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NSSA National Youth Regatta at Draycote Water Sailing Club - Day 4

by Jeremy Atkins 28 Jul 2023 06:32 BST 23-28 July 2023

We are now down to the business end of this regatta after the fourth day and third day of fleet racing.

A pattern seems to be emerging in that it is wet in the mornings (poor campers had a wet night) and progressively gets better during the day. At the time of writing (7pm), the competitors are enjoying a 'final evening' BBQ in t-shirts with sunshine and a lovely evening breeze.

But to be fair, day 4 delivered the best breeze of the week both in strength (10-14 knots) and most consistent direction (westerly).

The main fleets have now completed 12 races and two are scheduled for tomorrow morning. With the forecast we reckon those will run and so the schedule will have been completed with no races lost. The regatta fleets, with their race officer Norman Byrd, take a different approach and cram in as many races as possible. So far they've done 15 - they might get close to 20 before lunch tomorrow! You get value for money in the regatta fleet!

So let's start with them. In the Handicap Regatta fleet after Day 1 I said that a Fusion was the boat to be in as they held the first four places, which reduced to three after Day 2. Now they hold the top five! James Gillmore of Plymouth has sailed a blinder, winning nine of the 15 races sailed and not being placed lower than equal fifth. Second placed Thomas Zanyi of Northamptonshire will struggle to overtake James, and it does depend on how many races they complete as to whether it is even possible. But he looks pretty secure in second place, 21 points ahead of Josh Barrett (Plymouth) in third.

In the Topper 5.3 Regatta fleet it is somewhat closer. Jasper Nicholls of Northamptonshire leads with 32 points, but his fellow countyman, Jai Dhaliwal who was leading after Day 2 is only three points behind. This will go to the wire, with Oxfordshire's Will Paddick only nine points behind Jai. These places could all change tomorrow, but these three are pretty much guaranteed podium positions.

Moving onto the 'main' fleets we have the three single-handed classes on the green course. In the ILCA 4, Robbie Hudson of Kent maintains the lead he has had all week and looks like he can't be beaten with just two races left. But today the two Cambridgeshire sailors in second and third swopped positions - Electra Reeves now leads Tyrii Bell who had her worst day of the regatta and I fear second place is now out of grasp, but unlikely to move any lower.

The ILCA 6 fleet has the closest positionings with Matthew Botten of Crawley Mariners Yacht Club and Julien Rohart of Oxford taking it in turns to win the days. They are now on equal points and can't be overtaken. Will we see some match racing tomorrow - perhaps they will have been inspired by Ben Ainslie's welcome video to replicate his tussle with the Scheidt on the final race of the Sydney Olympics (although they are far too young to remember that!).

In the Topper 5.3 fleet, Daniel Hebditch of Kent has maintained his lead, but the Cambridgeshire sailors Keah Edwards and Robert Hole are within catching distance (all three are within six points), so this will be another one to watch tomorrow.

Finally we move onto the yellow handicap course. The Derbyshire RS200 team continue to dominate the Fast Handicap fleet, having won eight of the 12 races. They cannot be beaten. In second place, the 420 of Ben Sherry and Adam Aziz (Bosworth Lake) also look safe from Luke Anderson of Milton Keynes & Bucks in an Aero 7 - but Luke is not safe and has two boats very close on points.

In the Slow Handicap fleet, George Jacobs of Derbyshire maintains his lead in a Byte C1. He looks safe from second placed Noah Byrd (Northamptonshire) in his Optimist, who is safe from third placed Alex Harder, ILCA 7 (Oxfordshire).

So some fleets are decided whereas others face an exciting finishing day.

It must be stressed that these reports are based on the published results and these are clearly labelled as 'provisional', so this report should be treated with the same caution. Nevertheless we still seek to provide an overview of the results for each fleet as they stand on the latest scoreboard.

The Fast Handicap fleet is also subject to protest as the RS200s sailed by George Spence and Matthew Somerville meet in the protest room at 9am tomorrow, ensuring that they keep up their record of being there every day of fleet racing so far!


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