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.
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 and wife team Barry and Sue PARKIN leaves the British couple lying fourth 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 40 at the top mark before recovering to finish 28. 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 and Miles MITCHELL grabbing a creditable fifth 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 11.30UCT, with the final round taking place on Saturday.
Top Ten After 4 Races
||Rod BEURTEAUX, Chris O'KEEFE
||Mike HART, Richard RIGG
||Justin BURKE, Alan GREEN
||Barry PARKIN, Sue PARKIN
||Steve GOACHER, Phil EVANS
||Rupert MANDER, Chris HEWKIN
||Roger PALMER, Barbara PALMER
||A TATTERSALL, T SMART
||Sean CRAIG, Stephen BOYLE
||Ashley SMITH, Kym THUMPKIN