Day 3 report by Ian Kingsford Smith

Day 3, Sunday 17 January by Ian Kingsford Smith

The Etchells Summer Championship and the Eaton Cup were up for grabs on Sunday and could have been won by any one of six or seven boats on the final day of racing. A discard didn’t kick in until nine races had been completed and this potentially could have had a significant bearing on the final results.

The race committee for most of Day 3 was left chasing the 10 – 15 knot wind which had very large oscillations, but with an overall tendency to go left as the afternoon progressed. An hour before the first of the final three races scheduled for Sunday, the wind was from 160 to 170 degrees. By the scheduled start time of Race 7, it was at 140 degrees. A starting line was set in Athol Bay with the top marks in Double Bay, and the fleet got away cleanly at the first start. A course change to 120 degrees was signalled at the gate. Peter Merrington and Steve Jarvin in First Tracks scored their first win in the regatta, Matthew Stenta sailing Community Transgression was second and James Mayo in Magpie, third.

Race 8 was started in Athol Bay with the top marks at 120 degrees but as with Race 7, it was changed to 100 degrees at the leeward gate. Jeanne-Claude Strong in Flying High recorded her fourth win of the regatta, but included in her score was a disqualification from the second race on Saturday. Second was Mark Bradford in Pie and third Martin Hill sailing Lisa Rose

As the wind had gone even further left, the starting area for Race 9 was moved as far south in Athol Bay as possible without impinging on the shipping and ferry channel. The race was started on bearing of 100 degrees but with the wind continuing to go left, yet another change of course was signalled at the top marks for the last run to the finish. In a few hours, the wind had shifted from 160 degrees to 080 degrees at the finish of Race 9.

The final race was won by James Mayo’s Magpie, from First Tracks and Steve Billingham’s Thelastone. Magpie’s win gave them the Championship and the Eaton Cup after sailing a very consistent series, their worst place being a seventh in Race 2 which they were able to discard. Mark Bradford sailing Pie was second overall and Peter Merrington and Steve Jarvin third overall.

Despite the difficult and tricky conditions over the weekend, all reports from the competitors were positive and they thoroughly enjoyed the format of the three day regatta.

Full results are available here.

View photos by Kylie Wilson here

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