The wind arrived in Wakayama yesterday, much to the liking of the Australian sailors. Not only did Lindsay IRWIN and Andrew PERRY sail superbly to lead the race from start to finish, but most of the nine crews had their best race of the series so far
The anemometer was showing maximum gusts of 15 meters per second (more than 30 knots) in the morning, and it seemed unlikely that the race would be able to go ahead. However, the patient Race Officer put up the answering pennant on shore, and then went out to inspect the race track. His decision was that a course much further out in the bay than previously would be sailable, and he proved to be absolutely right.
In fact, the wind speed was 17 knots at sea level by the time the fleet made their way out to the start, but there was sufficient sea running to mean it was not going to be easy, even for many of the better sailors. As the race progressed, there were gusts that led to numerous capsizes, and some spectacular pitch poles resulted.
Behind Irwin and Perry, Andy Partington and Ben Vernieres sailed a steady race to take second place, and series leaders Rob Greenhalgh and Dan Johnson finished safely in third. Victor Brellisford and Damian Ash were next, ahead of the two top American teams, Zack Berkowitz and Mike Martin, and Kris Bundy and Jamie Hanseler.
Greenhalgh and Johnson have extended their lead to 13 points, just past the mid point of the series, and are looking good for the championship. Tomorrow is a lay day, and Races 5 and 6 then follow on Saturday and Race 7 on Sunday.
Race 4 results:
1. AUS 616, Lindsay Irwin and Andrew Perry
2. GBR 1481, Andy Partington and Ben Vernieres
3. GBR 1482, Rob Greenhalgh and Dan Johnson
4. GBR 1483, Victor Brellisford and Damian Ash
5. USA 1137, Zach Berkowitz and Mike Martin
6. USA 1127, Kris Bundy and Jamie Hanseler
7. GBR 1495, Chris Turner and Peter Bagwell
8. GBR 1484, James Fawcett and Bruce Grant
9. AUS 617, Alan Vickery and Andrew Wilson
10. GBR 1461, Ian Pinnell and Sam Gardiner
Positions after 4 races, no discard:
1. GBR 1482, Rob Greenhalgh and Dan Johnson, 6 points
2. GBR 1476, Archie Massey and George Nurton, 19 points
3. USA 1137, Zach Berkowitz and Mike Martin, 23 points
4. GBR 1481, Andy Partington and Ben Vernieres, 25 points
5. GBR 1484, James Fawcett and Bruce Grant, 28 points
6. USA 1127, Kris Bundy and Jamie Hanseler, 35 points
7. GBR 1495, Chris Turner and Peter Bagwell, 37 points
8. GBR 1483, Victor Brellisford and Damian Ash, 38 points
9. GBR 1479, Andrew Penman and Tim Bastow, 45 points
10. AUS 616, Lindsay Irwin and Andrew Perry, 53 points