by Di Pearson
After two general recalls, Australia’s Brett Beyer/Roddy Johnson led from start to finish to win the second race of the Flying Dutchman Worlds at the Sail Melbourne Regatta today.
Beyer and Johnson - in winning form
Beyer said of the 18 knot consistent winds on the course today, ‘yes, that sort of wind is perfect for us, we had a great race, the Hungarian World champions nearly caught us with one leg to go, in fact they were only about one boat length away, but on the last beat the wind shifted left a bit and we took some out of them. We are more than happy with our performance today.’
‘It was a man’s breeze today, and we sail well in a man’s breeze,’ Beyer’s crew, Roddy Johnson said, referring to their heavier crew weight.
Beyer and Johnson are the current NSW Flying Dutchman champions, contrary to an earlier report that stated Norman Rydge/Richard Scarr, the actual title runners-up were.
Although it was the Hungarians Srabolics Maethenyi/Andras Domokos who nearly caught the winners, in a twist of fate, that last beat cost them dearly, when three or four tacks short of the finish line, the World No. 1 pair, Hans-Peter Schwarz/Peter van Koppen saw their opportunity and overtook to take second place, the Hungarians having to settle for third place today.
Continuing their form of the Australian championships, in which they finished a surprising third and their third place yesterday, Victorians Gavin Dagley/John Dryden had another good day to finish in sixth place, proving yesterday’s effort was no fluke, only to be subsequently disqualified, along with Christoph Baumann/Michael Koller (SUI), after starting early with the Black Flag in force, moving those below them up a place.
‘We broke our spinnaker pole launcher and had to jury rig it, which we did pretty quickly, I don’t think it cost us any time really. We are very pleased with our efforts so far – quite surprised actually, in this fleet, we hoped to make the top fifteen, but this is great,’ Dryden said on coming ashore, unaware of their disqualification.
Former World champions, Ian McCrossin/James Cook, had a better day today, finishing fourth. Remembering yesterday’s 23rd place, McCrossin commented, ‘we started at the windward end yesterday, but unfortunately the wind shifted to the other side and we got caught and never recovered. We are much happier with our finish today.’
Toby Dale/James Cole (GBR) had a return to form today with a fifth placing, while Hans Genthe/Hauke Drenenberg (GER) did not stray from their path today to cart off sixth place.
Winners of the Flying Dutchman National title sailed earlier in the week, also at Sandringham Yacht Club, Rydge/Scarr finished seventh to complete a bit of a white-wash by the Australians.
With two races down and five to go, Maethenyi/Domokos lead the series on countback from Schwarz/van Koppen, both with four points from Rydge/Scarr in third place with 11 points, then comes Genthe/Hauke on countback from Enno Kramer/Ard Gael Kerken, with 15 points apiece, in sixth place is Beyer/Johnson with 16, then Dale/Cole on 18 points.
Racing continues out of Sandringham Yacht Club on Port Phillip Bay tomorrow, Race 3 scheduled for 10.30am, while Race 4 is due to get underway at 2.30pm local time.
For information and full results, go to the official website: