It was another late day of sailing on the penultimate day of Sail Melbourne with only the Finn, Nacra 17/15, Opti and Bic Techno classes getting some racing in.
Melbourne’s weather system made for another challenging day, with race delays and storm fronts passing through, causing fleets to rush ashore, while the morning’s fleets were cancelled for the day.
The afternoon racing session was a bit luckier with a couple of races sailed. However, extended waits, course changes and abandoned races with the breeze dropping in and out, competing in direction and posing made for extra challenges for race management and sailors alike.
“The breeze was the frustrating part of the day. We sent the first set of classes out to the race track with a good 7 knots after this morning’s initial postponement thinking we will get some good racing, but unfortunately there was nothing out there, so we brought all the boats back in,” Principal Race Officer (PRO) Ross Wilson explained.
“We then had to cancel the whole morning fleet, because of the weather forecast with strong wind and thunderstorm warning. The afternoon continued to be challenging, but in the end, we managed to get some races in,”
It was a long day for everyone, but especially for the Finns, which were the last ones out to get two races in. It made for some world-class twilight sailing on Port Phillip for the high-calibre fleet.
Australian Sailing Team’s Rio 2016 Olympian Jake Lilley (QLD) moved into second place overall, after winning the first race of the day and finishing second in the other, which was won by Rio 2016 Olympic champion Giles Scott (GBR).
“It was a pretty classic Melbourne day. We had not a lot of wind, then a huge squall, and then not much wind again. Eventually we got to race pretty late. It’s now eight o’clock in the evening and we just got in after two races - two quickies,” Lilley said.
“But I had a good day, so really happy to come away with a first and second in this fleet and to take it to the big dogs. It’s all to play for tomorrow.”
World No.1 and current leader, Nicholas Heiner (NED), finished third in both races. After a series of five races, Sail Sydney winner, Heiner, goes into the final day with six points lead.
The Nacra17 and Nacra 15 classes are the only classes to have sailed seven races. Victorians Tayla Rietman/Lachlan White continue their lead after posting a third and second in today’s two races. One win each went to Jake Liddell/Emma Jones (NSW) and Queenslanders James Fraser/Olivia Jozefowski, who moved into second overall.
“Today was tricky. We went out and there was a nice breeze, but it fizzled out. Then we had nothing. We were floating around for a while, and then we got a little bit of the southerly, but then that died out. Next we got a nice northerly, so this all made for a pretty tricky day,” Rietman explained.
Looking ahead, skipper Lachlan White said, “Tomorrow is another mixed bag, we are pretty fortunate considering we got seven races in so far, so fingers crossed we get a couple more in tomorrow. We’d also like to see the 49ers and a few of the other fleets to get some races in as well.”
Will Cooley/Bec Hancock (NSW) lead the Nacra 15 ahead of Western Australians Shannon Dalton/Will Drew in second and Tom Dawson/Sarah Hoffman (NSW) in third.
The Men’s and Women’s 470, all Laser fleets (Standard, Radial and 4.7), all Para-sailing classes, as well as the skiff-classes did not get any racing in and will only have Sunday to add to their scorecard.
Going into the final day, Australian Sailing Team’[s Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallists, Mat Belcher/Will Ryan (QLD) are leading the 470’s with a series of four straight wins, ahead of Japan’s Daichi Takayama/Kimihiko Imamura.
In the 470’s Women’s, Germans Frederike Loewe/Anna Markfort are two points up on Australian Sailing Squad’s Nia Jerwood/Monique De Vries (WA)
The Lasers only have three races on record so far, with Australian Sailing Team’s Matt Wearn (WA) going into the last day ranked second. New Zealander Sam Meech (NZL) leads the fleet.
In the Invited classes, the Optimist Open got two races in and the Optimist Intermediate one. Daniel Links (NSW) and Will Nobes (QLD) go into the final day as the leaders of each fleet.
Jarrod Jones is the leader of the Bic Techno 293 fleet after a total of six races, while fellow Queenslander Hamish Swain leads the Bic Techno Plus.
Victorian Roger Blasse is leading the OK Dinghy following two races today. Fellow Black Rock Yacht Club sailor, Mark Jackson, is ranked second with Tim Davies (NSW) in third after a total of three races.
“For Sunday, we’ve organised for the classes still looking for extra races to complete the series to start at 10am. Those who’ve already got their series in will follow at 1300 hours. We will try to complete their schedule, but we only have until five o’clock in the afternoon to do it,” Ross Wilson said.
Racing at Sail Melbourne International runs from Thursday, 13 December to Sunday, 16 December 2018 with 375 competitors from 18 countries contesting the event.
Mat Belcher/Will Ryan - (1), 1, 1, 1 – 1st
Chris Charlwood/Josh Dawson – 3, 5, (6), 2 – 3rd
Nia Jerwood/Monique de Vries – (2), 1, 2, 2 – 2nd
Dana Tavener/Katherine Shannon - 3, (5), 3, 4 – 3rd
David Gilmour/Lachlan Gilmour – 3, 1, 2 – 2nd
Tom Needham/Joel Turner – 4, 2, 5 – 3rd
Kurt Hansen/Simon Hoffman – 5, 3, 3 – 4th
Tess Lloyd/Jaime Ryan – 1, 7, 3 – 3rd
Amelia Stabback/Caitlin Elks - 6, 4, 1 – 4th
Natasha Bryant/Annie Wilmot - 3, 5, 4 – 5th
Jake Lilley - 3, 5, (9), 1, 2– 1st
Oliver Tweddell - (26), 7, 8, 14, 11 – 11th
Lewis Brake – 15, (19), 16, 9, 9 – 16th
Jock Calvert – 11, (18), 2, 16, 16 – 13th
Matt Wearn – 3, 3, 1 – 2nd
Luke Elliott – 5, 5, 2 – 4th
Mitchell Kennedy – 9, 7, 6 – 6th
Finn Alexander – 13, 11, 5 – 9th
Mara Stransky – 5, 1 – 1st
Entry list: http://www.sailmelbourne.com.au/competitors/
Full results: http://bit.ly/SailMelb18Results