Of Luck and Judgement
Day four of the J/24 World Championship and Tim Healey of the USA is looking very secure as Champion in waiting.
He and the Sailors for the Sea USA crew scored a first and second to create a 20 point lead on the fleet. Crew member, Moose Mclintock, has blogged of their luck in first over-turning a black flag disqualification and then in a subsequent race going from 15th to second place in a 25 degree wind shift. Without these, their lead would be closer to ten points and Southworth, currently discarding an 11th, would be well placed to attack.
But it takes both luck and judgement to win a World Championship at this level. All competitors must pre-qualify in their home countries before they can compete.
For Ian Southworth and team on Inmarsat Il Riccio, today brought a mix of tensions. Starting the day in 6th overall, a solid fifth place minimising risk , was followed by a clear win in the last race. This puts him second overall, 10 points clear of third placed Tony Parker from the USA and 11 points clear of former World Champion, Andrea Casale of Italy. Southworth can still potentially win the title but will also want to hold second, the highest position ever achieved by a Briton in the worlds biggest One-Design keelboat fleet.
With two races scheduled today in lighter wind strengths there is still a chance of surprises. The Worlds title will probably be settled by the end of the morning race. But as Moose says, it can take just one cloud to change fortunes.