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British Cadet Team at the Cadet Worlds in Melbourne - Day 2

by Neil Collingridge 29 Dec 2022 13:32 GMT 26 December 2022 - 2 January 2023

The second race day saw three race with lots of breeze to boot. We were back on Alpha Course on the "flats" where there was some shelter as the wind was likely 15-22knts through the day. Blow it did!

For the first race the Brits were off the line like scalded cats - most of them hammering out to the left with Toby / Kem and Mish / Rhona both looking very well placed initially. However this was to be one of life's lessons; hard learned... all the locals were tacking off and heading hard right getting a lift on port as the current flowed out of the Yarra River and then taking the fast lane escalator back down to the Windward mark once back onto Starboard. Will and Annabel hadn't made the same mistake and rounded in the leading bunch but what had looked good out left turned into quite the opposite.

Fortunately the leading left corner headbangers did manage to nail the cross tide first reach and fly kites low to the outer loop. Toby and Kem mastered this best and hauled themselves back into 3rd but the two leading Aussies were home and hosed and not to be caught. Mish and Rhona too managed something of a comeback to finish 6th. With Will and Annabel finishing a cracking 4th this left our leading 3 GBR boats all making it into counters in the top 10. Other than that there were pesky Aussies everywhere - M and J Sturman in the wonderfully named Stolen Pig in particular look quick and scored 1,2,3 through today.

Race 2 and it immediately became clear that the Brits had learned their lessons. Bushman and Kemdog were back on the pace powering their way up wind - hitting the right! - and into an early lead not to be overtaken. Their 3rd win in 4 races. Mish and Rhona were our only other top 10 position with a 4th helping them up the leader board but elsewhere its fair to say the conditions were unforgiving and attritional. It was hard enough work being bounced around in a small rib - what it was like hiking into those waves - it's difficult to imagine how you'd cope with that. All our team were trying their hearts out - that was clear to see.

So then onto a third race. Wind still top end of the teens and waves as steep as ever. Again the right was the way to go although there was certainly room for some finesse to this overall tactic. How good it was to see a GBR 1,2 at the top mark, but more so as Amelia Mayhew and Hettie Thorogood under-tacked Toby and Kem and so very nearly rounded in the lead. It was great to see them rediscovering the form those of us who see them sail regularly know they have. Off they went down the reach to the outer loop, kites flying at Mach 1 speed and chased by Mish and Rhona who rolled a couple of Aussie boats to round Mark 2 in 3rd. Amelia / Hettie and Toby and Kem traded gybes to the leeward gate and then back upwind whilst Mish and Rhona put in a small hitch to the left to take advantage of a clear lane.

By the second windward Mish was hot onto Toby's heels and giving his fellow Roadlice Racing Team member a run for his money at last. Amelia and Hettie were still 3rd but getting closed down by a number of Aussies - they were going to have their work cut out down the outer loop one more time. So then to the finish - Toby / Kem and Mish / Rhona burned down the final frenetic reach in that great flat out Cadet tight reach way when you can't quite believe the speed you can get out of a little 10ft dinghy designed 75 years ago. They rounded the last mark way ahead of their chasers and had a little tacking duel back to the finish.

Try as they might Mish and Rhona couldn't dislodge Toby and Kem who held it to the finish - just. Another cracking day for them - two 1sts and a 3rd leaving them well head overall. Amelia and Hettie did indeed find it hard to hold off the attention of so many Aussie boats and finished 6th - still a great result for them and something to really build on for the rest of the week. And whilst just outside of the Top 10, two others worthy of a mention. Will is sailing with Annabel who is tiny but clearly works her socks off and an 11th was a really good result in that breeze after such a hard day. And Tom Walker and Ava Stoddart also had a much better final race which should give encouragement. They fell foul of a measurement infringement which piled on a load of penalty points. That's tough when its clearly unintentional; time in my view to change the particular rule to help the sailors rather than to trip them up.

In the promo fleet it was also pretty full on and the conditions inevitably took their toll on the less experienced crews. Leading GBR boat is Gwen Thorogood and Josh Davidson who had a couple of top 10s and now lie 9th overall with Oscar Bush and Dom McArdle in 18th and the "TomToms" - Shepherd and Stoddart in 19th. There will be plenty in that fleet as well looking forwards to kinder conditions tomorrow.

So that was that - back home to the club for food and refreshments. The Club is a great place to hang out even when the weather is more reminiscent of a UK summer! Tomorrow the winds will be lighter so that will give welcome respite and encouragement to some of the smaller crews. Another 3 race day though so early to bed tonight for all.

More information on the event website,

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