The Flushing Sailing Club Race Committee started the day with a pair of windward leeward races and then set the third course around permanently laid marks in Falmouth Bay with the finish off Port Pendennis. As the event reached the midway point the racing was closer than ever with some new faces coming to the top of the heap and mere seconds separating the leading boats on corrected times.
Mike Evans’ The Big Picture, whose crew includes Irish Olympian Mark Mansfield and top International Dragon crew Adam Winkelmann, really found their form and were top performing boat of the day with a 1, 3, 2 scoreline. They won the opener by two seconds from Paul Pullen’s Miss Whiplash with Greg Peck’s Swuzzlebubble third and Jonny Swan’s Harmony fourth. Only 46 seconds separated the top six boats on corrected time with Jean-Philippe Cau and Claude Charbonnier’s Sibelius fourth and Francis Marshall’s Concorde fifth.
The second windward leeward race was also incredibly tight. Swuzzlebubble beat Sibelius by just one second with The Big Picture third, David Cullen’s Checkmate fourth and Concorde fifth.
Race six brought plenty of drama with a huge right-hander on the first beat which caught out Swuzzlebubble and several other leading boats, a hook around the second mark that forced the rounding boats straight back into those still beating in, and Harmony making an enthusiastic port tack mark approach with a stack of boats inside her which created a mini drama all of its own. Fortunately no Half Tonners were injured in the completion of this race in which defending champion Checkmate claimed her first race win of the series with The Big Picture second, Harmony third, Sibelius fourth and Miss Whiplash fifth.
With six races now completed the first of two discards comes into play and Swuzzlebubble bounces up the leader board into first place one and a half points ahead of Miss Whiplash. Holding onto third place with a ten point delta is Harmony while Sibelius moves up into fourth a further point and a half back. Fifth and sixth are separated by just half a point with Checkmate just ahead of The Big Picture.
With two more days of sailing, up to six more races to sail and a forecast offering everything from six the thirty-six knots between now and Friday afternoon the regatta remains wide open.
|Jonny Swan of Harmony and Mike Evans of The Big Picture talk through Sta-Lok Wednesday (day three) at the Henri Lloyd Half Ton Classics Cup|