Sail Melbourne 2012 finally saw full-throttle action in the invited classes as contenders in International Cadets, Optimist, and OK Dinghies took the spotlight in the fourth day of sailing competition in the first leg of ISAF Sailing World Cup on Port Philip. The International Cadets sailors are looking to get some morale-booster before their National Championship kicks off on Dec. 22 and the World Championship starts on Dec. 28 at Sandy Bay Sailing Club in Hobart.
Doing well in the Cadets are Patrick Chip and Jack Furey, who lead by one point from Emily Patching and Issy Royle, after collecting a first and second place after their first two races. Jalina Thompson-Kambas and Starr Thompson share third with Alice Endersbee and Eliza Davis, all of whom are four points behind Patching and Royle. Julian Sasson is from a very successful sailing clan and is in fifth place for the moment, so keep an eye out for movement on the board with today’s racing.
In the Optimists, Annabelle Davies, Lachlan Evenden and Max Quirk share top place on five points. In second is Alex Higgins on eight, with Thomas Cunich and James Grogan in equal third with 13 points. They were meant to get four races in yesterday instead of the two completed and then three more today, so the board will no doubt settle down as the races get completed.
The OK Dinghies did get their two races completed, so Bruce Ashton shares the lead on three points with Roger Blasse. They both had one win and a second. Brent Williams is in second, five points behind and then Stephen Moore is two extra points back on 10.
Access Liberty dinghies for sailors with disabilities got two more races completed for four in total. Gregory Hyde has won all four to sit six pints ahead of Michael Cull and then Barry Coates is another five points behind him.
The 420s completed one race in the fading breeze to have six down in total. Xavier Winston-Smith and Joshua Dawson lead by two from Klaus Lorenz and James Scott, with Jonathon Cooper and Aleksandrs Price five points behind them in third place.
The 29ers went out earlier with their larger, Olympic cousins and got four races completed in a very busy day. It also seems that the adrenalin was pumping, for both first and third were deemed On Course Side in the second race and paid a fair price as a result. James McLennan and Thomas Trotman still lead, despite this small error, with Tess Lloyd and Eliza Solly four points behind on 16. Henry and Grant Makin, the others to prove that if you’re not over at the start every now and then, well, you’re just not trying, are in third on 18 points.
After being out on Wednesday when both wind and waves were certainly running hard, Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin paid the biggest price when they stopped at the bottom of one wave and their rig kept on going. That night they drove to Bendigo in country Victoria to collect a new one from the manufacturer, returned to Melbourne and swapped their rigs over. After a short sleep, they got out on the water on Thursday in time for racing.
After three races on Thursday and some second and third places, they were rewarded with a second place overall. Six points clear of them in front are Carolijn Brouwer and Darren Bundock, who were more than emphatic out on the course and kept the boat planning the whole time. As a result they were leaders all the way and collected yet more wins. In third place are Brett Goodall and James Wierzbowski on 20 points, with New Zealand’s Gemma Jones and Luke Stevenson just one point away from them.
On Course C just to the North of the world-class facilities at Sandringham Yacht Club, The Laser 4.7 and Laser Radial (Men) got two races completed, for four in total. In the 4.7, Jack Felsenthal leads from Richard Maher by two, with Sam Hannah one more point behind. Just two points adrift of that group are Kye Evans and Hungary’s Rebeka Hirschler on 18, so there is always the chance for change, especially as Hirschler had her best result in the last race, when she placed second.
Mark Spearman is showing all how to lead in the Laser Radial (Men’s). A string of wins has set him up and his drop is currently a fifth place. Little wonder then he has a nine-point buffer over Thomas Vincent, who is on 17 points. Rohan Langford and Nicholas Connor share third place with 26 points each.
The Kiteboarding continues to attract significant spectator and media attention alike. Given how nice they are as people, it is easy to see why. They have certainly enjoyed the strong winds experienced in the middle of the week, so now it will be a chance for the sailors amongst them to show how it is done in the lighter conditions. The technology of the sport continues to evolve at a furious pace, so it will be great to see the improvements that are made to board technology and how they can get faster in the light conditions. They are presently about four times faster in the strong winds than in today’s 5-10knots.
Germany’s Florian Gruber collected one more win from yesterday’s race to lead the Gold Medal fleet on four points. New Zealand’s Torrin Bright is four points behind him, despite not finishing Thursday’s race and then Matthew Taggart in third has five points in front of him to claim that spot. They are scheduled to have five races today, so it could well happen.
The Silver fleet is headed by Marvin Baumeister-Schoenian of Germany on five points. Mike Walker (AUS) is in second on nine points with countryman, Josh Fletcher. Ayden Menzies, Justin Millen and Austria’s Dale Stanton are in equal third with 10 points. They did not race yesterday and so have six scheduled for Friday.
France’s very charming and friendly; Ariane Imbert is also making a very clear statement at the front of the Women’s Kiteboarding fleet, having won everything to date. Australia’s Lisa Hickman is 10 points behind her and then Turkey’s Bilge Ozturk takes third. In today’s conditions, they may well be on their largest kites, 17m2.
The ISAF World Cup, which is part of Sail Melbourne from December 2 to 8, 2012, can be found at Sail Melbourne
by John Curnow
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3:31 AM Fri 7 Dec 2012GMT
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