by Jane Moffat
On day three of the Laser Nationals an overcast sky with a 10 knot Westerly greeted competitors.
Tristan Brown current leader in the Radial fleet
With two races scheduled for each fleet, race officers Ross Wilson and Peter Merritt were keen to get away on time so everybody was back on shore in good time to make the most of New Years Eve.
The Westerly enabled courses to be laid much closer to the beach than the last two days so spectators made the most of it relaxing on the deck with a view over the courses.
World Champion Tristan Brown (WA) is the only radial consistently placing in the top five in either fleet. This show in the results as he is at the top of the table on seven points, with nearest rival Manami Doi (JPN) a long way back on 19 points. Brown commented 'the conditions are tricky and you can easily find yourself in a hole'.
The results in the radial fleet have been consistently inconsistent with score lines displaying a wide range of results. 'Strong breezes would provide more consistent results but the tricky conditions are taking its toll' Brown remarked.
With the first discard now coming into play many sailors will need to consolidate their results to ensure a shot at a top ten place once the finals fleets are decided at the end of day four.
Manami Doi top female in the Radial fleet
Doi is currently the top female, in second place, a long way ahead of fellow 2012 Olympian Krystal Weir (VIC) and Ashley Stoddart (QLD) in 10 and 11 position; the tricky conditions obviously suiting Doi.
Jack Graves scored a second and a bullet in the races today
Jack Graves (VIC) was the winner in the 4.7 fleet today, posting a bullet in race five and a second in race six; leaving him just four points behind Hamish Wiltshire. There was cause for celebration at the club when young McCrae sailor Brody Riley scored a bullet in race six. As Riley commented previously 'this is a much bigger fleet than Sail Melbourne and much tougher.'
Tight racing continues in the Laser Standard fleet with Matthew Wearn (WA) currently in first place on 15 points.
With a lay day tomorrow many sailors will welcome the opportunity to rest and recuperate before gearing up for the final three days of racing.
Radial finish Charles Corston (186661), Finn Alexander (206393) Chris Andersen (199092)