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J 24 Worlds Day 3- the Australian news continues

by Jeremy Pearce on 29 Sep 2000
Newport returned to normal with a South Westerly sea breeze building after a postponement period delayed racing for around two hours.

The race committee was quite particular about getting the course set right and after much deliberation over the radio got the fleet away for heat four in a building 8 to 10 knot breeze. After two general recalls a black flag start was successful.

Local Brad Read led around the windward mark, followed by US National Champion Snow. Snow passed Read down the first run as the breeze shifted right and many boats that chose to gybe early made gains into the bottom mark gate. Snow sailed well from in front to win heat 4 from Read. This made up somewhat for losing the apparent heat win he scored in heat 3 but was ruled to have started prematurely.

Defending world champion Vasco Vascotto was also amongst the leaders to stay in with a chance of defending his title. Heat 5 started after a short break in breeze that was continuing to build to around 15 knots with the seaway also building from the Southwest.

The offshore conditions in Newport tend to develop a short sharp chop, which bounces the very buoyant J24 around violently. The key to height and pace appears to be loose leach trim on the headsail as a priority sooner rather than later.

The sea breeze continued to build to around 18 knots with a few boats choosing to change to the jib for the final beat. The same order for the first two boats at the finish with Snow coming out on top of Read again.

Australian boats had mixed results with Steve Girdis finishing just in front of Sean Kirkjian in both races, with mid fleet performances.

Bruce Anson holed his boat in race 4 and was unable to sail on, the fate of his regatta lies with the protest committee giving redress for heats four and five. The other Australian Bob Hagan performed poorly to finish in the bottom half in both races. Another two races are scheduled for today and we will be looking to improve again. The weather is however forecast to deteriorate again with a cold from due late today.

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