Three race wins out of six wasn’t enough for Emirates Team New Zealand’s Jeremy Lomas (Flash Gordon) to claim the lead after the first day of racing at the 2014 Harken Young 88 National Championships.
Lincoln Fraser and his Dangerzone crew, who finished second behind Flash Gordon (Helm: Mike Sanderson) in 2013, kept themselves ahead of their rivals with three fourth place finishes backed up by a first, a second & a fifth, this was good enough to place them at the top of the podium after the first day of racing, albeit by one point.
Jeremy Lomas and his Flash Gordon team sailed strongly and had a top day on the water, winning 3 races, picking up a second and third place also. They dominated most races, shown by their large win in race 5, crossing the line by over a minute ahead of the pack. However their almost perfect record was shattered by a 13th place finish in race 4 after receiving a technical ‘720’ penalty turn. Lomas reflected on race 4 - 'The penalty was pretty costly just after the start for a technical ‘lifeline’ ruling. You make one mistake in this fleet and you get punished.'
Lomas, who has been busy with Emirates Team New Zealand duties in recent years, hadn’t sailed a mono- hull yacht since 2010 and was really excited to be back in the Young 88 Class - 'The standard of racing is extremely high and it’s so exciting to be back. We have such a high standard of keelboat yachting in New Zealand which is very pleasing. I can’t wait to get back out on the water tomorrow'.
Our Lion Foundation Youth Training Programme team on board Abracadabra find themselves in fourth place after a fairly positive day on the water. With graduate Chris Steele (3yrs) on the helm, the YTP team came home strong to win the last race of the day by 6 seconds ahead of Dangerzone and Flash Gordon. Steele recounted on race 6 – 'It was good to finish with a win after we had sailed well all day, we managed to lead around the top mark (in race 6) and hold off the fleet. It is important to get out in front early, once you get stuck in the pack you’re pretty much gone.'
Conditions couldn’t have been any better today, with constant 10-15 knot breeze and bright sunshine meaning Race Management were able to get six really competitive races in, however there is a contrasting forecast tomorrow with rain on the radar and very light winds predicted. 'We were really happy to get six competitive races in today, and with the light forecast tomorrow we are aiming to get another two races in to allow competitors a drop (race).' – Principal Race Officer Mike Best.
Racing continues on the water tomorrow with only 7 points separating the top four. If the wind comes to the party we are in for an exciting finish to the regatta.
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