Etchells World Championship 2012 day 5.
The 74 boat Etchells fleet is current heading out to the Manly Circle course off Sydney Heads for the critical races seven and eight in the nine race series.
Jud Smith (USA) is leading the regatta on 13 points from Tom King on 15 and John Bertrand 26, Graeme Taylor 32, Vince Brun 34 and Cam Miles 36 ahead of Alastair Gair (NZ), David Clarke, Peter McNeill and Noel Drennan.
Jud (Roulette) commented dockside this morning ‘We qualified with the local Sydney fleet sailing out of this club, sailing offshore in these conditions back in October. We were fortunate the breeze filled in yesterday. We much prefer a little breeze.
‘It could be softer today and these are the days you always fear because in the light, everyone seems to start well and then some of the boats hit a corner and come out well. So you just have concentrate on a good start and good placement at the top mark.
‘Tom King (Iron Lotus) is a really skilled sailor, he has Olympic Gold to prove it and so it’s no surprise to see him up at the front of the fleet. He really knows the place and in the last few months he has found a little extra speed, there is no question he will be there at the end.
Peter McNeill (Iris III), the 2004 World Champion said ‘This is the big day - the cream rises to the top. With the good weather conditions, lines and course so fair and even you'd expect the good guys do so well.’
Victorian Graeme Taylor (GT) on Magpie currently lies fourth. ‘We’ve been waiting for a few stumbles from Jud and Tom, they are both pushing it at the starts and so anything can happen. They are both sailing very well and so is John (Bertand).
‘We've been working hard at better starts and that is why we are in with a chance, but yesterday we pushed further into the corners, we gambled and it did not pay.
‘There is plenty of golf left in the hole so we shall see what happens today.’
And so we shall. Its flat flat flat out here, a glorious day, still only five to six knots of breeze - Sail-World.com will be reporting in detail as racing progresses.