Blue skies and brilliant sunshine greeted the 103 boat fleet of Laser SB3s on Day four of the Zhik SB3 World Championships 2011.
Unfortunately the wind was late arriving and the "AP" was raised for over an hour. Eventually, the wind put in an appearance and as the afternoon went on the pressure increased and as forcast, the direction tracked right.
All eyes were on Robert Greenhalgh
(GBR) and the crew this morning after their strong performance yesterday. At the first windward mark "Red" rounded towards the middle of the gold fleet, but the crew managed to pick up the wind shift and improve their position to finish the race in third place. The race was won by Irish entry Mel Collins
(IRL) and his crew on Sibelus. Sarah Allan
(GBR) was back in action and finished the race second.
The rock star crew on One Design Sailing, Nathan Outteridge
, Ian Brown
and Tom Slingsby
(AUS), have had a difficult Championship and yesterday was no exception. They were called over the line in race two, but didn't hear the Race Committees radio announcement of their bow number. After leading the fleet all the way around the course, they finished first. The news of their "OCS" was a bitter blow for the Australian team. Having finished tenth in race one and fifth in race three, it's fair to say One Design Sailing's performance was back, but their luck is yet to be found.
Gill Race Team, helmed by Craig Burlton
(GBR) found their form. The second discard has now been applied to the results which puts Burlton in third position overall. "From the forecast, it looked like it was going to be a really tough day, but we've worked it out today and the breeze was much more consistent. The smiles are back onboard,"
said Burlton. Going into the final day, there is a twenty point gap between Burlton and Greenhalgh, "It would be a big call to beat Rob, and we'd have to rely on him having some major errors tomorrow. But we're happy to be in third place this evening."
Yesterday, Robert Gullan
(GBR), the helm of Pieter Heyn's "Parkway Pirates" took a great leap up the overall results. This evening Parkway Pirates lie in fifth position, sixteen points behind Glenn Bourke (AUS) in fourth. "We don't do a lot of sailing together and it's taken us a bit of time to work out the conditions in Tor Bay. We sailed all of our qualifying races on the Orange course, but our results have improved since we've been sailing in the Gold fleet on the Yellow course."
With just two races left to sail, Gullan and crew will be looking to sail two more consistent races to protect their fifth position. "If somebody had said to us before this event we'd be fifth at this stage, we'd have taken that, the competition is the hardest it's been at any of the World Championships so far."
Stay tuned and follow the action at www.ZhikSB3Worlds2011.com