by John Curnow
Sail Melbourne 2012 witnessed the emergence of new generation of sailing superstars throughout the weeklong event as men’s Laser Radial kingpin Mark Spearman leads a youth movement heading into the final day of the first leg of the ISAF Sailing World Cup on Port Philip.
James McLennan & Thomas Trotman - 29er class -Oceanic Leg of the ISAF Sailing World Cup 2012
A busy schedule was taken in their stride by the sailors in the 12 invited classes, volunteers and Race Management alike on Friday at Sail Melbourne.
On Course C with their Olympic cousins, The Laser 4.7 and Men’s Radial both got three races for the day. This took their respective totals to seven and 10 races completed, respectively. Leading the 4.7 is local Sandringham Yacht Club member, Jack Felsenthal, who has been in the craft for just 18 months now and already won the National and Youth title in Brisbane. Jack commented, 'Yes. I am aiming to go back to back, with the titles soon to be run again, this time in Hobart. I’m in the gym four to five days a week and really looking forward to it. Loving my sailing, which is good.'
At Sail Melbourne, Jack leads from Kye Evans by nine points, with Sam Hannah and Richard Maher both two points behind that. Also in the mix is Rhett Gowans, a further three points away.
In the Men’s Laser Radial, Mark Spearman has completely dominated to have a massive 19-point lead over Rohan Langford and 20 points over Thomas Vincent in third place. Seven wins from 10 starts and your worst placing, a fifth, which counts as your drop, is an emphatic display.
In the 29er, small skiff, Tess Lloyd and Eliza Solly share the lead after 11 races with James McLennan and Thomas Trotman, with both crews on 20 points. Before a busy four-race day, James commented, 'We’re quite focussed on the Youth Worlds at present and in the longer term I am keen on the 49er, as too is Tom. It’s about a year away for me, so I hope to grow some more or it will be the 470 for me. Great to be out there with the 49ers although you do have to watch out for them as their wind shadow will stop a 29er dead in the water. Tom and I love the big weather we had here earlier in the week, but we understand we could not race in it.' Thomas is the grandson of AFL Legend, the very inspirational Tommy Hafey. In second place, 18 points astern are Harry Price and Ashlen Rooklyn, with Henry and Grant Makin a further point behind them.
In the 420, Xavier Winston-Smith and Joshua Dawson have effectively owned the racing, with a string of firsts to their credit. They hold a five point buffer over Klaus Lorenz and James Scott, with Jaqueline Stokes and Olivia Stephens a further seven points adrift in third place. Earlier contenders, Cooper and Price and also Tames and Powe, have not had a good couple of days with some errors and bad results sending them down to fifth and sixth places, respectively.
Patrick Chip and Jack Furey hold a slender, one-point lead in the International Cadets, after Julian Sasson and Philip George put a pair of wins together on Friday to leap in to equal second with Emily Patching and Issy Royle. Alice Endersbee and Eliza Davis are point behind in third place.
The Optimists also got another pair of races in, with Thomas Cunich one point clear of Nicholas Sharman, with Alex Higgins and Annabelle Davies sharing third, just one point behind on 21. James Grogan and Lachlan Evenden are three and four points behind them, so certainly worth a mention as well.
A pair of races for the OK Dinghies on Friday saw Bruce Ashton and Roger Blasse swap first and second places and so they now share the lead on six points. Brent Williams is next on 16, with Stephen Moore on 22 and then Ronald Fergusson on 23 points to hold fifth place.
The Skud 18 Paralympic skiff has David Staley and Michael Lewenhagen continuing their form with three more wins on Friday. Alan Merry and Robert Schahinger are in second with 12 points in total and then Russell Phillips and Justin Millsom are in third with 17 points. Gregory Hyde has won all seven races in the Access Liberty dinghy and has a seven-point lead over Michael Cull, with Barry Coates in third on 18.
The Viper catamaran continues to offer great viewing for yachties and general spectators alike. Carolijn Brouwer and Darren Bundock hold a commanding 15-point lead over Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin. Brouwer and Bundock have not been faultless, with a decision to go right over to the left in the eighth race allowing the USA’s Drew Carlyle and Christ van Helden to come in from the centre of the Bay to take and then hold on to the lead. Look out for Waterhouse, as he certainly knows how to pilot his craft around the track. Brett Goodall and James Wierzbowski are in third place with 32 points.
The Men’s Silver Kiteboarding fleet have seven races completed to have Germany’s Marvin Baumeister-Schoenian leading on 15 points from Mike Walker (AUS) on 21 with Ayden Menzies sharing second, as well. In third, Josh Fletcher, also of Australia, has 25 points.
The Gold Fleet has a top ten, who will race their repecharges on Saturday morning. Florian Gruber leads from Torrin Bright still. They go straight through to the final and collect one and two points respectively. The final is a two race affair and so if Florian wins just one of these, he will have the Gold Medal. The other eight sailors have to work their way through the previous three repecharges to get the other two places in the four man final. Exciting stuff indeed, especially in a Northerly of some 20 knots, which provides for flat water too.
France’s Ariane Imbert did not have it all her way on Friday, but still leads. Not one win from her and also scoring her worst result so far, a third place, was enough to see why she was frustrated. Typically however, she was still all smiles, despite a trip to the jury room. She is on 13 points to lead from Lisa Hickman (AUS) on 28, with Switzerland’s Astrid Berz in third on 32.
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