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Mumm 36 World Championships Day Four

by Sue Warden-Owen 22 Jun 1999 18:54 BST

Another thrilling day's racing saw significant place changing both in the individual races and in the overall scores. Barlo Plastics now lies third two points behind 'Moby Lines' who is in her turn, two points behind 'Thomas I Punkt'.

With the start delayed until one o'clock due to the late finish of the short offshore race the previous evening a passing storm cloud had all but drained the wind from the course area at the gun. A perfect start for Barlo Plastics, just up from the pin quickly turned to dust as the breeze shifted, dropped and rose again in a seemingly random manner. With the fleet scattered like confetti in the wind just minutes after the start, it seemed unlikely that any kind of a close race was in prospect.

After a longer beat than usual, 'Breeze' had pulled out a substantial lead, eventually rounding ahead of 'Moby Lines' and 'Pro Sail 3'. With the wind still fickle this leading group pushed off inshore to the right in search of better wind. Some four minutes and 40 seconds later Barlo Plastics and 'New Yorker' rounded and with wind now filling in across the course elected to gybe early. Taking a more direct route to the mark in significantly more wind, the gap was all but closed by the bottom of the run.

Once again the leading group let 'New Yorker' and Barlo Plastics go, this time out to the right into more pressure and as the beat evolved, a significant right shift. Taking a substantial bite out of the others who had gone all the way to the left, 'New Yorker' and then Barlo Plastics rounded just a boat length apart, twenty lengths clear of the following pack.

Free to pursue their own battle, Barlo Plastics gybed on to starboard and when 'New Yorker' did not respond, skipper, Adrian Stead produced the protest flag in a flash. Recognising the error of his ways, Chris Larson, steering 'New Yorker' dropped the kite and took 360 degree turn penalty, leaving Barlo Plastics free to sail on to victory.

Race two turned in an almost opposite direction, with Barlo Plastics producing a poor start in the middle of the line, while 'Thomas I Punkt' and 'Breeze' got away well down at the pin end. A drag race to the left saw Barlo Plastics grinding out from under 'New Yorker' and then slowly the remainder of the fleet. Approaching the top mark on port, Barlo Plastics appeared to cross the boats coming in on starboard, only to immediately peel off and perform a 360 degree penalty turn of her own, having fouled the starboard tackers, leaving 'Thomas I Punkt' and 'Pro Sail 3' to lead the fleet away from the mark.

Now dropped to fifth, Barlo Plastics' troubles were compounded when rounding the mark just behind 'New Yorker', she went too quickly for the gybe-set. 'New Yorker', this time on starboard called Barlo Plastics up and with what seemed like a long delay before the inevitable gybe back on to starboard, Barlo Plastics was left to take yet another 360 degree penalty turn, dropping her out of the back of the fleet.

With the wind strengthening and more steady the remainder of the race turned into a speed test with few if any opportunities to overtake. 'Thomas I Punkt' held on to her lead to take the overall series lead with 'Moby Lines' dropping to second just ahead of Barlo Plastics. With three races remaining the championships promises a close finish.

Results after 7 races:

 1 Thomas I Punkt K Jablinski  6  1  6  1  2  4  1  21
 2 Moby Lines     E Cheffi     1  3  2  2  6  7  2  23
 3 Barlo Plastics A Stead      3  2  4  3  3  1  9  25 
 4 Breeze 1       T Hutchinson 2  4  3  6  4  5  6  30
 5 New Yorker     C Larson     5  6  1  5  7  2  4  30
 6 Pro Sail 3     A Willim     4  8  7  4  8  3  5  39 
 7 Mean Machine   B Beeking    7  5  8 11  1  6  7  45 
 8 Resco          W Sunesson   9  7  5  7  9  8  3  48
 9 Elbe III       J Diesch     8 10  9  8  5  9  8  57
10 The Next       H Bloemers  10  9 10  9 10 10 10  68

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