The Flying 15 worlds fleet completed one race on Wednesday which was won by Graham Vials and Chris Turner. Second were Ian Cleaver and Steve Milne, third Brett Dingwall and Jonathan Clark.
Vials and Turner now have a 15 point lead ahead of Mike and Gemma McIntyre with two more races possible. The second race of the day was abandoned.
The Derwent Water pair continued their low scoring path to the Flying 15 World title despite the light, fickle wind out in Hayling Bay. The fleet launched early and then spent over four hours waiting for the wind to settle for any reasonable amount of time. It wasn't until around 13:00 local time that it rose above 5 knots.
The 60 boats of the gold fleet eventually got away in a northerly of 6 to 7 knots. Series leaders Vials and Turner had an average start and worked the shifts, while keeping a watch on nearest rivals, Mike and Gemma McIntyre. At the top mark Nigel and Gavin Tullett led from Matt Owen and Andrew Reed with Vials and Turner rounding third.
The wind had gone left and made a tight reach and then a broad run. The second beat was a long starboard tack with the tide and at the spreader marks, Vials and Turner took the right hand and Ian Cleaver and Steve Milne the left. From here Vials and Turner took the lead and eventually a comfortable win. Clever and Milne were second and Dingwall and Clark third.
Graham described the conditions, "just like Lake sailing", which might explain the five inland-water based boats in the top seven today. Not quite how some would describe the difficult conditions they have experienced for most of the two weeks of the championships. The normal sea-breeze dominated sailing in Hayling Bay has been conspicuous by its absence. And conditions show little sign of improving for the final day.
An early start has been posted again for Thursday, with the hope of completing the two final races, but for Vials and Turner it looks to be little more than a formality. Staying close to Mike and Gemma McIntyre will be their priority, but they are sailing so well this week they will have to try very hard to miss the top podium spot.
Flying 15 gold fleet - World Championship at HISC
1 - Graham VIALS / Chris TURNER (GBR) 3-1-1-1-(7)-(49BFD)-2-1.0 9pts
2 - Mike MCINTYRE / Gemma MCINTYRE (GBR) 11-(34)-5-1-5-1-1-(13) 24pts
3 - Andy MCKEE / Richard JONES (GBR) (12)-(18)-11-3-1-2-4-7 28pts
4 - Jeremy DAVY / Simon CHILDS (GBR) 5-4-(16)-2-2-10-7-(38) 30pts
5 - Greg WELLS / Mark DARLING (GBR) 2-1-(17)-8-6-2-(19)-12 31pts