At the Australian A Class Catamaran Championships, being held at St Leonard's on Port Phillip Bay, today's racing was characterised by changing fortunes for the leaders.
Race seven commenced in a light six knot breeze from the southwest . A number of boats, including the second overall boat of Steve Brewin were late for the start. Brewin sailed an outstanding race, to sail through the fleet , to assume the lead, a position he would not relinquish. The breeze swung about twenty degrees towards the south, and strengthened to 10 knots on the last downwind leg towards the finish. Glenn Ashby finished in second place.
Another standout performance of this regatta has been that if Stephen Brayshaw who finished third.
The mathematical tally at the end of the race had Glenn Ashby and Steven Brewin as joint overall leaders.
After an onshore adjournment for lunch, competitors regrouped for the start of race eight. By now the southerly wind had strengthened to about 18 knots, conditions favourable to those with the skills, stamina, and balance to drive their boats hard downwind, suspended on the high wire on the stern quarter of their craft.
Steve Brewin rounded the first windward mark with what looked like a very comfortable lead, and looked set for another win. However the high speeds attained by the these boats means that any error can be severely punished. Ashby sailed a superb and error free downwind leg to catch Brewin by the bottom gate. Jack Benson and Stephen Brayshaw also had a blinding performance down that leg. Ashby had the mark rounding inside overlap advantage on Brewin , which he consolidated with some astute match racing tricks, which enabled Ashby to put Brayshaw and Benson between himself and Brewin. That is how they finished.
The Championship is now Glenn Ashby's. It is just ever so slightly beyond Steve Brewin's grasp, with one more race remaining tomorrow. Both have sailed well and have commanded this regatta. Stephen Brayshaw is also looking good for third place overall.
by Robert Griffits
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12:40 PM Thu 2 Jan 2014GMT
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