Day 3 kicked off with another windy day for the sailors. With a strong and shifty southerly the experience of the sailors prominently came into play today. It was challenging for the sailors, with lots of boats capsizing on the downwinds, and some spectacular saves. The winds also resulted in a few injuries for sailors, such as bumps, cuts and cruises, to all parts of the body, with Michael Hayton of the Silver Fleet going on to win the following two races after a cut to the face this morning.
Mahia Pepper pulled out all the stops today, with two firsts, after just scraping through to the gold fleet due to gear failure yesterday and one unfortunate start. Today was a day for the males; sorting the men from the boys, but still some highly respectable work from the girls today. Erica Dawson sits third overall, after two races (of three) for today. Erica is a great role model for younger female sailors, proving girls can be just as fast as boys even in the heavy winds.
The conditions highlighted the importance of boat maintenance, with numerous vang breakages and a other various gear failure. Most rigs stayed upright today, with only one coming down. The conditions were such that more reefs were to be seen, helping the lighter sailors handle to trying conditions, with it too windy for their liking.
Today the Development Fleet continued in the fresh conditions, with a destination sail down the coast towards Milford Beach. They were starting to enjoy themselves much more, especially whilst planing, and smiles were to be seen, with less capsizes all round. It is great to see the sailors really develop and prove that this aspect of the Nationals is a worthwhile addition.
Good starting today, with two out of three starts for both fleets being completely clear. Thankfully no black flags; making things much easier for both the sailors and Race Officer, Richard Brown.
Looking forward to seeing what the final day holds for the sailors and who will be our Starling National Champion for 2012.
Photos here: www.facebook.com/murraysbaysailingclub
Results here: www.murraysbay.org/index.php?page=starling-nationals-2010
Words: Julia Hamilton. Photos: Brian Haybittle