Action-packed morning on the Gulf

Match racer Sam Davies reports on OneWorld's embarrassing defeat at the hands of Le Defi

Friday November 1st 2002, Author: Sam Davies, Location: Australasia
Today’s schedule of racing on the Hauraki Gulf kicked off on time, with flight #8 starting as planned in about 16 knots of breeze. The forecast for the day was for a gradually building NW breeze as the next cold front approaches the Gulf.

All the races today again had a big emphasis on the start and first shift, as it was a two-race day and therefore course B, the shorter 2-lap course was being used.

Match one on Romeo course was an important one for GBR Challenge and Victory Challenge, who were both going into the race on six points, in equal fifth place. The result of this race could be vital in the scrap for fifth place and the top position in the lower half of the draw for the quarterfinals.

The pre-start featured the classic dial-up, Orm entering from the boat-end on Starboard and GBR on port. After about two minutes both boats bore away and disengaged, to play time on distance back to the line. Beadsworth on GBR chose to lead back and were in a strong position, controlling Victory by luffing them towards the committee boat and giving them very little room to leeward. Wight Lightning won the start by four seconds, with Orm tight on her windward hip.

The Swedish worked hard and managed to live to windward of the Brits, lifting off them slightly and had gained a boat-length in the first two minutes. Wight Lightning then initiated a tacking duel to try and get back at Orm, who covered every tack, and defended their lead well, forcing the Brits to the port layline. Wight Lightning performed 11 tacks in total on the first beat, but once they ran out of runway and reached the layline, the Swedes could then sit on them to the mark and they lost another 2 boat lengths. Orm was 43s ahead at the top mark.

Victory Challenge then sailed a good race, defending their lead, and remained a similar distance in front of GBR Challenge for the rest of the race, winning by 1min 01s.

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