British sailmaker Steve GOACHER, guided by crew Phil EVANS, captured the fourth race of the Subaru Flying Fifteen World Championships by just 4 boat-lengths from Northern Ireland's Darren martin and Simon MURRAY.
A convincing third place finish for Rod BEURTEAUX and Chris O'KEEFE moves the Australian crew into the overall lead of the series with three races remaining to be contested.
Martin and Murray, sailing out of Strangford Lough Yacht Club, broke out of a mid-fleet finishing pattern to lead around the top mark and finish as the only Irish boat in the top 20. Fourth place for husband & wife team Barry & Sue Parkin leaves the British couple lying 4th in the series, with Sue trumpeting "This one's for the North of England!"
Previous series leaders Justin BURKE and Alan GREENE (IRL) suffered a poor start, dropping to 40th at the top mark before recovering to finish 28th. With one discard applied following race 4, the Irish crew now slip to third place overall behind Britain's Mike HART and Richard RIGG.
Contrasting a poor day for the Irish, no fewer than 12 British boats finished in the top 20 finishers, with Greg Wells & Miles Mitchell grabbing a creditable 5th at the line.
While race 4 was sailed in a light 6~7 knot breeze and a sea mist which refused to burn off, fresher winds are forecast for the final two days of the Subaru Worlds. Principal Race Officer Jack Roy aims to run two races on Friday, commencing at 11.30am, with the final round taking place on Saturday.
Full results are available on the event website at the address below.