by Graham Smith on 29 Aug 2013
Howth Yacht Club, Co. Dublin, Ireland; Wednesday 28th August 2013: Part of the 40-strong fleet competing in the BMW J24 World Championships off Howth yesterday where fresh winds returned to enable a full programme of races to be sailed. © David Branigan/Oceansport http://www.oceansport.ie/
Defending champion Mauricio Santa Cruz from Brazil, a model of consistency with four top three finishes, leads the fleet overall but the crew from Rio is being pressed all the way by former World Champion Tim Healy of the USA who is only two points adrift. He in turn has only two points to spare over Britain’s Ian Southworth.
The third race of the series, in fresh south-easterly winds, saw Healy take line honours ahead of Bob Turner (GB), another American Travis Odenbach and Santa Cruz.
Turner’s boat, helmed by Nathan Batchelor, went one better in the fourth race with a comfortable margin of victory over Santa Cruz who had Ian Southworth (GB) chasing him. The British boat had a cracking start and the leading pack all gained by going right on the first beat.
Southworth, who was black-flagged with five other boats on the abandoned race on day two and carried the penalty into the third day, made up for that disappointment with a bullet in the fifth race. Healy finished up a satisfactory day with a second ahead of Santa Cruz to set up an interesting penultimate day of competition.