Dragon Edinburgh Cup - Spectacular dogfight on day 3

2013 Dragon Edinburgh Cup day 3
On day three of the 2013 Dragon Edinburgh Cup, it was all change in Weymouth, where today's fifth race brought high tension on the race course and the introduction of the discard. As a result the leader board has been well and truly shuffled and it will be all to play for in tomorrow's final race.

Today's race winner was fleet newcomer Grant Gordon, sailing with Ruaridh Scott and Joost Houweling, who enjoyed a spectacular dog fight with Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen, sailing with Andrew Norden and Hamish McKay. Initially Hoj-Jensen just had the upper hand, but on the second run Gordon got through to take control for the remainder of the race. Behind them the chasing pack was vying for position with constant place changing and some nail biting mark roundings. Ultimately Gavia Wilkinson-Cox, sailing with Jean Sebastien Ponce and Vicente Pinheiro de Melo, got the best of the situation and led Simon Brien, sailing with Mark Brien and David Gomes, Mick Cotter, sailing with Simon Fry and Tim Goodbody, Mark Dicker, sailing with James Campbell, and Drummond Sydenham and Klaus Diederichs, sailing with Andy Beadsworth and Jamie Lea, across the line.

2013 Dragon Edinburgh Cup day 3

The race also produced some big upsets with several of the leading boats being black flagged including overnight leader Lawrie Smith, sailing with Ossie Stewart and Tim Tavinor, and leading Corinthian Julia Bailey, sailing with Graham Bailey, Keith Tippell and Will Heritage.

In the overall standings Hoj-Jensen now leads the regatta on twenty points, a single point ahead of Diederichs with Wilkinson-Cox third on 22 and Smith fourth on 24. Gordon has jumped up the leaderboard from ninth to fifth, seven points behind Smith and one point ahead of Bailey.

In the Corinthian Division Julia Bailey hangs onto her lead by four points despite today's black flag. Simon Brien, sailing with Mark Brien and David Gomes, is in second and Julian Sowry, sailing with Claire Sowry and Neil O'Hagan is eight points back in third.

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Today's other big excitement was the traditional Edinburgh Cup Crews Race, which is normally a fairly relaxed affair. But this year the crews were clearly in fighting form and it took two general recalls and the introduction of the black flag to get the race underway. Even with the black flag deterrent the fleet was still over eager and three of the teams, including German Star saillor Marc Pickel, sailing Marcus Brennecke's boat with Thomas Auracher, were sent home for the early bath.

For the sixteen teams remaining on the course it was action all the way. Guy Clarabut, sailing with owner Jono Ratnage and Ross McKissock, led on the first lap but a couple of big shifts turned the fleet inside out and ultimately it was James Campbell sailing with owner Mark Dicker and Drummond Sydenham who took the winner's laurels, with Justin Waples sailing with owner Rob Campbell and Tom Waples second, Jon Mortimer sailing with co-owner Owen Pay and Matt Walker third, and Katie Cole sailing with Peter Marchant and Andy Biddle fourth. Although a little disappointed with his eventual fifth place in the race Guy Clarabut was none the less delighted to accept the prize for the first helm 30 years old or under, which he just managed to snatch on the line from Will Heritage.

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The Edinburgh Cup supported by Aberdeen Asset Management concludes tomorrow with just one final race to sail, a forecast of north-westerly backing westerly at 10 to 18 knots and a latest start cut off time of 13.00. With only twelve points separating the top six boats and Hoj-Jensen currently discarding a fourteenth place the championship remains wide open.

Overall Top Six After Five Races

1. Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen, GBR775 Danish Blue - 5,(14),10,3,2 = 20
2. Klaus Diederichs, GBR758 Fever - 1,(15),7,6,7 = 21
3. Gavia Wilkinson-Cox, GBR761 Jerboa - 10,8,(12),1,3 = 22
4. Lawrie Smith, GBR785 Alfie - 8,6,8,2,(42bfd) = 24
5. Grant Gordon, GBR780 Louise - 7,7,16,(19),1 = 31
6. Julia Bailey, GBR720 Aimee - 3,2,2,25,(42bfd) = 32 (Corinthian)

Event website
http://www.sail-world.com/111324