Friday, January 11, 2013

More Drama at 2013 Prochoice Etchells Australian Championships - Day 3 - Perth, Western Australia

Despite a black flag penalty in the second of the three races run today, The Croc sailed by Michael Manford, Dean McAullay and Nicholas Gray, tightened its grip on the 2013 National title with a third and a fourth place in the two races she finished. The Croc now enjoys a six point buffer over her nearest rival, Triad (John Bertrand, Grant Simmer and Andrew Palfrey), who in turn are one point clear of third placed Chilli Plum (Torvar Mirsky, Steve Thomas, Nick Davis and Justin Wong).
The Croc     Photo: Bernie Kaaks
With just one race left to sail to finish the championship series, Manford is in control, but since he must select his disqualification in Race 6 as his “drop” race, he cannot afford to relax. The levelling factor is that both the yachts immediately below him on the leaderboard are also carrying a black flag disqualification, so they have the same problem. Only Queensland’s Matthew Chew, in fourth place with a worst placing of ninth, could cause an upset if the three leaders fail in the final race tomorrow.
Mark Thornburrow    Photo: Bernie Kaaks
Hong Kong’s Mark Thornburrow continued his miserable run today. Already carrying a non discardable disqualification from yesterday, he was again black flagged in race 6 today, along with Victorian Chris Hampton (Tango) and Michael Manford (The Croc).
Skip Lissiman   Photo: Bernie Kaaks
A black flag episode today resulted in a request for redress by Bandwagon (Skip Lissiman). After some delay, the race committee advised the fleet by radio that four boats had crossed the line early. Lissiman responded immediately, turning his boat away from the fleet and back toward the start line, as required by the rules. A short time later, a second call from the race committee corrected the initial call and nominated three boats, not four, and that Bandwagon’s number had been called in error. So Bandwagon, having travelled away from the top mark, now had to turn around and give chase to the tail enders. The outcome will be decided by the jury.
Chilli Plum    Photo: Bernie Kaaks
Race 6 was also unfortunate for Dawn Raid (Jake Gunther) and Marmalade (Marino Evangelisti), resulting in damage serious enough to force both to retire, though Dawn Raid was temporarily repaired and sailed in the last race of the day.
Triad    Photo: Bernie Kaaks
Weather conditions on the Fremantle course were similar to yesterday, with a south westerly sea breeze at about 15 knots for Race 1, that escalated to 22 knots during the afternoon and kept crews on their toes. If tomorrow’s weather follows the forecast (and with a cyclone off the north west coast anything is possible), sailors should enjoy excellent conditions for their final race in south easterlies blowing at around 15 knots. It will be a sweet relief after three successive days of heavy “Fremantle Doctor” south westerlies.

For full results>>>

Bernie Kaaks

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