A-Class Worlds- Away with the birds on Day 4
by Heather Forbes and Richard Gladwell on 15 Feb 2014
Winds hovered around the 10 knots mark for both races on Day 4 of the 2014 World Championship for the International A-Class catamarans.
Former world speed sailing record holder, and Little America’s Cup winner, Simon McKeon (AUS) - A-class catamaran World Championships, Day 4, Takapuna February 15, 2014 © Richard Gladwell http://www.richardgladwell.com
Many of the sailors were forced to sail through a couple of thousand, of what were thought to be, other Carey's Chickens Petrels (a small bird noted for their ability to walk on water when they can't be bothered flying) sitting on the course.
Glenn Ashby (Aus) had a good day with a first and a third. He was heard to say that he had four birds hanging off his rudders and that this cost him his second race. Ashby just needs to have a respectable race tomorrow to wrap up the championship. Blair Tuke (NZ) also had a very good day with a fourth and first and lies second overall to Ashby. Grant Pellew’s (Aus) close encounter with a couple of birds resulted in him being separated from his boat in Race 2.
The flocks of birds, feeding on a boil-up of small fish, proved to be a significant issue on the course, refusing to take flight as they normally do at the last minute for boats. Today they definitely influenced some race results with one top boat dropping five places after being slowed by birds. The particular issue with these flocks was their unfortunate habit of trying to dive under boats, including powerboats, to get out of the way and hoping not to be struck by hulls or propellers.
It was reported that one deceased bird made it over the finish line ahead of some members of Team NZ!
As the results show, this championship is now between the Aussies and New Zealanders.
Results Race 7: First – Glenn Ashby (Aus), second – Andrew Landenberger (Aus) & third – Brad Collett ( Aus)
Results Race 8: First – Blair Tuke (NZ), second – Nathan Outteridge (Aus) & third Glenn Ashby (Aus)
The final race will be held at 11am tomorrow.