Etchells Worlds 2012 - Race 8. - the World turns upside down
At the start of the second race for the day the wind was steady, still at 035. PRO Ross Wilson set a windward leeward course with a 2.2nm first beat. A general recall was followed by a Black Flag start.
On the port start line Smith (Roulette) was fourth up from the pin, a little late but with clear air. Dave Clarke (Fifteen) was fast away with Cam Miles (The Hole Way) a little further up the line. John Bertrand (Triad) was well placed close to the middle of the course.
The left was definitely paying at this stage. Graeme Taylor (Magpie) banged the left hand corner and was now leading, he tried it yesterday and it did not work but at this moment he was looking famous.
Inside him in seventh place was Tom King (Iron Lotus). Bertrand was now quite a way back in the 20's. Jud Smith was buried deep, deep, deep. A serious battle ….
Taylor was first around, then Mark Bulka (Perfect Balance), then James Howells (GBR - Gelert). Jud Smith was part of the group on the left who seriously overlaid after the shift, Tom King was 13th with Bertrand 25th. Smith was 33rd.
Down the run Tom King was seventh, Bertrand 25th, Jud Smith 31st.
Dockside this morning, GT (Graeme Taykor - Magpie) commented that there was 'plenty more golf in this hole' ... seems he was right.
Taylor led down the run, Howells (GBR) was second, King fifth, Smith 15th, Bertrand 32nd (this has to be his drop).
Taylor rounded the left hand mark, Howells, Brett Ellis (Ticket of Leave) and King (now in fourth place) the right. Smith was somewhere in the 20's, part of a cloud of Etchells.
Up the beat Taylor was challenged by Bulka but he had height and speed and Bulka was forced away. Half way up the beat King was fifth. John Bertrand's drop of 21 was looking good compared to his 27th place at that moment.
Howells on the right made a gain on a shift and hit the lead, the separation at the front of the fleet was huge, so the race belonged to anyone.
Taylor moved to third, behind Bulka with Tom King fifth, maybe in fourth.
With Smith and Bertrand midbus, Tom King was just one place on the water behind Graeme Taylor, who was no doubt back in the overall championship lead.
Howells extended slightly under spinnaker on the home run, ahead of Bulka and Taylor, King gybed early but was still fifth, multiple sets of fingers and toes couting back to Bertrand now round in 25th place. Smith was still 34th, his crew Mark Johnson and Nik Burfoot with their heads a little down. This morning's series lead was now a distant memory.
Bulka was ahead of Howells (definitely a shift there) Taylor was still third.
Bulka took the gun, Howells was two lengths back with Taylor right behind him. King was fourth ahead of Ellis, Razmilovic, Clark, Strong, James McHugh (Anamchara) and Peter McNeill (Iris III). Bertrand was 29th, Smith back in 30th.
This morning Jud Smith (USA) was leading the regatta on 13 points from Tom King on 15, John Bertrand 26 and Graeme Taylor 32 points.
But Smith had a disasterous day on the water and his words of this morning were prophetic. '‘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 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.'
Here is the top of the leader board, unofficially, after eight races. Tom King has broken clear.