by Craig Heydon
During the fourth day of racing at the 2012 IFDS World Championships, the Australians had a solid day on the water.
The Skud 18 fleet at the 2012 IFDS World Championships
The Skud 18 crew of Daniel Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch continue to lead the way for the Australians and after eight races find themselves third overall. The Bronze medalists from the 2011 World Championships will be keen to improve on that position and are only two points off second and seven off the lead with three races remaining on Charlotte Harbour.
'It’s really good to be able to learn from the mistakes we made out there today,' said Tesch. 'After two great starts, to finish up with a second and a fifth was a bit disappointing.'
'We allowed the British crew to get too far ahead in the first race, and we watched four boats pass us on the last downwind in the second race, not responding quickly enough to keep our lead. 'It’s best that we learn here, amongst the best fleet in the world, and get it right at the Paralympic Games in September,' she said.
'It was great to see our training partners Ame and Lindsay finish with a third and a second. I wish we could bring the whole fleet back to Sydney for more race tactic practice!'
Ame Barnbrook and Lindsay Mason remain in seventh overall after a third and a second, their best day of the regatta so far. 'Today was a good day for us and hopefully we can repeat that tomorrow and keep going up, up and up,' said Barnbrook.
'The conditions were about 10-12 knots today which was ideal and then as the day went on it slowly died out.'
Australia’s Sonar crew of Colin Harrison, Stephen Churm and Jonathan Harris have continued their great run at their debut regatta, currently sitting in fifth position after seven races, with just one race possible on Friday. 'Racing today started on time with a light, shifting breeze from the north,' said Harrison. 'The scheduled three races had been revised to two and even this was looking unlikely as the breeze started to fade away at the end of the first race.
'Again it was very close as the fleet would split at the beginning of the upwind legs, searching for the band of pressure that would give them the advantage,' he said. 'We aimed to find a line of pressure and then take advantage of the shifts as they came. The fleet converged at the finish line and we crossed in fifth place, a pleasing result in difficult conditions. The result has helped us climb up to fifth place overall and hopefully tomorrow will bring more stable wind for the two scheduled races,' he said.
Matt Bugg sits just outside the 2.4mR class top 10 in 11th overall following a seventh and a 16th on day four. Bugg is just two points off 10th heading into the final two races for the 2.4mR fleet. 'My day was ok, it was really tough out there, really shifty with the wind coming and going and unfortunately the luck didn’t go in my direction,' said Bugg.
'Tomorrow the aim is to get back into the top 10.' Racing continues on Charlotte Harbour on Saturday with racing at the 2012 IFDS World Championships set to conclude on Sunday.
Full results can be found here
More information on the Australian Sailing Team here