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Nationals day 3

Day 3

A little less wind was the welcome forecast for the tired Fireball fleet on day 3 of the Harken sponsored 2014 Nationals at Tenby, although there was surprise at quite how much less wind there was for race 5 of the series. With rakes rapidly adjusted more upright, the gate start got away second time. Those that went late gained an immediate advantage following a large left shift just after the start, and the pathfinder of Dave Hall and Paul Constable rounded the windward mark 1st by some margin. In second place were Ian Dobson and Tim Linsell with all the usual Gold fleet suspects chasing them down, along with a few surprises. Fiona Gray and Ian Davidson started late and sailed hard to round the windward mark 3rd, hot on the heels of the lead boats. 10-12 knots in glorious but chilly conditions were a lovely respite from the full on 20 knots + of the 1st 4 races, and the slightly shorter race meant the fleet finished promptly and more tightly bunched than on previous days,  with Hall/Constable holding on for the win from Dobson/Linsell and Gillard/Anderton in 3rd. 

As the wind built, race 6 got underway with a line start, at second time of asking and under the black flag. This time it was a much more unpredictable outcome with numerous capsizes throughout the fleet, especially on the bottom reach of the 2nd lap where numerous scalps were claimed by the blustery conditions and tightening lay line. Those who dropped their kites early on that reach were treated to a few shiny upturned hulls to carve their way past on their way to the leeward mark. The race officer had responded to the request of the fleet to shorten the races slightly and the fleet were duly finished upwind in what had by then built to 15 knots and another classic day for Fireball sailing. in the end it was Gillard/Anderton who took the win from Dobson/Linsell with Irish pair Barry McCartin and Connor Kinsella taking a well earned 3rd place. 

The fleet retired earlier than on previous days and enjoyed a fun night in Tenby Sailing Club with an excellent BBQ, prize giving, idiot of the day award and a “Mr Fireball” game show. There were lots of prizes courtesy of Harken and the fleet partied on into the night before relaxing on the lay day today. 


With 4 more races planned over Thursday and Friday and only 5 points separating Gillard/Anderton and Dobson/Linsell, there is loads still to play for. Watch this space!

Posted: 21/08/2014
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