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Austrailian Fireball National Championships at Royal Geelong Yacht Club - Day 3

by Harry Fisher 6 Feb 22:18 PST 3-9 February 2019
Daniel Rantanen's Kiss rounds the top mark in a close group - 2019 Australian Fireball Nationals © Jordan Roberts

With seven out of 10 races completed and a lay day today, it's all to play for in the 2019 Fireball Nationals, hosted by the Royal Geelong Yacht Club.

After kicking off the regatta with wins in the opening two races, and maintaining a consistent scorecard from then on, Heather Macfarlane and Chris Payne in Not Your Average Rockstars are in the box seat to clinch another national title.

They have been challenged by a number of quality boats, however their consistency to have three heat wins and a fourth as the worst carried result after seven races has shown their consistency hasn't been matched.

South Australians Tom Gordon and Jack Fletcher in Cletus have also been consistent but haven't had the fire power to steal the necessary points off Macfarlane and Payne they will head into the final three races in second place, six points behind the lead.

Reigning national champions John Heywood and Brett Littledike in Renegade have shown glimpses of brilliance with two race wins to their name, but with a mixed bag of results they trail the leaders by 10 points and sit in third place with a fair bit of work to do.

The event has seen a number of mini-races take place as well, with the battle for the first placed under-21 skipper now well and truly in the balance.

Mornington Yacht Club 470 gun Sophie Jackson, who is sailing with Andrew Perry on Paranoid, has been the pick of the juniors with a number of quality results.

While she hasn't seemed to be challenged thus far, first-time Fireball sailors and current 49er prospects Alex Higgins and Joal Mackenzie in Lithium have shown a lot of promise.

When the first drop came into play, the South Australian young guns representing Brighton and Seacliff Yacht Club were able to discard a DNF, which brought them right back into the fold and hot on the heels of Jackson and Perry.

But a shocker in Race 7 yesterday saw them slip to ninth place, 17 points behind Jackson, which will force them to rely on the next drop coming into play and a strong, clean finish to crawl their way back into contention.

But with a tricky course out on Corio Bay and a regatta that has thrown up plenty of tricks there is no doubt anything could happen on the final two race days.

Results after Day 3:

PosSail NoBoat NameSkipperCrewClubAge CatR1R2R3R4R5R6R7Pts
115048NOT YOUR AVERAGE ROCHeather MacfarlaneChris PayneBRYC 11[6]334113
215071CLETUSTom GordonJack FletcherLBSC 33[5]452219
314786RENEGADEJohn HeywoodBrett LittledikeLBSC 654161[11]23
415101SUNSETSMatthew CarterNicholas NealeLBSC [17]237271233
514777KISSDaniel RantanenChris Derricklbsc 991[12]78438
614722PARANOIDSophie JacksonAndrew PerryMYCU21 +50C71072[27U]14343
715011BALLBREAKERJalina Thompson‑KambNathan StockleyLBSC [18]1889112553
814933FIERCE CREATUREBen KnoopJames BeltonLBSC 104213[13.5]131355
915154RETURN OF THE JEDIBrendan GarnerPeter DurranRGYC 4813615[16]955
1015062THE BIG BANG THEORYBen SchulzPeter Jamesasc 14710811.55[16]55.5
111507LITHIUMAlex HigginsJoal MackenzieBSYCU21 U21C[27R]61211461756
1214936SUGAR AND SPICEIan RavenscroftBryce ReidWSC5081111[17]911757
1315027THE GREY GHOSTPhil PeverellBruce ShandFYC+50 +50C2[20]181513.510664.5
1414826ISSUESAdam CommonHeath BeltonLBSC 16[17]16101031065
1514414OUTBACK DINGOSGlenn PeverellBruno LanatiFYC+50C1512[17]511.517868.5
1614608HOT WIREMyles GavinBen ObrienRGYC5013159[18]891872
1714851WAVE WALKABOUTMark JarredMarguerite O'RourkeGSC50514141416[20]1477
1814782MONDOBrian PikeGlenn StewartGSC+50 +50C11131516[22]151585
1915049SCATTER GUNNick GunnerSimon GunnerRGYC501216[21]21201820107
2014603FREDJon EmonsonElise EmonsonRGYC 2023[24]19181921120
21 FOR PETES SAKEPeter AllisonIan NadebaumLBSC50211919201922[23]120
2214814WHATSTHE STORY...?Susannah GillamAndrew ButlerRGYC/BRYC+50 +50C192120[27S]172322122
2314516HEAVENS 2Jordan SmithDominic RandallRGYCU21C[22]222222212119127
2414599EVIL EMPIREAndrew TownsendJohn MartinLBSC+50C2424[25]24232425144
2514515PINOCO FLOWJarah Harris‑MooreNathan FieldRGYCU21 U21C[26T]252323242626147
2614747GATTICALance RockKevin Luffmofsc+50 +50C2326T[27R]27C252524150

See the full regatta results here.

For all the regular updates and content from the event, check out the Down Under Sail Facebook Page.

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