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8 January 2004, 01:13 pm
Four Races Completed
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Grant Geddes & Dan Wilsdon© Shane Baker

International 14 South Pacific and Australian National Championship

After losing a days racing to fickle weather of David ALEXANDER and Tony BARRETT in 'Jet' today won the third races of the Sail Melbourne International 14 South Pacific and Australian National Championships at Black Rock Yacht Club.
Race #3. 8-10Knts

In a light and extremely difficult southerly breeze the fleet finally got away late for a morning race after five general recalls and a lengthy delay to the start whilst the breeze settled to the point that a race could be started.

Alexander starting from the pin end of the line was well advanced on the pack at the start and went onto the left side of the course, which retained the greatest amount of pressure. The first beat descended into a lottery as the pressure evaporated and the fleet became acquainted with the pattern that would predominate for the rest of the day.

Alexander come off the pin end going hard left retained the greatest wind as the breeze faded and the holes swallowed competitors at random across the course. Mark ELSWORTH and Tim MOORHOUSE to leeward of Alexander as the fleet returned from the left side of the course made it to the first windward mark in second behind Alexander with Grant GEDDES in third place. Those that hard gone right where the pressure had been in all of the pre and recalled starts were buried and left to chase the leaders.

The first run saw leaders searching for the leeward marks and hedging bets by running down the centre of the course. Order at the first leeward mark remainder unchanged.

The next beat saw the leaders in a tacking duel looking to get an advantage over each other. Elsworth came out on top from the right side of the course, crossing Alexander for the lead near the windward mark. Elsworth lead around the reaches with the following pack of Alexander and Geddes putting pressure on Elsworth as the pack closed on the leeward mark.

A tight battle ensued up the next leg with boats swapping places as the pressure and angles continued to switch from side to side. Alexander resumed the lead and went on to record his first victory as the race was shortened at the next leeward mark. Elsworth held onto to a close second from Geddes with Irwin in a distant fourth, Coutts in fifth and Krstic in Sixth.

Race #4. 8-12 knots

The runway on the left side of the course was again in action as Dave ALEXANDER in 'Jet', Alan VICKERY in 'WAM', Anthony ANDERSON and David HUGHES in 'Jungle Fire', Stephen EDMUNDS and Mark WODDRUFFE in 'Queer Eye for the Straight Guy' with Richard ECKBERG and Grant GEDDES headed the field after working the left side of the first beat to win the game of chance. Significant shifts in angle and pressure were once again the order of the day as the course saw shifts of 30 and more degrees.

The leaders once again had difficulty finding the marks and lead the field into the middle of the course. The fleet was tightly packed at the leeward mark as they carried pressure into the bottom of the course and as the pack consolidated at the bottom of the run a swift exit via the right hand buoy saw Irwin back in contention for the lead.

Alexander worked the left again with Geddes out sea with Alexander leading at the top mark by 50 m over Geddes and Irwin. The first reach was tight with Alexander having to drop to make the mark letting Geddes into the lead with 'Jet' and 'Irwin Sails' following.

Geddes went on to lead to the finish doing the next run comfortably covering, with Irwin leading Alexander into the bottom mark and going on to cover the remainder of the race for second place. Fourth was Greg COUTTS in 'More Grunt' with Mark KRSTIC and Rob OSHLACK in fifth and James MCDONALD and Jason KING in 'JKM' in sixth place.

Racing was postponed yesterday due to high winds.

Top Five in each discipline after four races

Class ET

Place Skipper Crew Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Race 4 Points
1 Lindsay IRWIN Andrew PERRY 1 3 4 2 10
2 Mark KRSTIC Rob OSHLACK 4 4 6 5 19
3 Jason BEEBE Chris TURNER 3 2 9 8 22
4 Mark ELSWORTH Tim MOORHOUSE 2 7 2 12 23
5 Greg COUTTS Brett TAYLOR 8 8 5 4 25

Mixed Class HC

Pos Skipper Crew Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Race 4 Points
1 David MCGEOCH Geoff TOMAMICHEL 3 12 9 1 25
2 Sean STEVENS Brian LONG 2 16 3 9 30
3 Craig PADMAN Tim BERG 7 2 19 7.5 35.5
4 Stephen EDMUNDS Michael WOODROFFE 6 6 16 14 42
5 Brent FRANKCOMBE Wayne FRANKCOMBE 5 35.00C 1 4 45

Andy Loukes (As Amended by ISAF)
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