Day 4 of racing saw another mixed bag of breezes, but enough to allow the cruising divisions to complete an islands course and come home with the tide into Dent Passage, while the IRC Racing fleet completed three races on the day.
Breezes on the eastern course for IRC Racing challenged even the world's best tacticians. With a light sou'easter dropping out almost completely as the fleet approached the top mark in Race 1, Wild Oats XI managed to round the mark and hold breeze downwind while Wild Oats X - with America's Cup tactician Brad Butterworth calling the shots for skipper Ernesto Bertarelli - and Grant Wharington's Wild Thing wallowed in a glass-out a few hundred metres from the mark.
Meanwhile aboard Marcus Blackmore's Hooligan, Olympic Gold medallist Malcolm Page had chosen the right hand side of the course and managed to hold breeze all the way to the top. It made for a remarkable sight watching Hooligan deliberately overstanding the mark to stay in pressure three hundred meters from a buoy in no breeze, bear away holding momentum and rounding the buoy ahead of Wild Oats X and Wild Thing which sat mere metres downwind in no breeze at all. Shogun followed Hooligan and rounded ahead of Wild Thing.
Such is the lottery of the breeze on days such as this, that all of the gains were swiftly lost by the bottom mark and the order virtually reversed!
Marcus Blackmore later described that race very aptly, 'it was basically a crapshoot!'
Crosbie Lorimer was out on the water following the Cruising and Performance Divisions on their spinnaker start and the MC38s and IRC Racing on their windward/leeward courses. Here are some of his images of the day's action.
The two veteran maxis Condor and Hammer meet at the ’corner’ - Crosbie Lorimer
Hooligan rounds the top mark ahead of Wild Oats X and immediately rounds up to hook into the breeze on the right that got her past Wild Oats X and Wild Thing. - Crosbie Lorimer
by Crosbie Lorimer
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10:59 PM Thu 22 Aug 2013GMT
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