dug the nose in, the port hull tried to go one way and the starboard hull tried to go the other, then forward beam broke.
Glen Ashby (AUS): The last race was one of those races where the finish couldn’t come quick enough.
Blair Tuke (NZL): I haven’t won one yet but I’m going a lot quicker upwind.