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B14 World Championship at Circolo vela Torbole, Lake Garda, Italy - Day 4

by Paul Fleming & Craig Garmston 20 Jul 2023 19:20 BST 17-21 July 2023

Storms yesterday evening were expected to play havoc with today's breeze, and by the time the fleet launched for a 1pm start the breeze was already quite an unsteady southerly, which left some of the lighter crews licking their lips at what was going to bring them some good results.

Race 5 started off in what felt like at the time a building Ora which enticed some, including series leader Nick Craig / Tobytastic (GBR 796), to go the right cliffs which were visibly closer to the start line and seemed to some as an obvious choice. Mark Watts / Matt Johnson (GBR 797) lead the left pack with Russ Gibbs / Lucy Loughton (GBR 762) and Mark Barns / Simon Reynolds (GBR 799) in hot pursuit. The down wind legs proved very tricky with gusts coming down and angles changing constantly. Wattsy / MJ defended hard but in was Russ / Lucy that took the win in the end.

Paul Roberts continued his very good form from a newly sported handle bar moustache in yesterday's post racing shenanigans which clearly gave him an aeronautical advantage with Paul / Guy Raynes (GBR 756) claiming a series best result of 6th place in race 5, missing 5th place by the smallest of margins.

With the wind slowly shutting down and flicking 45 degrees that race committee made an excellent decision to move the course to the south to ensure race 8 could be held.

It was the first time the race track was in this position for the Ora in this series, so it had a few scratching there heads on which way to go. Pin end was favoured and a big pack formed. Nick / Tobytastic (GBR 796) won the pin and started to lead the pack left. Mark / Matt (GBR 797) had great start mid line getting a lift that no one else seemed to get. Russ / Lucy (GBR 762) where again up there. Craig Garmston / Paul Fleming (AUS 375) tried the middle and then left following the leading 3 around the first windward mark. Wattsy / MJ (GBR 797) cleared out mid race leaving 2nd, 3rd and 4th to be battled out. The battle continued for the minor placings as positions changed right to the line. Craig / Paul (AUS 375) scrapped home for 2nd by half a boat length to Russ / Lucy GBR 762) who just defended off Nick / Toby (GBR 796) by half a boat length.

Special mention to Russ / Lucy (GBR 762) who challenged the series leaders all day, and also Crispin Taylor / Guy Haril (GBR 789) for their series best results with a 4th and 5th place respectively today.

After today racing sets up the final day for a proper show down by the top 2 boats Nick / Toby (GBR 796) who lead Wattsy / MJ (GBR 797) by only a point. There is still everything to play for and it will be great to watch these teams fight it out tomorrow for the final two races of the series.

Results after Day 4 can be found here (PDF format)

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