Slow progress downwind - JJ Giltinan Championship 2014
Race 3 of the JJ Giltinan Trophy was sailed in light winds on Sydney Harbour on Tuesday afternoon, and on a day of surprises, the points table was split wide open.
The race was due to start at 3.00pm Sydney time, but was delayed waiting for the fickle breeze to settle. With Race 3 now complete the regatta is now on schedule.
Pre race interviews - Interviews start at 4m 30sec)
As with previous racing in the regatta, lights winds prevailed. Better breezes were forecast - from the NE, but did not really eventuate yet eventuate. Wind at the international airport, was a SE breeze of 5kts. The airport is located on the NSW coast SE of Sydney Harbour.
3.40pm One race start has been attempted, with 80% of the fleet over the starting line. Crews generally had one on the trapeze, with the skipper on the rack, and forward hands to leeward - not a lot of breeze in the near-glassy conditions.
4.00pm: Fleet started on a Black Flag with an individual recall signal being flown. No indication of how many were over, Fisher and Paykel, Haier, CST Composites have been excused from racing for the rest of the day for a premature start.
4.10pm Gotta Love It 7 seems to be the leader, but has sailed into a hole on the right hand side of the course. Boats on the left (northern) side of the course seem to have more pressure. A centre group of three boats - Yamaha, Rags and Famish plus one other look to have made a gain in the middle with good pressure - two on the wire.
4.16pm: Gotta Love It 7 is buried in mid-fleet, was with Thurlow Fisher - who escaped into the back end of the lead bunch.
Race replay - Part 1
4.22pm Two NZ boats led around the first mark, with C-Tech (Alex Vallings) leading the way and Yamaha second, followed by Lumix and the consistent Kitchen Maker. Gotta Love It 7 recovered well and was just outside the top ten around the mark. The fleet split into two groups with one small one including Gotta Love It 7 and Mojo Wines heading to the north side, while the bulk of the fleet gybed and went left. The centre of the course was avoided by all.
4.35pm: At the leeward gate for the first time, Limix pulled into the lead, with Yamaha second, C-Tech third and Mojo Wines fourth. A change of course has been signalled. Breeze is more even across the course, with one maybe two wiring.
4.41pm Series leader Gotta Love It 7 has rounded in 17th - mid fleet, followed by Smeg and Sydney City Marine
Finish:The lead group remained in contact with each other, but at the top mark for the last time, C-Tech got through Lumix, with Yamaha in third and the others well behind.
The PRO, Gary Linacre, again elected to shorten course down to three laps from the regulation four.
Race replay - Part 2
We are missing the video from the final, third lap of the race and will post it here as soon as race organisers provide the video
Then followed a tense battle down the final run, between the three lead boats. C-Tech carried through to give Alex Vallings a win, with Yamaha forcing Lumix away at a gybe before the finish to take second overall, and give the Kiwis a One.Two for the day. Lumix sailed extremely well throughout and looked to have the race in the bag.
Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) agains showed her new found form and consistency to finish fourth, after looking to have been completely out of the picture soon after the start. Coupled with a misfire by series leader Gotta Love It 7, Coxon and his crew are the new series leader.
Ashore, Alex Vallings said they started at close to the committee boat end, banged over to the left hand side, and the centre was no good. 'Then we went right at the top, and that paid,' he added.
'You could get caught on the right with a hole under one of the points. a few boats fell in there and had a few issues. We were glad they shortened course.
'Downwind we have a good VMG mode. If we poke it up, we don't tend to go that well.'
Jonathan Whitty - Lumix: 'We are really happy with the way we went. The crew are stoked.We are mentally exhausted. It was hard to stay in front of the other two boats. They were very slippery and always getting the inside lane.'
David McDiarmid - Yamaha: 'We have done a lot of work on boat handling and it was good to see it pay off. With the new fleet in Auckland, we are getting very competitive, and even more, with four new boats. we are all pretty small, and the light weight doesn't seem to hurt in these conditions. we were all three-stringing before anyone else.'
Interviews ashore - full replay
The forecast for the rest of the week is for a building NE breeze, same as was predicted for today, which did not really eventuate. Racing will be held on Wednesday and Thursday with Friday a rest day, and the series will finish with races on Saturday and Sunday.