Barker wins race four

Light and shifty at the 505 pre-worlds in Freemantle, final three races and The Doctor are forecast for tomorrow

Thursday December 5th 2002, Author: D Stowell, Location: Australasia
Grolsch International 505 Worlds - Open Australian Championships – Race 4

Tricky conditions were the order of the day in race four of the Grolsch Australian 505 Championships, pre worlds event for the 505 worlds.. Light south westerly winds moved south east “unheard of in Fremantle” , where the winds normally stay south westerly.

After again a great start, the fleet bombshelled chasing the wind shifts. Through good luck or good judgement, and the calibre of the leaders having already shown the way in the previous races the old cliché once again proved apposite, the more you win the luckier you get.

From the start to the top mark the first 5 boats that took the left hand side of the course, got there well ahead of the rest of the fleet. The boats on the right hand side then joined in and there were a lot of port and starboard calls and several boats took penalties.

At the end of the downwind run the boats again converged on the leeward mark from different angles, creating some chaotic aggression where more boats took infringement penalties. .

On the second beat the wind having shifted about 40 degrees, the top mark was repositioned in line with a true beat

Ian Barker, former 505 world champ and Olympic silver medallist in 49-ers, at Sydney 2000, having scarpered with the wind at the top mark, led the fleet to the finish. Nevertheless Peter Chappell, got out of gaol, meticulously picking the shifts, to cross the line not far behind. Simon Payne, from Britain, racing with former 505 world champion “Billy Boy” Masterman, in Gus First Blood Part 2, finished third.

The first 5 placings :

1. GBR 8743 Bodge It and Scarper – Ian Barker/Dan Cripps
2. AUS 8801 The Fish – Peter Chappell/Ian Davidson
3. GBR 8773 Gus First Blood Part 2 – Simon Payne/BillMasterman
4. AUS 8667 Swing Shift – Scott Olsen/Sean Gregory
5. GER 8775 – Tom Swift/Holger Jess

After 4 races with three races to finish the series, scheduled to be sailed tomorrow, Friday, it will be determined whether West Australian legend, Peter Chappell, in The Fish, can take the Australian Championship title. He currently is on 4 points, just two points ahead of hotshot American, Howie Hamlin racing with Mike Martin, two of the three man team that won the Australian 18 footer worlds. Aussies again, Sandy Higgins, defending Australian Champion , and Luke Molloy, are equal 3rd with 12 points.

There is quite a way to go and there will be some very competitive crews aiming to close the gap. The forecast is for some exciting racing with plenty of action. The Doctor will be there.

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