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Melges 15

Mumm 36 Worlds Day Three

by Sue Warden-Owen 22 Jun 1999 10:55 BST

A closely fought offshore race has served only to close up the overall results in the Mumm 36 World championships with Barlo Plastics now just one point behind the overall series leader, 'Moby Lines'. 'Thomas I Punkt' is just one further point behind Barlo Plastics.

For the ten crews, the longest day of the year proved to be longer than any of them could have expected, with the short offshore race of just 80 miles taking just under fifteen hours in very variable winds of Kieler Bucht. Finishing in the last of the northern twilight under the eerie glow of Kiel Lighthouse, the crews were hungry, cold and tired after a long day's racing that the early morning weather forecast had predicted would be over in time for an early dinner.

For Adrian Stead, Tactician aboard Barlo Plastics the most surprising thing was the amount of surface current in the normally non-tidal Baltic Sea. "At one point we had 2.6 knots of tide against us, which I had not expected." With all the crews pushing hard to keep inshore out of the tide, 'Thomas I Punkt' was the only one unlucky enough to press their luck too hard, taking a substantial hit on the bottom with suspected damage to the keel bulb. The boat has been lifted overnight and is expected to be ready to race again today.

With the race neither long enough to merit a full watch system, nor short enough for the crew to stick to their assigned positions the whole time, Stead put another solid performance down to strength in depth amongst his team. "We rotated. I steered the top of the beat, then Tim Powell took the helm and Stuart Childerley, the Navigator did a bit of mainsheet. Basically it was here that we got away."

The course took the fleet up towards the south Danish shore, initially on a run and reach and then returning on a beat. It was this beat that proved pivotal to the outcome of the race, with 'Mean Machine' and 'Thomas I Punkt' pulling slightly ahead of Barlo Plastics who in her turn made good distance on the remainder of the fleet. From here it was a long two sail reach back and then a run in the dark back to the finish at Kiel Light.

Another solid result puts Barlo Plastics firmly in the running as the Regatta enters its second half and Stead is confident that his team can come through with the goods. "It was pretty much a procession from the top of the beat. We had a good shift to get us back in it after a couple of poor head sail changes and we have closed points on the guys for the Regatta. We have still got five races out of a ten race series. There are a few people who have been taken out of the equation. It is looking like there are four of us in the running for it."

Results after 5 races:

 1 Moby Lines     E Cheffi     1  3  2  2  6  14
 2 Barlo Plastics A Stead      3  2  4  3  3  15
 3 Thomas I Punkt K Jablinski  6  1  6  1  2  16
 4 Breeze 1       T Hutchinson 2  4  3  7  4  20
 5 New Yorker     C Larson     5  6  1  6  7  25
 6 Pro Sail 3     A Willim     4  8  7  4  8  31
 7 Mean Machine   B Bekking    7  5  8 11  1  32 
 8 Resco          W Sunesson   9  7  5  8  9  38
 9 Elbe III       J Diesch     8 10  9  9  5  41
10 The Next       H Bloemers  10  9 10 10 10  49

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