by Craig Heydon
At the Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik, light winds challenged crews on day three but the lack of breeze couldn’t slow down Australia’s Paralympic Games bound Sonar crew with Colin Harrison, Stephen Churm and Jonathan Harris continuing their march up the leader board, moving to second overall.
The Australian Sailing Team’s Sonar crew
Harrison and crew sit five points off the leading French crew following a fourth and a first on Thursday.
'Today brought warm weather and very light winds,' said Harrison. 'After a poor start in race six, we fought our way back to finish a respectable fourth. The next race had the fleet changing places each leg as the wind shifted until we headed out to the left on the last windward leg chasing some pressure that our 'Wind Seeker’ Stephen picked.
'This left us in first place for the final leg, which was extremely tense as we tried to move one ton of boat in two to three knots of breeze,' he said. 'There was a great sense of relief crossing the line in first place and we’ve moved up the leader board into second place behind the French with three races remaining.'
The Laser Radials hit the water for the first time with four races scheduled to kick off their regatta.
After a number of delays due to the light conditions racing finally got underway late in the day with racing stretching well into the evening with the crews not returning to shore until 8.30pm.
Australia’s Krystal Weir got her event off to a good start, ending the day one point behind leader Tina Mihelic of Croatia.
In the four short races Weir finished with two seconds and two fourths with fellow Australian Alexandra South sitting 14th overall.
In the RS:X women’s class Jessica Crisp continues to hold down fourth overall after a further two races in Medemblik.
Crisp finished with a third and a second and is now just three points off the podium and a further five off the lead.
Queensland windsurfer Joanna Sterling is 14th after a 12th and a 13th from Thursday’s two races.
Matt Bugg has moved up a position to eighth in the 2.4mR class following an eighth and a seventh on day three.
Matt Bugg racing on day three - Delta Lloyd Regatta 2012
'Well today was an improvement for me, which is really what I wanted for my first regatta back for a while,' said Bugg. 'It was a warm, sunny, summer’s day again which was lovely but it did mean getting sent in early to await the breeze which finally filled in later in the day.
'We managed to get two races in with the wind ranging from two to eight knots,' he said. 'I started badly again in both races especially the first one in which I thought I was over the line early and returned to start 20 seconds late.
'Apart from my starting I was happy with my decision making and speed around the course and ended up finishing eighth and seventh,' he said. 'This has brought me back up to eighth position and a couple of good races out of the top five. I'm finally back into the regatta state of mind and can't wait to get out there and race again tomorrow.'
In the Laser class Jake Lilley is 26th with Ki-Raphael Sulkowski 40th, while in the RS:X men’s Luke Baillie is 24th.
The 470 class is racing as a combined men’s and women’s fleet this week with Matthew and Robert Crawford sitting in eighth after the opening four races.
Australian Sailing Team website
Delta Lloyd Regatta website