The stars of the fleet shone again in race seven and eight of the 2014 A Class Catamaran World Championships.
To the relief of many after Thursday's heavy slog the two races were sailed in excellent conditions with flat water and steady breeze. Sailors had spent the morning changing the set up of their boats because light airs were predicted for the day, but once the boats left the beach, the conditions changed, and by the time they made it to the start line the wind was between eight and ten knots with puffs a little higher.
With about fifteen minutes to go many elected to modify the settings for somewhere about halfway between what they'd had for the last day of racing and where things had been set in the morning.
The first race got away with most of the fleet favouring the pin end of the line. Glen Ashby and Chris Nicholson made a break for the front. Blair Tuke found a hold in the middle of the line following left. By the top mark Andrew Landenberger was in the lead followed closely by Ashby, Brad Collett and Scott Anderson.
Tuke worked up from tenth at the second bottom mark to an eventual fourth. By the race end Ashby crossed ahead of Landenberger and Collett took third from Tuke and Anderson.
Aussie Chris Cairns had a tough day when he hit the top mark buoy which settled in between the hulls, jamming against the forward beam. He got off after walking the hull back off the buoy, finally floating clear and sailing to a clear space where he duly completed his penalty.
The breeze was up and down the whole day and the course was shortened after the first bottom mark, with the new course length in effect for the balance of the races.
Race Two got off in about eight knots. Ashby led the pack over the line at the pin end but said later that the puff died after he crossed the line. At the first bottom mark rounding he overtook Peter Burling who was coming through slowly from the right side of the course. Ashby gybed and had enough speed to get ahead, leaving Burling rather flat and slow to respond. They were followed by Tuke and Nathan Outteridge, with Ray Davies and Landenberger rounding together close behind.
At the second rounding of the bottom mark Ashby still led Burling, followed by Tuke about two hundred meters back. Next was Outteridge with an even a larger gap back to Davies.
There was a tough battle all the way up the course and back down to the finish where Tuke got to the layline earlier than Outteridge who had to do a final gybe just before the line. Tuke took his first win of the competition with Outteridge second followed by Ashby in a rare third place. Burling finished fourth from Davies, Anderson and Steve Brewin.
In the overall standings Ashby (AUS) is in the lead on 11 points, with a gap back to Tuke (NZL) on 26 from Landenberger (AUS) on 33. Burling (NZL) sits on 35 and Davies (NZL) on 46.