Third at world champs

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT -

HEAD­ING straight out af­ter Air­lie Beach Race Week, where Ull­man Sails (Paul Mitchell) took the hon­ours in the Mul­ti­hull Rac­ing Divi­sion, it was straight over to San Fran­cisco for the J111 World Cham­pi­onship at St Fran­cis Yacht Club.

Step­ping straight from the mul­ti­hull racer onto a 36ft one de­sign keel­boat was a huge step for the lo­cal sail­maker.

Sail­ing with renowned Mel­bourne yacht racer Rod War­ren, Paul had to get to grips with th­ese com­pet­i­tive yachts, where ev­ery slight er­ror can be costly as there are lit­er­ally sec­onds be­tween the boats around the course.

Sail­ing against some of the best sailors in the world, many lo­cal to the area, ex­pec­ta­tions were mixed be­fore the first race, so fin­ish­ing third in this fleet in the open­ing race was a great start.

Go­ing into the last race of the nine race se­ries, their re­sults were 3,4,1,3,1,5,1,4 for a score of 17 points, against the lead­ing boat on 13 points and sec­ond place on 14 points in the low­est score wins sys­tem.

A win in the last race gave them a chance at the ti­tle, but by fin­ish­ing sec­ond and third ac­cord­ingly, the best that the Aus­tralians could man­age was third place, two points be­hind the win­ner (Peter Wag­ner) and one point be­hind sec­ond place (Jim Con­nelly).

Twi­light rac­ing

A GLO­RI­OUS 10-knot south­east­erly breeze pro­vided the Whit­sun­day Sail­ing Club sailors with ex­cel­lent con­di­tions for last week’s Wed­nes­day twi­light race.

Af­ter the light con­di­tions of the pre­vi­ous week, the fleet was fired up to en­sure great rac­ing for the boats and crews. A to­tal of 16 boats reg­is­tered to the race com­mit­tee, a marked in­crease from the pre­vi­ous week.

Divi­sion 1 is the do­main of the mul­ti­hull yachts, cata­ma­rans and tri­marans. For this week, there were three boats com­pet­ing in this divi­sion. First across the start­ing line, to take the divi­sion’s Doyle Sailsspon­sored best start award, was Shad­ow­fax (Miles Wood).

Wild Thing (Keith Roberts), the largest boat, ben­e­fits from long wa­ter­line length, while G’nome (Terry Archer) is lighter and more nim­ble, but lacks the out­right speed of the oth­ers.

On cor­rected time it was Wild Thing from G’Nome with Shad­ow­fax third.

In the rac­ing mono­hull divi­sion, it was Sticky Fin­gers (Luke Mairs) who led from start to fin­ish, with the aid of his spin­naker.

As well as tak­ing the best start award, they were also first on line hon­ours and first on hand­i­cap time.

Ready to pounce should the spin­naker fail, Queens­land Marine Ser­vices (John Gal­loway) and Del­her Magic (Char­lie Preen) were not far be­hind, each push­ing the other as they tried to catch the leader.

Even with the spin­naker penalty, Sticky Fin­gers won the day, with Del­her Magic sec­ond and Twis­ter (Kevin Fogarty) third.

In the trail­able yacht and cruis­ing divi­sion the fleet split into two groups, with the larger, heav­ier cruis­ing boats get­ting the ad­van­tage. On cor­rected time it was Riff Raff who won the hon­ours.

GER­ALD SHERI­DAN PHOTO:

SAIL­ING AC­TION: Lo­cal sail­maker Paul Mitchell sail­ing a a 36ft one de­sign keel­boat at the J111 World Cham­pi­onships.

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