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Tornado Worlds - Sellers bounce back on Day 3

by Richard Gladwell 7 Jan 04:54 PST 7 January 2019
Rex and Brett Sellers - Race 6 - Day 3 - 2019 Int Tornado Class World Championships presented by Candida. January 7, 2019 © Richard Gladwell

Day 3 of the 2019 Int Tornado Worlds presented by Candida was notable for the Race 6 win by Rex and Brett Sellers.

"I have never met anyone that could read the wind better," said Paul Elvstrom of Rex Sellers after a training session three days before the 1984 Olympics. "He will win the Gold medal", The Great Dane predicted.

Now 68yrs old Sellers, a professional fisherman, proved those prophetic words to be true again 34 years later in Race 6 of the World titles of the Int Tornado class.

Buried at the start, the Sellers were still back in the pack at the top mark, but picked the shifts and pressure to be leading halfway up the third windward leg and extended on the final leg to the finish in what was very much a twin wire breeze that had shifted to the west with increased pressure.

It was big recovery from the drama of the previous day with the father and son crew picking up maximum points alphabet scores in both races. Avoiding a repeat, today they were sporting a new, but still well-used mainsheet traveller car, and hung back from the start line. The Sellers scored a countable fifth in Race 5, which with the Race 6 win and the application of a worst place discard, lifted the Olympic Gold and Silver medalist six places on the leaderboard.

They sit four points out of 4th place overall, and with a long shot at the podium with four races left to sail in the regatta.

The Australian crew of Brett Burvill and Max Puttman sailed consistently on a day when big wind shifts asked plenty of questions of the 23 boat fleet contesting the World Championships.

They have regained the series lead after being able to discard their worst point score. They are now six points clear of the second-placed Jorg Steiner and Michael Gloor (SUI), who in turn are three points clear of a Youth Mixed crew of Estela Jentsch and Daniel Brown (GER).

Sailing well offshore, close to the courses used for the 2000/03 America's Cups, Race 5 was affected by big wind shifts and a strong outgoing tide.

The tidal flow eased, but the big wind shifts and changes in pressure remained for the second race of the day, which was contested in a beautiful WSW breeze, and bright sunshine.

Race 5 got underway in a soft breeze which flicked between S and SW and had plenty of holes. It was little surprising to see the race start on time without a postponement, but as the fleet proceeded up the first beat, the breeze settled to a sailable strength, but certainly not a twin-wire breeze.

The surprise leader around Mark 1 was the German mixed crew of Jurgen and Sarah Jentsch who rounded with what looked to be an unassailable lead over the 23 boat fleet from eight nations.

However a lap later it was another German mixed crew of Estela Jentsch and Daniel Brown who had taken the lead and went on the take Race 5. Second over the line were the New Zealand crew of Dave Lineman and Karl Taylor who had their best race of the series. They rounded the first windward mark in second place and defended that place in what proved to be a very difficult race.

The same for the Australian crew of Alan Gamble and Kim Nicholls, who were third at the top for the first time and held the place through to the finish. It was also their best race to date in the series.

Tomorrow is a rest day, with racing continuing on Wednesday and Thursday, in what are forecast to be light to moderate sea breezes.

For the overall points after Day 3 click here

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