Ken READ (USA) has stretched his lead at the 2003 Etchells World Championship to a whopping 25 points after taking his third bullet yesterday. Can he be stopped?
I quipped in my Sunday piece that high pressure systems are for golfers and sunbathers and that frontal movements are for sailors. Well we got our wish yesterday morning, complete fog, torrential rain and wind in excess of 35 knots ripping up the sound. The Race Committee out of respect for competitor's sails and rigging postponed the harbour start until the morning's amusement pushed through. What we were left with was a 12 to 18 knot northwesterly with just enough chop to provided some superb and challenging sailing.
Dennis CONNOR (USA), after a mediocre start picked up boats on every leg, until he finished in fifth place for the day, getting a firmer grip on second place for the regatta at the end of four races. Connor's performance to date would be enough to put him in first place in many regattas but not this one. Not with Ken READ racking up yet another bullet for a mind boggling 2, 1, 1, 1. Ken came by today's win with an electrifying feint at the end of the final leeward leg.
Read in second place, trailing New Zealander, Cameron APPLETON, at the gate steered Appleton to the left side of the course. Reed gave every indication that he too was rounding that mark, but once Appleton began to round Ken jibed away and rounded the mark on the right. Appleton suddenly found himself alone, on port tack and with the prospect of having to work himself through the rest of the fleet sailing down on him. Read on the other hand sailed away on Starboard in clear air. Everyone in the spectator fleet who witnessed Reads fake was speechless. We can only say, that is the kind of move that makes the Worlds what they are. While it is still way too early in the six day regatta to crown a champion clearly Ken READ has announced to all that he came to win.
Top Ten After Four Races
||Helm, Crew, Crew
||K. Read, K. Anderson & S. Norris
||D. Conner, P. Burton & T. Rey
||C. Miles, P. Smidmore & J. Mayjor
||J. Smith", H. Frazer" & A. Wills
||D. Kneulman", D. Smithers" & H. Lammens
||M. Thornburrow", T. Parsons" & A. Webster
||B. Lynn, T. Erskine & D. Sabin
||M. Bradford, M. O'Brien & G. Adshead
||H. Fogh", R. Cheer" & T. Fogh
||C. Proctor, B. Kinney & G. Stevens