by Alex Webster
Close racing in the Etchells World Championship Sydney Australia 2012.
Flight 4 of the Auckland Etchells Tuesday Night Season were sailed on Tuesday November 27, Fleet Captain Alex Webster reports:
After last week's fluky conditions, Flight 4 of the Tuesday Night Series was eagerly anticipated and well-attended by a spirited fleet, which included season-newcomer Mike Sanderson at the helm of Affinity (17).
A peppy southerly promised to shake a few things lose out on the Waitemata and Johnny Melville aboard Bobby's Girl (1058) was prompted to break out the No.1 sail wardrobe, buoyed no doubt, by last week's commendable season début.
The sound of flogging canvas set hearts racing throughout the fleet as the first start lined-up - particularly aboard the committee boat, Sine Wave, where John and Megan Kensington nervously eyed their fresh gel-coat.
Unused to the fresher conditions, a majority of the fleet crossed early, but after a re-start, all settled into their work in the turning tide.
From this point on, your correspondent's attention to his fellow competitors waned as, after a serviceable start Waiwera's (1240) main outhaul parted and a jury rig was quickly assembled before the start of race 2 by the very able Richard Smith and Gareth Rowan.
At the finish, Bobby's Girl (1058) romped home from Valsheda (950) and Feng Shui (1348) just pipped Mike Sanderson in Affinity (17) for third.
In Race 2 Waiwera (1240) pulled off a well-timed start and the fleet took the bit between its teeth for a strong beat through a descending fleet of racers under spinnaker. A the top mark (layed just off the Squadron) Waiwera hit the lay-line and tacked in about 4th when Upfront (814) arrived unexpectedly on port and undertook some alterations.
Effusive in his apologies, Scott Kennedy and Upfront (814) gallantly escorted Waiwera (1240) back to the dock. Regretfully, therefore you will have to rely upon the results to gain a fuller impression of what occurred thereafter. Briefly, however, Valsheda (950) won Race 2 from Bobby's Girl (1058) and Feng Shui (1348). In Race 3 Valsheda (950) took another bullet from Echelon (1379) and Footloose (914).
In the overall standings, Valsheda (950) and Feng Shui (1348) are pulling away, but there is much still to play for further back and the series is far from over (at least I hope so...)
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