All advanced to stage 4 with JARVIN moving up to face MIRSKY, POLLARD up to face SWINTON leaving ROUGLEY now against BARKER with the loser to be relegated to 6th place. Just one flight of this best of three stage was completed and the bottom pairing producing the most dramatic match so far in the series. Just seconds after the warning signal and with the breeze now gusting to 20kts, ROUGHLEY's jib fell to the deck as the halyard snapped - he displayed the green breakdown flag and red protest flag but as the race had technically commenced, no allowance for his predicament was forthcoming from either the Committee boat or the subsequent redress hearing.
ROUGHLEY survived the pre-start under main alone eventually using the spinnaker halyard to raise the jib. BARKER however was OCS and trailed ROUGHLEY, who now sailed with no spinnaker. As BARKER overhauled him on the final run, ROUGHLEY carted him way off the course, but perhaps not quite deep enough as BARKER was able to roll him on the close reach back to the line with a very shy spinnaker to take the match.
Further racing was delayed while a man went aloft to run a new halyard and during this time the wind increased with gusts to 28kts. The Committee boat signalled AP over H and the sailors returned to the Club to await further instructions. But the strong gusty conditions refused to abate and racing was postponed till the Sunday, the final day with none of the top 6 teams eliminated at this time.
However, up to 13 flights may be required tomorrow to complete the schedule which may force officials to review format options. Tomorrow's forecast is for W winds to 20kts.