Flying Fifteen World Championship - Races 5 & 6

Andy Rice reports on a barnstorming day for Steve Goacher, who has now won the last three races in Durban Bay

Friday April 6th 2001, Author: Andy Rice, Location: United Kingdom
Overnight leader Charles Apthorp must have thought he had things well under control as he rounded the windward mark of race 5 of the Flying Fifteen World Championship in the lead. Pre-series favourites Steve Goacher and Phil Evans were back in 10th.
A heavy, lumpy swell blown up by the north-easterly wind provided spectacular offwind sailing and difficult windward work on a day when the wind stayed at 15 - 20 knots. Goacher, the three-time world champion, was loving it. He gained places to round in 3rd place by the leeward mark after two fast reaches.

On the second beat Patrick Harris and Joe Boy (RSA) hit the right hand corner and led around the second weather mark. A helter-skelter run followed and positions remained for the 3rd beat. On the last triangle Goacher and Evans tore past Apthorp and also took Patrick Harris before the finish.

After a short wait, race 6 commenced in similar lumpy conditions with hard beats and flying downwind legs. Aussies Ronald Packer and Peter Mudford led from the right hand side. Second round was Mike Hart and Chris Gowers with Goacher and Evans in third. A big battle on the reach led to a pile up at the gybe mark from which Goacher and Evans emerged at top speed. Hart and Gowers dropped their spinnaker as the wind shifted and gained considerably. The triple world champions, however, using their superior offwind speed kept their lead to the finish. Second was Hart and Gowers, and third Packer and Mudford.

A strong north-easterly wind is forecast for the final race on Saturday. That will suit Goacher just fine. With a first-race OCS hanging round his neck, the last thing he needs is for Apthorp or Hart to grasp any opportunity for some Ainslie-style match racing in the final heat.


Overall Positions after 6 races

1 GBR 3721 Steve Goacher Phil Evans 18.00
2 GBR 3591 Charles Apthorp Andy Weatherspoon 27.10
3 GBR 3648 Mike Hart Chris Gowers 28.40
4 AUS 3718 Grant Alderson Dean McAullay 41.40
5 AUS 3619 Ronald Packer Peter Mudford 62.70
6 GBR 3711 Alan Bax Bill Masterman 62.70
7 RSA 3639 Patrick Harris Joe Boy 70.00
8 GBR 3630 Barry Parkin Sue Parkin 71.00
9 AUS 3662 Peter Gale Chris Mason 71.00
10 GBR 3660 Geoffrey Bayliss Tom Bayliss 81.70

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