Friday, January 6, 2012

A Class Cats Growl On Day 3 of Australian Nats

The first race on day 3 of the 2012 John Cootes Furniture A Class Australian Championships, being hosted by the Wangi Amateur Sailing Club was delayed until 2pm, by which time Australia's cricket captain Michael Clarke had reached 300 runs. It was coincidence but by then the east south easterly had lifted to six knots.
Glenn Ashby Photo: Andrea Francolini
After a two hour delay and a general recall, PRO Tony Outteridge hoisted a black flag. A clear start for most of the fleet but not for Dirk de Ridder. His ‘need for speed’ was too great and he was black flagged.

James Spithill was the clear leader at the top mark with Glenn Ashby second. Next time around it was Stephen Brayshaw in the lead from Grant Pellew, Tom Slingsby, Jack Benson, Pieter-Jan Postman, Chris Cairns and Steve Brewin.

On the next top rounding Spithill sailed in on a long starboard lay line approach while Ashby came in fast on the port lay line and he grabbed the lead before the clearing mark. Behind them came Brayshaw, Nathan Outteridge and Brewin.

At the top mark for the final time Ashby led Brewin and Spithill. They finished in that order, ahead of Outteridge.

The wind had built to 11 knots by the start of the second race of the day, Race 6 of the series.

Ashby was on the pin. Outteridge just squeezed in one up from the pin, while Darren Bundock was four up the line. Ashby missed the first shift and at the top mark for the first time Lucas McDonald led Pellew, Outteridge, Jack Benson and Postman, ahead of Cairns. The second time round Brewin was leading veteran Scott Anderson, Chris Batenberg and Ashby.

At the top of the third beat it was Brewin ahead of Anderson, Spithill and Ashby. Down the final run Outteridge sailed through Ashby and Spithill to take third place.

First into the boat park was Steve Brewin and he was smiling. "Happy to go 2, 1 today. Glenn had a brilliant first race; I guess I learned a bit watching how he sailed.

"In the second race I got out pretty well, with Outteridge and Spithill. Glenn was back a little, which made my life easier. I had a good first run and got the lead and disappeared.

"I will have to win the last three races to have a chance of winning the 2012 title. One bad move, like I did yesterday, and the regatta is over."

Glenn Ashby said, "In the first race I managed to sneak away after two good beats and managed to consolidate downwind. In the second race I started at the pin and I had a beautiful start, but it went down about 10 degrees. Everyone got in a 15 degree lift and speared off. I took my medicine and was deep at the top. I finished fourth.

"You needed to be much more aggressive and I was not, I should have gone for the corners. But I will take a four any day of the week in this high quality fleet.

"Stevie (Brewin) and I always have a good tussle, let’s hope we can get some decent breeze tomorrow that we can sink our teeth into. It will be a lot of fun."


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