After yesterday's multiple disqualifications and requests for redress in races 2 and 3, which were dismissed by the international jury, race four today involved some more surprise non finishers.
Ali Meller, 505 Class President reports from Fremantle
Only one race was scheduled for today, but we nearly sailed two. After a postponement, we went with a gate start in very light air. A number of teams were trying to gate early and several of these were caught a little high as the pathfinder started its run. In total six teams were scored a DSQ for hitting the gate launch or the pathfinder. Incredibly the teams disqualified included event leaders Ian Barker and Dan Cripps (GBR) as well as 1999 world champions Howard Hamlin and Mike Martin
Race four was in a mostly easterly breeze, with wind ranging from near zero to 16 knots, and puffs filling in from one side and nearly inverting the fleet. On the third beat, after the two reaching legs, the easterly died out, leaving most of the fleet barely moving, and the Fremantle Doctor breeze filled in from the opposite direction.
At this point the Race Committee abandoned the race, and moved into position for another start, setting the course for the new wind direction. Since it was late in the afternoon for The Doctor, it did not fill in all that strongly, perhaps to 14 knots, though there were some higher puffs. Again there were a number of teams trying to gate early. The fleet went off planing fast upwind. The leaders all chose to do bear-away sets at the windward mark, while a few teams that rounded well back jibed at the offset mark and hoisted spinnakers on port. The gybe set group had good breeze right to the corner, and when they gybed back to starboard to lay the leeward mark, received the strongest puff of the day. Large gains were made by these teams.
Andy Beeckman/Ben Benjamin (USA) won the race. Krister Bergstrom Thomas Moss would have crossed second, but capsized on the last jibe before the finish and fell to 4th. What with Bergstrom/Moss swimming Simon Payne/Bill Masterman dueled with Tim Collins/Drew Buttner for second, with Collins/Buttner (USA) taking 2nd and Payne/Masterman (GBR) 3rd. Bergstrom/Moss (SWE) were 4th, Les Nathanson/Richard Machin (AUS) 5th, Luke Molloy/Lucas Prescott (AUS) 6th, Henry Amthor/Steve Sparkman (USA) 7th, Brett Van Munster/Andrew Petch (AUS) 8th, Doug Hagan/Stuart Park (USA) 9th, Ian Pinnell/Steve Hunt (GBR) 10th.
This leaves the overall standings very close. Danny Thompson/Andy Zinn were in the teens at the last windard mark but put their kite under the bow on the hoist and dropped some places. If we start figuring in a discardt, Barker/Cripps throw out their DSQ and count ten points overall. Bergstrom/Moss drop a seventh and would have 12 points. Andy Beeckman/Ben Benjamin would throw out a fourteen and would have 12 points. Thompson/Zinn would throw out today's race and would be at 13.
At the time of posting, reults after race four were not available, but should be shortly on the event website below.