Sunday, January 3, 2010

Black flag... I14 Worlds

Defending World Champion Archie Massey blitzed the fleet in his first qualifying race and was then black flagged in the second to finish 53rd overall after day one of the CST Composites International 14 World Championship sailed on Sydney Harbour.

Massey was disappointed with the black flag ruling that also caught several top-flight British sailors including Robert Greenhalgh and Katie Nurton after a series of general recalls.

Massey was waiting on the results of a post race hearing to determine the ruling.

He did however say he was satisfied with his boatspeed but that he needed to work on having a “clean” regatta.

Day one of the regatta certainly proved eventful with the 108 boat fleet split into two in order to physically fit the fleet into the confines of Sydney Harbour.

Racing was held in a gusty sou’ easterly breeze ranging from 8-15 knots and generally flat water, although a nasty chop developed in the shadows of North Head.

While it was only day one of the regatta, a number of the boats showed good early speed.

The Victorian boat Too Late to Stop Now sailed by Mark Krstic and Andrew Wilson showed excellent speed and tactics to finish with a 1-2 as did the British boat WSI – Internet sailed by Andy and Tom Partington.

To reinforce the strength of the British team the third place in the provisional results went to Seldon sailed by Roger Gilbert and Ben McGrane who finished with a 3rd and a first.

The top 10 provision places were dominated by Australians, Britains and a lone American. The next best country was Canada which had the boat The Orange Whip secure 14th overall in the provisional results.

The Orange Whip was sailed by Andrew McCorquodale and Rob Patterson of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club who showed a good turn of speed in the light conditions and finished the day with a 4th and a 13th.

Neil Patchett