Fantastic news with Scott Leith securing another World Championship with a day to spare.
The light but variable conditions have continued .. The fourth day, following the lay day, there was again 5 to 10 knots sea breeze which built slowly. The start was delayed 2 hours and again we managed to hike a little late in the day. There was a slight swell under the wind chop but it was still shifty and some tidal currents to add to the challenges.
The fifth day today again saw the start delayed 2 hours and we raced in 5 to 8 knot north easterly sea breeze. Choppy but no swell.
With the weather being more of the same the racing has followed the pattern of the first 3 days with very tight racing in most fleets and places easy to loose but hard to gain back.
As can be seen from the results the fortunes of the Kiwi sailors have continued to vary.
In the Apprentice Masters Scott Leith has secured another World Title with a day to spare. He has dominated the fleet with consistent, percentage sailing. Once he had established his domination over the first 3 days he has sailed conservatively and just continued to build consistent results allowing him to build an unassailable lead, with a 2nd and 3rd as his two worst performances going into the last day. Kris Decke and Alistair Tait have both enjoyed individual race wins in the last 2 days and continue to wage a close battle for third place overall while Alan Coutts is also close in 6th. Kent Copplestone and Rob Woodward have continued to struggle a bit in the light conditions.
In the Masters, Andrew Dellabarca has again had some excellent races, winning race 9 and sitting 7th overall going into the last 2 races tomorrow and still with a realistic chance of a top 5 finish if he has a really good day tomorrow. Arnoud Hummel (NED) and Al Clark (CAN) continue their close battle at the head of the fleet, separated by only 1 point going into the final day.
In the Grand Master I have continued to be a bit up and down, struggling to hold places in the conditions. We only had one race today, running out of time as being winter here it is dark by 5.30. A strong tide carrying the fleet across the start line resulted in several general recalls and black flags for race 10, a saga that will now continue tomorrow morning, weather permitting. Greg Adams (AUS) continues to dominate this fleet and is now almost assured of the title.
In the GGM full rig Bob Blakey has continued his strong form and holds a clear second behind Mark Bethwaite (AUS), who has an unassailable lead with 3 races to go. While Bob is in line for one of the inaugural GGM standard cubes Sandy Grigg has been a bit less consistent and is now 6th overall. Again the GGM’s only managed 1 race today as time for them ran out waiting for the young GM’s to try and sort out their starts.
In the Radial Apprentice Edmund Tam has had a tough couple of days, winning race 9 but struggling in the other 3 races to now be third on points, but only one point out of a cube position so with everything to sail for on the final day. Jon Emmett (GBR) has proven extremely consistent after a slow start and leads from Fabio Suyama Ramos (BRA) who moved into second after a 1st and 2nd today.
In the Radial Masters Roger Winton and Hamish Atkinson have continued to improve but are still mid-fleet with Ian Jones (GBR) having won this division with a day to spare.
In the Radial Grand Masters Bruce Jones has had a couple of top 10 finishes which has boosted his overall standing. Vanessa Dudley (AUS) has been extremely consistent at the top of the fleet and has won this division, also with a day to spare.
In the GGM’s Tom Speed has continued to finish consistently mid fleet. The fleet continues to be led by Peter Seidenburg. They also have 3 races to try and fit in tomorrow.
So as we go into the last day several fleets have the winners decided but close battles remain for the minor placings in those fleets and for the other titles. The forecast is again 5 to 10 knots North’ish sea breezes but hopefully it will conform with the forecast and fill in earlier than the last 2 days, allowing all races to be completed by the 3pm start time cutoff.
So congratulations to Scott on another well deserved success and best of luck to Ed in his battle tomorrow to secure the AM Radial prize.