Day 3 of the Syd Corser Regatta started where day 2 left off – the promise of breeze to come, but no delivery! Although it started at 11:ooam, it was not until 1:00pm that after four attempts, the race committee was able to set a course – and even this attempt was thwarted by the competitors themselves, some of whom got the start terribly wrong and created a general recall.
Finally, under a black flag, race 4 of the series began.
Michael Manford, starting near the pin end, saw an opportunity early and crossed the fleet on port to set up a handy lead and worked his way up the centre of the course, along with five or six others. The remainder made the commitment to go to the corners, and although the port tackers came out slightly better than those who took the long leg on starboard, both groups lost ground on those who worked the shifts down the middle.
At the first top mark, Manford enjoyed a narrow lead over John Bertrand and Matthew Chew, with Raymond Smith, David Healey and Torvar Mirsky all well placed.
At the top mark the second time, Manford had extended his lead but the group behind him had bunched up, making for an exciting final leg to the downwind finish line.
Manford won well, ahead of Bertrand, followed by Chew, Healey, and Mirsky, who consolidated his place at the head of the leaderboard by finishing one place ahead of Thornburrow.
After his promising finish in race 4, Bertrand was involved in a start line collision, exonerated with a penalty turn and found himself at the back of the fleet in light winds, very hot weather, and virtually no way out. Having already missed the first day of the regatta, they elected to retire. He was joined by Michael Manford, who was also well back in the early part of the race.
Peter Chappell, Torvar Mirsky and Alistair McMichael all began well, taking out the podium places in race 5. With the breeze now almost non-existent, the race committee wisely decided to pull up stumps and declare the regatta finished.
And so the regatta was decided over five races, with the top rankings being:
1st Chilli Plum 9pts Torvar Mirsky/Steve Thomas/Nick Davis/Justin Wong
2nd Racer X 14pts Mark Thornburrow/Andy Service/Bucky Smith/Simon Cooke
3rd 1382 15pts Peter Chappell/Graeme Johnson/David Castles
4th The Croc 20pts Michael Manford/Dean McAullay/Nicholas Gray
5th Gen XY 22pts Matthew Chew/Brian Donovan/Bill Cuneo/Ashley Deeks
6th Dawn Raid 26pts Jake Gunther/John Collingwood/Graeme Spence
Photos and Story by Bernie Kaaks
Left – Michael Manford rounding the top mark in first place.
Right – John Bertrand in pursuit of Michael Manford in race 4.