Blasse and Gilligan are new leaders at I-14 Worlds
by Andy Rice on 17 Jul 2008
After dominating yesterday’s high wind race off Warnemunde, Andy and Tom Partington took the winner’s gun again in moderate breezes for race 3 of the International 14 World Championships.
Starting in 14 knots of breeze with the customary Baltic Sea chop and swell combination, the Partingtons rounded the windward mark just ahead of fellow Brits Mike Lennon and Andy Rice, with Chris Turner and Adam Ovington not far behind. Lennon and Rice gybed earlier on the run and sailed past the Partingtons, who were caught by 2005 World Champions Lindsay Irwin and Andrew Perry, only for the Australian team to take a swim and let Partington clear.
Lennon and Rice led for a lap, but were caught up by the Partingtons at the end of the first set of reaches. These two battled it out with Aussies David Hayter and Matt Johnstan not far behind in third. It was nip and tuck for a while between the two frontrunners until the Partingtons broke clear to leeward on one of the upwind legs, and found a bit more pace as the larger gusts came through. Once in front they eased away to a win by a minute and half from Lennon, with Hayter not far back in third.
Former European Champion James Fawcett with George Nurton was fourth across the line, while Jarrod Simpson and Grant Rollerson matched their fifth place from the previous day.
It was not a good day for early series leaders Archie Massey and Matt Noble, with ongoing rudder trouble stopping them from sailing at full pace. A 21st place sees them drop to 5th in the overall standings.
Another British team who suffered were father/son combination Martin and Neale Jones. Neale injured his back just before the start, requiring his father to work the mainsheet for much of the time, and hoist and lower the gennaker at every mark rounding. Despite their problems they still finished 16th, which keeps them in 10th place overall.
New leaders of the Worlds are Australians Roger Blasse and Andrew Gilligan, whose 6th place today is enough to see them at the top, one point ahead of Lennon and Rice.
A point further back in third is another Aussie team Dave Alexander and Cameron McDonald. The Partingtons lie in 7th overall, despite their two heat victories, the reason being a 30th place from race one when the tip of their centreboard snapped off. Now using their four-year-old kit, they seem to be going faster than ever and they will be looking forward to completing a fifth race when they can discard their worst score.
While the top 10 is dominated by British and Aussie teams, Germans Olli Voss and Jens Holscher are making steady progress up the rankings, and currently lie in 12th overall.
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