The second day of racing at the Access Class World Championships at Whitby Yacht Club was a perfect sunny summer day. A consistent 7-9 knot South-Easterly held all day, enabling three races to be conducted for all divisions.
The SKUD 18, also competing at Whitby in an International Regatta, and Access 303 Two-Person divisions took to the water first in the morning session beginning at 11:00. Dan FITZGIBBON and Rachael COX (AUS) stamped their authority on Division 9 today with three straight wins. Rick WATTERS and Audrey KOBAYASHI (CAN) went 2-3-3 in today's heats and maintain a single point lead over Ame BARNBROOK and Dennis CRITCHLEY (AUS). Bill BRADLEY and Carol HENSON (AUS) had their SKUD on the water for the first time today and will use tomorrow's reserve day to sharpen up ahead of the final day of SKUD racing on Tuesday.
Competition is very tight in the two-person Access 303s. Eva MIRCSEV and Zoltan PEGAN (HUN) lead with Michael LEYDON and Debbie BOYS (AUS) second and Jim BROWN and Tish ENNIS (AUS) third. Only one point separates each place, so the final day of racing will be crucial.
In the afternoon session, positions in the 2.3 Single-Person division are becoming quite defined. The top three finished each race in their respective places. Duncan MACGREGOR (AUS) leads by three points from Clare ANDREW (GBR) who retains a five point buffer on Debbie Boys (AUS). MACGREGOR is the current Australian 2.3 Champion and placed second in the 2.3 Mens division of the FESPIC Games Regatta last year in Malaysia.
After Zoltan PEGAN (HUN) and Michael LEYDON (AUS) were tied yesterday, LEYDON won three straight today to gain a four point lead over the Hungarian in the 303 Two-Person competition. Jim BROWN (AUS) is four points adrift of PEGAN and has the remaining races to make up the deficit.
Joshua MCKENZIE-BROWN (NZL) continued his winning way in the Access Liberty open division posting two wins and a fourth. MCKENZIE-BROWN has a 4 point buffer over Chris RIORDAN (AUS) who is four points ahead of countryman Barry COATES (AUS). Hamilton, Ontario sailor Cam PERRY (CAN) is another three points behind COATES, so the podium is far from decided with another four races to be completed on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Racing in the middle of the Liberty fleet was extremely tight today with Whitby Yacht Club sailor David GURR (CAN) and Alex HRUZEWICZ (USA) within a place of two in most races. The pair are tied for fifth.
Fred HESS (USA) sailing the Liberty Servo division 8 is racing amongst the open fleet and managed to be third and fifth across the line today against the open competition - a strong performance for a sailor using sip & puff servo controls for helm, main & jib.
Principal Race Officer, David SPRAGUE (CAN), was impressed with the racing. 'The sailors' spirit of competition is tremendous, and they have been very cooperative on the course', he said.
Racing continues on Tuesday and results will be posted to the International Access Class website and Whitby Yacht Club site.