After an epic lay day where the vast majority of the fleet of 150 competitors took a boat trip to Rotto (Rottnest Island) 19 nm off Fremantle for a mass raft up of power vessel’s loaded to the gunnels with booze and food and a massive lunch at the pub, a day that will be remembered for a long time. Today we got back to the business of the Flying Fifteen World Championship.
Two more races held in light to moderate conditions produced similar results with the first two boats edging ahead of the rest of the fleet. Graham Vials and Chris Turner (GBR) won both races just ahead of Nick Jerwood and Brad Sheridan (AUS) (2/2). Both crews are putting a bit of daylight between themselves and the rest of the fleet.
Race 8 begun just after noon in a light 9 - 10 knot breeze from SW direction. Again the windward / leeward course of 2 laps was chosen. After the usual huge separation across the course, the usual suspects came into view at the top mark.
Vials and Turner rounded in front of Jerwood and Sheridan with a newcomer to the front of the fleet in the crew from Durban in South Africa, Campbell Alexander and Ralph Thomas (RNYC/PYC). By the turn at the gate the top two remained the same but Charles and Charlie Apthorp (GBR) and Andrew and Anne Knowles (AUS) entered the frame.
One more upwind and the Knowles family from South of Perth YC challenged club mates Jerwood / Sheridan at the top mark rounding. On the long run back to the finish Vials / Turner held off the two Australians to take his fourth winning gun of the regatta. Jerwood / Sheridan collecting second and the Knowles family third. Working up to fourth was the steadily improving locals Lachy Gilmour and Ryan Donaldson from Royal Freshwater Bay YC. The Apthorp family claimed their best result of the regatta with fifth.
A short turn around and race 9 started with a course 6, two windward / leeward legs followed by a beat to the finish, under very similar conditions 8 - 11 knots from a bearing of 240 degrees. For the first lap it was the same story, Vials / Turner just in front of Jerwood / Sheridan but the fight for placings 3 - 6 still a good bun fight.
Another South of Perth boat sailed by the Dunbar brothers Mike and Paul, were fighting it out with some regular top 6 boats, Ian Pinnell and Ian Cadwallader (GBR) and Gilmour / Donaldson (AUS). The first two boats remained the same but the fight for third remained tight until the last 100 meters to the finish line. A couple of cover tacks and the Dunbars crossed third, their best result of the regatta.
After 9 races have been sailed the second discard comes into play so there has been a bit of movement in the overall results. Graham Vials and Chris Turner remain in front with a points gap of 6 points from Nick Jerwood and Brad Sheridan. The British pair have however now racked up 5 race wins in the series.
Ian Pinnell and Ian Cadwallader remain in third overall but only one point ahead of Lachy Gilmour and Ryan Donaldson who themselves move into fourth overall. The Scots, Hamish Mackay and Andrew Lawson occupy fifth.
We move into the penultimate day of the regatta with it looking like a two horse race for the title but with three more races to sail it is still in the balance. Races 10 and 11 are scheduled for a 12 noon start local time with a forecast of similar light to moderate breeze.
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by Jonny Fullerton - Regatta Services