Mirror Worlds - Perfect Conditions but drama on day 4
by Anthony Galante on 7 Jan 2011
Day 4 of the 2011 Landcorp Mirror Worlds started with a fresh sou-westerly with the fleet bathed in sunshine. Hard work was the motto of the day for sailors in the 15 knot breeze. The day ended in drama following the disqualification of the Championship leader after completing only one circle in a two-circle penalty for pumping under Rule 42.
No room at the gate - 2011 LandCorp Mirror Worlds Trina Merrick
A clean start was the order of the day, with most of the fleet going to the left. By the top mark, the Championship leaders, GBR's Millie Newman and Jessica Rust rounded first followed by the Irishmen Ross Kearney and Max Odell and the Philippino pair Balladares and Chavez.
It was a splendid race with the British girls leading at the bottom gate and going right with the Irishman. The Philippinos chose to go left. The young South African Ryan Robinson with older brother Ricky as crew came through in fourth with a gap to the rest of the fleet.
By the time they came round the bottom mark for the last time, the Philippinos Balladares and Chavez had surged to the lead followed by Newman and Rust with the Kearney and Robinson trailing.
The reach provided perfect planing conditions and the boats were off racing to mark four on the trapezoid and it appeared the Philippinos were going to take this one, rounding the mark in front of the GBR teenagers. Both boats went right with Kearney going left followed by Robinson.
Without any cover, Kearney was able to get through to take the finish bullet with Newman and Rust second and Balladares and Chavez fourth.
Race 12 got away after a Black Flag with most of the fleet punching out to the left with GBR girls Newman and Rust first, the Philippinos second and Australian Lachlan and Finn Gilbert third.
The GBR girls flew down the run and built up a 20 boat length lead followed by Gilbert with the Irishman Kearney in third with a pack following.
The beat saw the Australian girls, Jessie Atherton and Katherine Maher sailing into second place behind the GBR girls with the Balladares, Gilbert and Kearney chasing.
Both all girl boats maintained their positions to finish one-two with Kearney third.
Race 13 followed after a lunch break with the breeze still consistent at 15 knots and the sun still providing ideal conditions. The fleet got away under the Blue Peter with Balladares and Chavez reveling in the conditions with a chase group including Atherton, Newman, Robinson, Kearney and former Fireball hotshot, John Dransfield.
Close to the finish of the reach the GBR's girls were called under Rule 42 for pumping by the Jury and did a penalty remaining with the pack.
By the bottom gate the race order had settled with the Balladares and Chavez assuming a commanding lead with the GBR's Newman and Rust ahead of a tight pack which included Atherton, Robinson and Kearney and Australians Greg and Ben Field.
The windward and return on the outer loop didn't see much change to the pecking order with Balladares and Chavez, followed by Atherton and Maher, Newman and Rust with Kearney and Odell fourth.
However, just as it appeared that the British girls were marching towards a World Championship, drama unfolded as they were disqualified for not completing their penalty properly. They only completed one circle out of a two-circle penalty and all their efforts resulted in a 62 DSQ. This changed the race results and the complexion of the World Championship.
With 13 races and 2 drops the results are:
1. Ross Kearney and Max Odell (IRL) 34.8
2. Millie Newman and Jessica Rust (GBR) 40
3. Ridgely Balladares and Rommel Chavez (PHI) 43
4. Ryan and Ricky Robinson (RSA) 46
5. Paul and Austin Taylor (AUS) 66
Two races remain with the World Championship wide open.
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