Greenhalgh back in the driving seat
Lighter, but more stable conditions made for a smoother day on the water on day 3 of the Zhik SB3 World Championships in Torquay, UK. Following two days of qualifying races, today the fleets split onto their Gold and Silver courses. For the Gold Fleet today, the competition got a lot harder. Reviewing the results after a further 3 races, it was a day of snakes and ladders for many.
Overnight leader Peter Saxton didn’t enjoy the best of days. After racking up a 18, 20 and 43 Saxton drops to 13th overall. This is a disappointing set of results after such a strong start to his Championship. 2009 Laser SB3 World Champion, Craig Burlton, had a down, up, down day adding a 21, 2 and 29 to his score card. Burlton drops three places to eight overall; he won’t be happy with that.
Jez Entwistle entering the Gold Fleet in 13th position this morning. Leading at the first windward mark in the first race, Perky III finished 4th in the first race of the day. Building on their first race performance, Entwistle lead again at the first windward mark of race two. This time he managed to protect his lead and extend on the downwind leg and went on to win the race. “We’ve not sailed together as a crew before, but everything is coming together nicely, Ali [Hall] is a great tactician and doing a great job of picking our lanes out of the starts. We are all really enjoying ourselves.”
Another boat that has shot up the leaderboard today is Team Russia, Oleg Zherebtsov’s Laser SB3 helmed by 49er Olympic medallist Rodion Luka. “We’ve had a very good day today and we are very happy on the boat. We have a good attitude after one black flag and one disqualification, we have everything to gain. I have a good feeling for the shifts now and in this boat, there is time to think about what you will do, so it is very tactical racing!” explained Luka after racing this evening. At the end of Day 3, Team Russia have climbed 14 places and are now 11th overall.
After leading Fleet A on day one of the Zhik SB3 World Championships, Robert Greenhalgh slid to sixth place yesterday, but today, his crew aboard Red were back in race winning form. Adding a 1, 3, 1 to their results, the Volvo Ocean Race sailor cum International 14 and 18ft skiff World Champion now leads the fleet by nine points. “It’s been a really hard week so far, but it came together again today,” he said. For the next two days of sailing his aim is, “To make the bad bits better and the good bits better too.” As we recognised at the beginning of this championship, consistency is king in the Laser SB3 fleet and it looks like Greenhalgh has this under control.
This evening competitors will attend the Zhik SB3 World Championships Party at the Palace Hotel, Torquay. Prizes will be awarded for Boat of the Day for the first three days of racing and a lucky dip draw will see one team win a jib provided by LaserPerformance.
Gold fleet results below.
More pics from Thierry Martinez/www.thmartinez.com