To borrow a phrase from the most famous Scottish football manager of recent times (though maybe not the most loved Scottish football manager of all times), with the penultimate day of the 2014 Fireball Worlds now completed, it is squeaky-bum time for the top three crews (plural) at the regatta in Pattaya, hosted by the Royal Varuna Yacht Club.
Jaline Thompson Kambas & Cameron Philcox contesting the 2014 Fireball Worlds in Thailand
In a Skype phone-call to FI Commodore Joe Jospe yesterday (Wednesday second) this correspondent was able to confirm that the regatta, despite its small fleet has been very competitive and the visitors have been exceptionally well looked after by the club, its members and its staff. The sailing conditions have been glorious and while Joe acknowledged the various reasons why people weren’t there, he did say that those who have gone have enjoyed an exceptional two weeks.
The Australian combination of Schulz and Sheppard won the day in terms of aggregate points scoring a 1, 2 for a daily total of 3pts to the British combinations who each had a five point tally for the day. Birrell and Brearey stay atop the log but their lead is down to a single point and Sculz and Sheppard are only three points away. Hence the reference to Sir Alex Ferguson’s description of the last stages of a Premier League campaign!
While the British and Aussie crews fight for positions on the podium and in the top five overall, the pecking order of other the nationalities is being hotly contested slightly further back.
Conditions for Race 7 today were similar to Race 6, with the advantage being on the left-hand-side even though this was into a steeper chop. The reaches were very challenging and even the very small mistakes were expensive in terms of place losses.
Race 8 saw an increase in the breeze and a bunched fleet at the first weather mark. The leaders played their own game amongst themselves and the mid-fleet race started with a capsize on the weather mark by Christina and several out of control Fireballs on the reaches. Team Sargeant, Bryan and William, GBR 14887, then capsized to allow their immediate competitors to get away. The last reach was sufficiently tight that the more intelligent of the mid-fleeters decided that discretion was the better part of valour and two-sailed it. This prompted a bunch finish at the end of the day.
Tomorrow’s last two races will be equivalent to the gun-fight at the OK Corrall, while the rest of the fleet will be doing their best to defend positions hard won after four days of hard but idyllic racing. Conditions are forecast to be light! Racing gets underway at 11:00 local time (04:00 British time).
|1||GBR 15107||Christian Birrell, Sam Brearey||14.0||1||1||(dsq )||1||2||4||2||3|
|2||GBR 15087||Nathan Batchelor, Sam Pascoe||15.0||2||2||3||3||3||1||(4 )||1|
|3||AUS 15062||Ben Schulz, Doug Sheppard||17.0||(4 )||4||4||2||1||3||1||2|
|4||AUS 15071||Thomas Gordon, Jack Fletcher||26.0||5||3||5||(8 )||4||2||3||4|
|5||AUS 15048||Heather MacFarlane, Chris Payne||30.0||3||(6 )||1||4||5||6||5||6|
|6||AUS 15032||Greg Allison, Allen Blenkle||35.0||7||5||2||5||(dnf )||5||6||5|
|7||CAN 15024||Joe Jospe, Tom Egli||53.0||6||(11 )||6||10||7||8||7||9|
|8||FRA 14793||Erich Moser, Jean-Francois Nouel||55.0||8||9||8||7||6||9||(10 )||8|
|9||GBR 15092||Veronica Falat, Ben Falat||57.0||9||7||9||6||8||11||(dnf )||7|
|10||AUS 14814||Steve Goacher, Peter Crossley||63.0||(10 )||8||10||9||10||7||9||10|
|11||AUS 14812||Dick McCulloch, Glenn Stewart||70.0||12||10||7||(dnf )||9||13||8||11|
|12||GBR 14887||Bryan Sargeant, William Sargeant||86.0||13||12||13||13||14||10||11||(17)|
|13||SUI 14859||Christina Haerdi-Landerer, Cedric Landerer||91.0||11||14||12||11||13||(15 )||15||15|
|14||RSA 14901||David Laing, Mark Dee||92.0||14||13||(16 )||15||11||12||14||13|
|15||AUS 14510||Jim Hughes, Tom Hughes||93.0||15||(19 )||11||12||12||14||13||16|
|16||AUS 15011||Jaline Thompson-Kambas, Cameron Philcox||104.0||17||18||14||16||15||(dns )||12||12|
|17||AUS 15076||Tim Ninnes, Taylor Neighbour||107.0||16||15||15||14||16||(dnf )||17||14|
|18||SUI 14921||Maja Suter, Thomas Boehm||120.0||19||16||17||17||17||(dnf )||16||18|
|19||AUS 14265||Kevin Luff, Peta Luff||135.0||21||21||18||19||(dnf )||16||18||dnc|
|20||AUS 14747||Daniel Wolch, Alan Schaiars||138.0||20||20||19||18||(dns )||17||dnc||dnc|
|21||THA 10338||Jirawat Jodkby, Dylan Whitcraft||145.0||18||17||(dnf)||dnf||dnc||dnc||dnc||dnc|
Comments (via Facebook):
Ben Schulz (AUS 15062) – First and a second today! Pretty tight at the top with two races to go! Keep it simple, two wins required. No pressure :-)
Jean Francois Nouel (FRA 14793) – Wrong rake (quete) at the first race made us go sloooooow – 10th. Then back to normal with a eighth. eighth overall, 2pts behind nos amis les quebecois, joe and tom. No mercy tomorrow :-). And now? Guess what, more beer!!
Chris Payne (AUS 15048) – Haven’t finished outside the top six yet, but only just inside the top six overall. Two races to go with guaranteed light winds and black flag – so here is hoping :-)