by Chris Payne
The first race of the day started under a black flag on the second attempt with four boats being disqualified for being over the line. Tomis Musil/Jan Stantejsky (CZE) came out of the left hand corner to lead at the first mark, with John Heyward/Brett Littledike(AUS) second and David Wade/Ben McGrane(GBR) third. Matt Mee/Richard Wagstaff(GBR) was further back but caught up ground on the second reach when the front boats sailed too high for the mark. Musil/Stantejsky had a technical issue with their spinnaker sheets and pulled out of the race. Mee/Wagstaff were able to get to the left side of the course first on the second beat and got around the front runners to lead at the top of the second beat, and went on to win the race. Nathan Stockley/Sam Muirhead(AUS) also climbed through the front runners to climb into third behind Heywood/Littledike. British national champion Tom Jeffcoate/Mark Hogan were black flagged.
The second race was again a little windier getting up to 15 knots at times, and a lot more from the left hand side, which put the gybe mark close to shore for the spectators to watch the excitement. Frank Miller/Marguerite O’Rouke(IRL) were over the line for the second time in the day and were recorded disqualified for both races.
The left hand side of the course again paid off and the usual suspects were at the front in a tight bunch, this included Mee/Wagstaff, Wade/McGrane, Stockley/Muirhead, Musil/Stantejsky and joined by current world champion ZRichard Estaugh/Rob Gardener(GBR). The sailing was great and Mee/Wagstaff stamped their authority on the regatta with another 1st, but this time with Stockley/Muirhead 2nd ahead of Wade/McGrane.
This puts Mee/Wagstaff in a very strong position ahead of Stockley/Muirhead and Wade/McGrane, who all have a substantial lead of the next boats.
Tonight the sailors are enjoying the traditional French night to promote the World Championships in La Rochelle in France and tomorrow is a lay day, so there will be plenty of sleeping and Thai Massage to recover from the hard three days of sailing.
Check out full results at www.fireball-international.com
and check out http://www.adelaidesailingclub.com.au/Fireball%20Worlds%202008.html for Australian news and photos.