Race 7 saw another good start for all boats. The start lines have been set well all series, which makes for good racing when everyone has room. Firestorm, Meeks, TBS & SFC all got away well and were stem to stern around the top mark. SFC & Meeks blasted off to the west whilst Firestorm & TBS gybe-set. Or at least they tried to. Firestorm pulled up a nice wineglass that saw them drop through the fleet. TBS did something similar & dropped even further back. Black Diamond were back on their game today and were mixing it with the lead bunch, as was Joe, Mitch & Kye on Raptor.
Jeremy, Tom & Hugh had SFC on song again, sailed the boat with confidence and backed their instincts to cross the line 1st from Meeks in 2nd. Firestorm fought back for 3rd, closely followed by Black Diamond in 4th. Raptor were having such a good time that they overlaid the finish line by a long way, looking spectacular when they broad reached to the finish line for 5th, just ahead of TBS.
But this wasn’t enough for the handicap victory. Once again this went to the ever improving, and consistent Roger, Nick & Will on Devocean. Sailing way ‘above their weight’, they won from SFC and Black Diamond in 3rd.
Race 8 started in a similar breeze but it kept building. The usual suspects were line astern around the top mark for the first time but from here it slowly became a race of attrition. Firestorm went west down the run, picked a huge line, survived the gybe and rounded the leeward marks with a nice lead. They worked west again, picked another nice line & were looking good until a swim on a tack pushed them back to the pack. SFC, TBS, Meeks & Black Diamond were all powering along until next TBS had a few issues & dropped out of the bunch.
But the race was not done yet. SFC rounded the windward mark for the final time for the run to the finish with a good lead & looked set for a pair of wins until their final gybe, about 3m from the finish. They swam and frustratingly tried to wish the boat across the finish line as Meeks stormed down under spinnaker, only to see Mick, Robbie & Mark pass them & take the win. SFC recovered for 2nd, Black Diamond worked the eastern side down the final run & got through for 3rd, from Firestorm & TBS. Sets it up nicely for the final day, with Firestorm, Meeks, SFC & TBS all in contention.
Once again Black Diamond had done enough to win the race on handicap, and leave them with a small lead overall going into the final day. Stowe, Planet Beer & SFC Computers are all equal second, only a few points adrift, with the consistent Devocean just another point behind, but still in the mix. With some funky weather predicted for the final day both titles could be anyone’s. Stay tuned….
Check the results pages for race times & scores.