Lightning can strike twice – Street has firm grip on WASZP Games

New Zealand sailor Sam Street has one hand on his second consecutive WASZP Games in Sorrento, Australia. After losing a day yesterday with thunderstorm warnings not enabling the fleet to leave the shore, the fleet eagerly awaited a quality Sorrento day on Thursday the penultimate day of the Championship.

Yesterday was not wasted, with around 25-30 competitors taking part in Yoga in the morning, followed by a waiting period to see if the wind would settle down, however, after a conversations with Beareau of Meterology the decision was taken out of the RO’s hands and it was decided to call the days racing. Sailors then made use of the spare time by heading up to the Sorrento Village for some shopping and food. Later on in the evening our INSPIRE selections were announced from the Australian Nationals and everyone enjoyed the Spanish Fiesta, which included Paella, RedBull and a Sailor Jerrys bar. Thank you again to our fantastic sponsors.

On Day 3 of the Championship racing a 10am start ensued and 4 races were completed in the first session in 18-25knot West-South-Westerlies. The tide helped to keep the seas state manageable and while it was in favour of the race committee it was decided to complete four quality races. While Sam Street often didn’t have it all his own way, he was always in the top 5 around the first gate and was able to build his race from there. Claiming 3 wins and a 3rd to have a 5 wins for the series and take a stranglehold on the Championship.

The only sailor to take a win off Sam in the morning session was Frenchman Hippolyte Gruet who has put himself in second overall and in the box seat for the overall Global Rankings win. In third place overall, sits Magnus Overbeck from Denmark who is very capable of taking a win in this fleet. Gavin Ball from Hawaii has shown he can match it with the best and had a solid day to sit in 4th overall.

New Zealander Tim Howse in his first major WASZP regatta has had an incredible run so far and his getting better. Narrowly missing the Youth Worlds spot for New Zealand, he decided to come to the Games, which is turning out to be a great decision.

In the afternoon session after a solid 3 hour break to refuel, the breeze had abated back to 15knots still with a lot of west in the direction. Sam Street continued his run of good form and showed electrifying pace to sail through Markus Berthet on the first work and never be headed. Dane Magnus Overbeck took second place to put pressure on Gruet for 2nd. Gruet was in 2nd place around the first gate, however a big nosedive put him back in the placings.

In the final race of the day, after a number of general recalls, the breeze faded and headed into the south. It became patchy and about linking the pressure together. After a good start from Hawaiian Gavin Ball and Norwegian Markus Berthet, Australian sailor Louis Tilly worked his way through the fleet on the first run to never be headed. Tilly had around 95% fly time in the race and sailed a beautiful tactical race.

Across the fleet there are some fantastic battles going on, in the women’s division, Hattie Rogers is putting pressure on the top 10 overall and currently sits in 14th place, claiming a 6th in the windy race 4 and regularly into the low teens. Helena Sanderson from NZ had had some good results in the mid-20s overall and Tess Lloyd finished the day with a  great race and her best of the series in 21st.

In the 6.9m division just 3pts separates Pia Tveita from Norway and young Callum Simmons from Australia. This promises to be an awesome battle between two up and coming young stars. All the 6.9m sailors should be commended for their performance in the strong breezes this morning.

In the super-masters, Brad Devine is holding onto his lead despite a broken boom in race 7, he was able to get a new boom on the boat and claimed a valuable 27th in the final race of the day, Andrew McDougall is just behind Brad in 42nd with a  mixed day today.

The masters division is being dominated by the New Zealanders with Dave Shaw leading the way in 29th position from Peter Graham.

Meanwhile the first junior is Louis Tilly in 9th overall, ahead of Swiss sailor Micha De Weck in 11th, this should be a quality battle to the end. Tomorrow the intention is to get 4 races in when the sea-breeze comes in from 2pm.