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Vials and Turner extend their lead
Jonny Fullerton 329

Vials and Turner extend their lead

Endeavour Homes 2023 Flying Fifteen World Championships

It was a long day on the water for the fleet of 76 Flying Fifteens competing at the World Championships off Fremantle on day two of the regatta. A new day and a new wind direction meant an earlier start time of 1200 noon. However the early morning Easterly breeze was always due to dye out and the sea breeze fill in the afternoon. The question was when would the change happen?

The PRO Kevin Wilson managed to get race 3 going on the second attempt after one general recall. A new course axis and a new course, a straight forward 2 lap windward/leeward with a distance of 1.3nm legs. Race 3 started in a gentle 10 knots from 90 degrees.  

Another upwind leg with huge separation but the team who read the tricky conditions best was local WA Olympic sailors Lachy Gilmour and Ryan Donaldson (RFBYC/EBYC). The young West Australians led round mark one and down to the gate holding off the British crew of Ian Pinnell and Ian Cadwallader with Irelands John Lavery and Alan Green from Dublin again in the top three.

The whole fleet had to endure the shifty breeze off the land which meant a lot of tacking and searching for pressure. This time the leaders sailed more up the middle of the course. At the windward mark second time around Gilmour / Donaldson just held their lead from Pinnell / Cadwallader but gradually picking their way through the lead bunch was none other than the four time world champions Graham Vials and Chris Turner (GBR).

The last downwind leg to the finish was stressful when the soft breeze began to fade and the leaders were approaching the final gate mark rounding from both gybes. It was going to be a very close rounding but Gilmour / Donaldson just squeezed round to finish only a couple of boat lengths from Hamish Mackay and Andrew Lawson (GBR) who cruised in from the other gybe. Vials / Turner also gained buoy room at the last moment to cross third. Rod Beurteaux and Simon Wilder (SoPYC / EFYC) finished an excellent fourth and another South of Perth YC boat Greg Tonnison and Nick Robinson an impressive fifth.

The breeze shut down completely and the whole fleet had to sit in the warm sunshine for what seemed like hours but the race committee were rewarded for their patience when a soft sea breeze started to waft in from the South. Finally in the late afternoon sunshine race 4 of the Worlds got started at 1515hrs. A two lap race with one windward / leeward followed by a triangle in a 6 - 10 knot southerly.

It wasn’t rocket science to work out the leader at the top, the familiar faces of Graham Vials and Chris Turner (GBR). Places 2 - 5 were however still up for grabs. Around the second lap as the fleet had really separated, Pinnell / Cadwallader (GBR) and Jerwood / Sheridan (AUS) contested for the podium.

Vials / Turner made it 3 wins in 4 races to take a comfortable lead in the championship. Pinnell / Cadwallader crossed second and Jerwood / Sheridan third. Beurteaux / Wilder came in another 4th to jump into the top ten overall in the rankings. Another steady day for the Irishmen Lavery / Green moving up to 7th overall.

An early start is scheduled for the third day of racing with a start time of 0900 hrs to hopefully take a chance on the early Easterly breeze. The fleet enjoyed a real treat of a Wagyu beef BBQ served on the sundeck, supplied by legendary Western Australian Match Racing guru Peter Gilmour and his family including his son Lachy, the race winner of the first race of the day.



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by Jonny Fullerton - Regatta Services


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