Laying to rest the ghosts from last years JJ Giltnan 18 foot Skiff Event, Rob GREENHALGH and Dan JOHNSON have won the International 14 World Championship in style, not needing to sail the last race yesterday.
Their combination of tactics, boat speed and handling have made them almost unbeatable in a variety of challenging conditions, and, with five races sailed and the discard now operative, their placings of four firsts and one third already make them unbeatable.
Two races were scheduled to take place on Saturday, but a feeble breeze in the morning made prospects look bad. However, after a brief onshore postponement, the fleet went afloat and Race 5 started in an 8 knot breeze.
As usual, Greenhalgh and Johnson arrived at the first windward mark with a lead that they were destined to hold throughout the race. The breeze was gradually decreasing, and it was barely holding up to 5 knots as the leading boat approached the windward mark for the second time. Worse was to come, and the race officer took the decision to shorten the race after the two reaching legs.
Colin SMITH and Peter HELM finished in second place, having sailed out of their skins to achieve their best result ever in a championship race. Jamie KIDD and Jason LEMIEUX from Canada sailed well in the light conditions to finish third, ahead of Zach BERKOWITZ and Mike MARTIN, who had recovered well after being in the twenties earlier in the race.
Fred EATON and John VINCZE made it and especially good day for Canada by finishing fifth, ahead of Roger DOUGLAS and Jeremy REED who had by far their best race of the championship to date.
The boats were sent ashore as they finished the race, with the back markers half a lap behind, struggling to make headway in the fading breeze. Unfortunately, as signs of an improvement began to appear, the cut-off time for starting the Race 6 was reached just before the best breeze of the day came along.
As we move towards the final race tomorrow, Archie MASSEY and George NURTON (GBR) still hold second place as they have since Race 1, but Berkowitz and Martin have now moved up to equal their points score, so these teams will be battling for second place tomorrow. Hoping that they pay too much attention to each other and leave the door open will be Andy PARTINGTON and Ben VERNIERES, Lindsay IRWIN and Andrew PERRY, and James FAWCETT and Bruce GRANT, who are all within striking distance.
Race 5 results:
1. GBR 1482, Rob Greenhalgh and Dan Johnson.
2. GBR 1431, Colin Smith and Peter Helm.
3. CAN 583, Jamie Kidd and Jason Lemieux.
4. USA 1137, Zack Berkowitz and Mike Martin.
5. CAN 584, Fred Eaton and John Vincze.
6. GBR 1448, Roger Douglas and Jeremy Reed.
7. GBR 1476, Archie Massey and George Nurton.
8. AUS 617, Alan Vickery and Andrew Wilson.
9. AUS 616, Lindsay Irwin and Andrew Perry.
10. AUS 623, Mark Krstic and Rob Oshlack.
1. GBR 1482, Rob Greenhalgh and Dan Johnson, 4 points.
2. GBR 1476, Archie Massey and George Nurton, 14 points.
3. USA 1137, Zach Brkowitz and Mike Martin, 14 points.
4. GBR 1481, Andy Partington and Ben Vernieres, 25 points.
5. AUS 616, Lindsay Irwin and Andrew Perry, 26 points.
6. GBR 1484, James Fawcett and Bruce Grant, 28 points.
7. USA 1127, Kris Bundy and Jamie Hanseler, 35 points.
8. GBR 1495, Chris Turner and Peter Bagwell, 37 points.
9. GBR 1483, Victor Brellisford and Damian Ash, 38 points.
10. AUS 617, Alan Vickery and Andrew Wilson, 43 points.