So close at the top in pennant series
ONLY half a point separates the leaders as the fleet looks to the final evening of sailing next week in the SB20 Pre-Christmas Summer Pennant Series. The boats hit the water in a 15-17 knot southerly breeze on Thursday, but the wind direction swung easterly, causing a delay in racing as the start line was adjusted. Battling a tide on the turn, a strong current and choppy conditions, the fleet split off the start line of both races, with the teams that went to the right of the course faring better. Steve Catchpool (Rebellion) was keen to strengthen his hold on the series, but his exuberance cost him dearly, with the Race Committee calling the team OCS, scrubbing them from the race. This left the way open for young rival Oli Burnell (Honey Badger) to pull back a few points, but it was Frazer Read (Pinch) who dominated the racing, finishing first in the ninth race of the series. Quentin Hunt (Pez) finished second, David Graney (Wedgewood) was third and Honey Badger ended up in fifth place. Stewart Gordon (Contact) looked set for a dazzling night of sailing after rounding the top mark first in Race 9 and finishing in sixth place, but in Race 10 a shredded kite sheet got bunched up in the block, resulting in the boat broaching, losing a team member overboard for a short period, and ultimately retiring. Race 10, the second race of the evening, was a showdown between Pinch, Team Musto (Charlie Nolan) and Ambition, sailed by Victoria’s Chris Dare, with the teams getting some fantastic downhill runs, but Pinch outclassed the fleet, winning by close to a minute. Series scores: Rebellion 30 points, Honey Badger 30.5 points and Wedgewood 46 points.