Lake Garda turned on the style for the fourth day of the B14 World Championships. Clear blue skies and a 15 knot Southerly Ora made for perfect sailing conditions.
As with the first two days sailed with the wind in this direction the choice between left and right sides was critical but hard to call. Popular wisdom is that the wind bend into the right is there about 80% of the time but for the other 20% the wind switches left with huge lifts to be found around the now infamous 'Lucky Point'.
Of the leading six boats overall, three went right and three left. Right paid and Matt Snedker and Dave Dobrijevic (GBR 736) creamed in to take a lead which they extended all race. Steve Lovegrove and Shaun Barber (GBR 762) and Dave Hayes and Sean Dwyer (GBR 749) followed to move to the top of the standings. Meanwhile event leaders Tim Fells and Richard Dowsett (GBR 758) were fighting to recover from a disastrous first beat out on the left and struggled home seventh. Jonny Ellis and Spike Daniels (GBR 733) continued their climb up the leader board with fourth. The biggest cheer of the week came from Don and Kate Forster (GBR 715) who battled it out with the big boys to come home an excellent, fist pumping fifth.
With the experience of the first race strong in their minds all the leading contenders hit hard right in race two. However, this was 20% time and 'Lucky Point' was doing its thing. Piers Lambert and Christian Smart (GBR 750) found themselves in the right place at the right time to lead at the top mark. The top four overall extricated themselves from the right as soon as they saw what was happening and rounded in the group behind the leader.
Down the first run Snedker / Dobrijevic hit the tide during a jybe and dropped from the running. Fells / Dowsett, Hayes / Dwyer and Lovegrove / Barber rounded the bottom marks together and started a drag race to the right corner. Lovegrove / Barber found an inside shift to lead at the top mark but Hayes / Dwyer chose the correct right hand buoy to take new pressure and establish a narrow advantage. With the leading three crossing jybes all the way down the run it was too close to call and only at the finish was it resolved with Hayes / Dwyer taking their first gun ahead of Lovegrove / Barber and Fells / Dowsett, all crossing in the blink of an eye.
With one race to sail Lovegrove / Barber have worked out a useful five point lead and know they just need to keep their noses clean. Fells / Dowsett after a poor day and Hayes / Dwyer after and excellent one are tied on points and can both take the title if Lovegrove / Barber slip up. Snedker / Dobrijevic can still win but require all the leading three boats to have bad results.
Top 10 Overall
1st GBR 762 Steve Lovegrove and Shaun Barber (1,9,23,4,2,4,1,2,2) 16 pts
2nd GBR 758 Tim Fells and Richard Dowsett (2,5,2,1,16,1,9,7,3) 21 pts
3rd GBR 749 Dave Hayes and Sean Dwyer (9,4,6,11,3,2,2,3,1) 21 pts
4th GBR 736 Matt Snedker and Dave Dobrijevic (4,2,1,10,4,8,4,1,16) 24 pts
5th GBR 725 Matt Searle and Richard Bell (15,3,17,2,1,5,7,11,4) 33 pts
6th GBR 746 Jono Pank and Richard Edwards (12,7,7,3,DNF,6,3,16,7) 45 pts
7th GBR 733 Jonny Ellis and Spike Daniels (8,15,18,6,6,OCS,6,4,5) 50 pts
8th GBR 645 Chris Sallis and Dick Roe (7,20,5,14,12,3,5,12,10) 54 pts
9th GBR 756 Jason Andrews and Marcus Lynch (3,6,8,7,11,11,11,8,DNF) 54 pts
10th GBR 734 Steve Fisher and Neil Barber (6,22,9,12,5,7,10,20,6) 55 pts