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2 August 2013, 08:28 am
Ryan And Michaela Robinson (RSA) Lead Mirror Worlds
Mirror Worlds
Close racing at the Mirror worlds

Mirror World Championship
Tipperary, Ireland

Two more races were sailed on Thursday at the 2013 Mirror World Championships in Tipperary. The incessant rain did not dampen spirits and after a conservative day it is still South Africans Ryan and Michaela Robinson who top the leaderboard.
Day 4 of the Mirror World Sailing Championships and the weather forecast for Lough Derg was more amenable that had been expected. Boats launched in incessant rain with a light southerly breeze. The first race took three attempts as has become the norm for first race. Third time lucky and all got away with Ridegly Ballardes from the Philippines taking the left side of the course along with Ireland's Alfie Wisdom and the UK's Robert Bellfield. As the leg progressed the left side certainly looked like it was paying off with Sarah Richards (GBR), Ridgely Balladares and Ryan Robinson from South Africa following suit. Douglas Elmes (IRL) took the middle but certainly looked separated from the leaders during the early stages.

Sarah Richardson was first to weather mark followed by Ryan Robinson and Ridgely Balladares. A few boat lengths later was Nigel Thomas from the UK and local Alfie Wisdom who was having a great leg. The left side certainly paid off with right hand side boats well back at weather mark. Down the spinnaker leg Isabel Davies and Katies Davies started to make a move on the leaders. With the wind starting to increase and visibility reducing with the rain it was hard to see where the leaders were coming from during the early part of the upwind leg. Sarah Richards seemed to go right with most of the others up the middle. Nigel Thomas and Alfie Wisdom had now overtaken Ridegly Ballardes however Sarah Richards had extended her lead at the second weather mark and held it to the finish.

A battle ensued between Nigel Thomas, Ridegly Ballardes and Ireland's Alfie Wisdom down the reach and spinnaker leg with Thomas and Wisdom eventually taking second and third respectively . Overnight leader Ryan Robinson sailed conservatively and finished in sixth while Douglas Elmes who had been fifth overall could only manage an 18th. Ireland's Kerri-Ann Boylan had a storming race and took ninth to be second Irish boat home. The wind picked up at the end and a number of backmarkers capsized with a few retiring before the second race.

The second race got away the first time with wind steady about 180 degrees. At the pin end David Coady from the UK had a great start followed closely by Rachel Grayson, Esme Shepard and Ridegly Ballardes. With the rain now belting down it looked like the fleet were favouring the left side again. Rachel Grayson was the clear leader up the beat with Douglas Elmes now showing alongside Ridegly Ballardes, Robert Belfield, Sarah Richards and Katie Davies. Alfie Wisdom looked like the next Irish boat but he had to do penalty turns and was slow away from the mark.

The PRO called for weather mark to be moved further out for next beat as the fleet made their way down to bottom mark in a lightening breeze. The lead boats maintained their positions around the bottom mark but Rachel Grayson had extended her lead. Series leader Ryan Robinson had been sailing conservatively but was still in contact with the top five. Rachel Grayson came out of the right hand side of beat with Sarah Richards, Katie Davies and Ryan Robinson, while Douglas Elmes and Ridegly Ballardes took the middle left.

Rachel Grayson rounded the weather mark for the last time with further extended lead with clearly the minor placing between the next five or six boats. Douglas Elmes got round second followed by Sarah Richards and Katie Davies. The latter had a great leg and got ahead of Douglas Elmes at the bottom mark and moved in to second place as they rounded for the short beat to the finish. Douglas Elmes was also under pressure from Ridegly Ballardes and had to be satisfied with a fourth while Sarah Richards finished fifth.

Overall leader Ryan Robinson seemed happy to not get too engaged and finished ninth and with a second discard kicking in he still leads overall.

Event Website

Rachel Solon
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