The Greenhalgh strangle hold continues
Blue skies and brilliant sunshine greeted the 103 boat fleet of Laser SB3s on day 4 of the Zhik SB3 World Championships 2011. Unfortunately the wind was late arriving and the AP was raised for over an hour. Eventually, the wind put in an appearance and as the afternoon went on the pressure increased and as forcast, the direction tracked right.
All eyes were on Robert Greenhalgh and his Red crew this morning after their strong performance yesterday. At the first windward mark Red rounded towards the middle of the gold fleet, but the crew managed to pick up the wind shift and improve their position to finish the race in third place. The race was won by Irish entry Mel Collins and his crew on Sibelus. Sarah Allan was back in action and finished the race second.
The Aussie rock star crew on One Design Sailing - Nathan Outteridge, Ian Brown and Tom Slingsby - have had a difficult championship and today was no exception. They were called over the line in race two, but didn’t hear the Race Committees radio announcement of their bow number. After leading the fleet all the way around the course, they finished first. The news of their OCS was a bitter blow for the team. Having finished tenth in race one and fifth in race three, it’s fair to say One Design Sailing’s performance was back, but their luck is yet to be found.
Gill Race Team, helmed by Craig Burlton have found their form today. The second discard has now been applied to the results which puts Burlton in third position overall. “From the forecast, it looked like it was going to be a really tough day, but we’ve worked it out today and the breeze was much more consistent. The smiles are back onboard!” said Burlton.
Going into the final day, there is a 20 point gap between Burlton and Greenhalgh. “It would be a big call to beat Rob, and we’d have to rely on him having some major errors tomorrow. But we’re happy to be in third place this evening.”
Yesterday, Rob Gullan, helm on Pieter Heyn’s Parkway Pirates took a great leap up the overall results. This evening Parkway Pirates lie in fifth position, 16 points behind Glenn Bourke (AUS) in fourth. “We don’t do a lot of sailing together and it’s taken us a bit of time to work out the conditions in Tor Bay," said Gullan. "We sailed all of our qualifying races on the Orange course, but our results have improved since we’ve been sailing in the Gold fleet on the Yellow course.” With just two races left to sail, Gullan and crew will be looking to sail two more consistent races to protect their fifth position. “If somebody had said to us before this event we’d be fifth at this stage, we’d have taken that, the competition is the hardest it’s been at any of the World Championships so far.”
This evening the WKD Girls are in town to entertain the competitors at the Zhik SB3 World Championships, though for many at the top of the gold fleet the order of the day is likely to be dinner and an early night ahead of the final battle on Tor Bay tomorrow.
Full gold fleet results at the bottom of the page...
More images from Thierry Martinez/www.thmartinez.com