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4 November 2013, 03:56 pm
Vials And Turner Extend In Hong Kong
Swell ride
Swell ride

Flying Fifteen World Championship
Hong Kong

Having lost Day 2 to typhoon Krosa, the race management team was on station early today, with a target of two races in order to get back on track for a Thursday finish.
Krosa left a confused sea and some dreach weather in its wake, with a shifty 10 to 14kt breeze which tracked from 040 to 070 degrees in the space of 20 minutes.

Having set the line in his customary spot, Race Officer Jerry Rollin was forced to move it forward as a ship was anchored on the port lay line, however both committee boat and pin end managed to reset before the scheduled display of the attention signal at 1155hrs.

The first attempt at a start featured a mass of 'Fifteens going OCS, resulting in a black flag restart. This time all boats were clear and El Toro charged into the lead, ahead of Ineffable and Steve Goacher, with Graham Vials rounding the windward mark in fourth place.

Talking after the race, Vials noted that "conditions were tricky - there was a big swell with a bit of time and a shifty breeze" but that didn't prevent him drawing up to the front by the leeward mark rounding to set up a private battle with the Jerwoods, which was settled in favour of Ineffable. Meanwhile Always Fforever was holed in a port/ starboard with Aussie Falcon, forcing her to retire from the day's racing. RHKYC boatyard staff are hard at work trying to repair the damage in time for tomorrow's racing.

With the wind tracking round another 20 degrees, the line was set again for Race 4, with Rollin looking to get one race ahead of the schedule and take the pressure off for the remaining three days of racing.

Unhappy with the line, the RO AP'd just before the start and after moving for the pin end, restarted the sequence. Once again the fleet struggled with the combination of tide and swell and once again a general recall was signaled.

After an increase in line length, another attempt at a start with the black flag displayed at the preparation signal - a clutch of boats was again over towards the centre of the line with two being identified and scored BFD. The lucky ones made it to the next restart, but it was a case of déjà vu, yet another general recall and five more boats scored BFD. Finally, at the fourth time of asking, the depleted fleet made a clean start, with Hong Kong-ers Cosmas Grelon and Rory Godman making it to the windward mark in first place.

By the leeward mark, Foof had taken up its customary position at the front of the fleet, closely followed by Steve Goacher, with Noisy Forefather in third. On the same leg, My Fair Lady was holed in a port/ starboard with the appropriately named Kerfuffle, but chose to carry on racing with a sizeable hole in her hull - surprisingly, she managed to finish ahead of three other boats scoring 39 in the process.

The series is shaping up to be a keen contest between Vials, Jerwood, Goacher and Alan Bax, with Vials sitting pretty on a 7 point cushion after scoring a 2-1 today. The Jerwoods are on 12 after a 1-2 and Goacher is on 20. Top Hong Kong competitor is Simon Pickering in 15th on Ffact or Ffiction, with 18 year old Cosmas Grelon just one point behind in 16th.

Overall Results

Full results with elapsed times can be seen at the event website here
Tracking of a selection of the top performing boats can be viewed here
Lyndsay Lyons
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