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GJW Direct Firefly National Championship at Felixstowe Ferry SC - Day 4

by Edward Smith on 16 Aug 12-18 August 2017

Day 4 of the GJW Direct Firefly National Championships at Felixstowe Ferry Sailing Club followed a familiar pattern – a short delay to wait for the wind and then tight racing in a light breeze and a strong tide.

Nigel Wakefield and Emily Saunderson and Alex Davey and Sally Wilson were tied at the top of the leaderboard at the end of Day 3, but with Alex unable to sail on Day 4 it was a chance for Nigel and Emily to establish a points gap on their co-leaders.

Chris Kameen and Matt Read led at the top of the first beat, but they were overhauled by Nigel Wakefield and Emily Saunderson on the first reach, and Nigel and Emily held the lead for the next lap and a half. Behind them, Guy Davison and Sally Wakefield and Jenny Smallwood and Philip Aldous battled with Chris and Matt, with Ed and Sophie Smith stretching away from the chasing pack to be the best of the rest.

The five leading boats compressed at the end of the second lap as the rest of the fleet made slow progress towards the leeward mark against the tide, and it was Jenny and Philip that sneaked around first to start what would be the final leg of a shortened course. The final beat was full of holes and large shifts as some big clouds made their way over the racecourse.

At the finish, it was Chris and Matt that had navigated the conditions the best and they emerged as winners, ahead of Nigel and Emily and Guy and Sally who recovered well from an unforced boat handling error at the previous windward mark.

The scheduled crews' race was postponed in the unstable wind conditions so the fleet returned ashore after one race for a more sedate evening's entertainment compared with the previous evening's crews' union festivities. Wednesday sees the boats heading out for the Fireflys' biggest race of the year, the Sir Ralph Gore Challenge Trophy. With conditions expected to be similar to the rest of the week, it could be a long day on the water.

Results after Day 4:

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