Good day for Hamlin and Martin

505 class president Ali Meller reports from Fremantle and the World Championships

Thursday December 12th 2002, Author: Ali Meller, Location: Australasia
It is 19:15 as I start writing this report. It has been a very long day. We launched before noon for a 13:00 start and two races. Race 5 was abandoned on the second reach after a large backing shift on the second beat, and then a reset jibe mark that was still not far enough to the left created a first reach that was a two sail leg just three or four degrees below close hauled, as the wind continued to shift and a second reach where no one jibed at the jibe mark.

There were lots of clouds, the wind shifted around to the left, but it was not a Fremantle Doctor breeze.

Race 5 was restarted around 15:30. Early gaters were looking good early in the first beat as the breeze went left, but then the big shift was to the right, and Howard Hamlin/Mike Martin, who apparently missed the gate and ducked everyone while going right, went through the gate when they could, tacked back to the right, and had a significant lead at the weather mark.

Thoralf Greger/Angela Stenger were second at the weather mark. Hamlin/Martin (USA-Team Tuesday) went on to win. Danny Thompson/Andy Zinn (USA-Team Tuesday) rounded the first windward mark in the mid teens, set the kite and jibed early catching the boats that went to the right (looking downwind), rounded the second weather mark fifth and were able to pull through to finish second. Tom Swift/Holger Jess (GER) were 3rd, Krister Bergstrom/Thomas Moss (SWE) passed seven boats on the last beat to pull into 4th for the race. Michael Navarro/Simon Wilder (AUS) were 5th, and Greger/Stenger 6th.

This race ended after 16:00, but the race officer was determined to get a second race in so as not to be two races behind on the schedule. A tired fleet prepared for another gate start in a dying breeze, with a sloppy chop.

The Race Committee set a rather shorter course. Though the breeze again went right on the first beat, the early gaters seemed to be in a little more pressure and several of the early gaters came out of the left in very good shape. Early gaters Chris and Darren Nicholson (AUS) came out of the right and led the race start to finish. Howard Hamlin/Mike Martin (USA-Team Tuesday) rounded the first mark fourth, but were able to pull through to second by the finish.

Pip and I rounded about sixth, after surviving a jam up just in front of us in the gate start and heading left. Thompson/Zinn (USA-Team Tuesday) rounded just behind Pip and I in about sixth or seventh, as we tacked to starboard underneath them, rolled us on the way to the offset mark, and then pulled through to finish 3rd, nearly catching Hamlin/Martin who went high on the run to hold off Andrew Hewson/Frank Karlovecz and nearly lost Thompson/Zinn in the process.

Hamlin/Martin crossed Thompson/Zinn by two feet just before the finish. Hewson/Karlovecz were 4th, Bergstrom/Moss rounded the first mark behind Meller/Pearson and Thompson/Zinn and pulled through to 5th at the finish. Simon Payne/Bill Masterman (GBR) were 5th, Andy Beeckman/Ben Benjmain (USA-Team Tuesday) were 6th. Pip and I were 10th and get to be the pathfinder for Race 7. We're hoping it it will be a right-side-favoured first beat.

Ian Barker/Dan Cripps did not get into the top five in either race, and this has reshuffled the overall standings, with Thompson/Zinn leading overall with 18 points (after drop), Hamlin/Martin second with 19 points, and Bergstrom/Moss third with 21 points. Beeckman/Benjamin are fourth with 33 points and Barker/Cripps fifth with 36 points. Payne/Masterman are sixth with 40 points.

As per the change to schedule posted by the PRO, there are two races scheduled for tomorrow. If all nine races are sailed there will be two throwouts.

See full results on page 2...

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