Off Beach Lightning Championship - Race Report

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posted on
Mon 18 Feb 2019
posted by
WSC Sailing Office

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Off Beach racing took another turn this week, with stronger winds testing different skills for the competitors.  Again, a small, but dedicated fleet saw some great consistency and competitive racing in preparation for the Australian O’pen Bic championship held here in Airlie Beach over the Easter period.

After a morning training under the club’s Off Beach rear commodore, Luke Mairs,  all were ready for a challenging afternoon.  For the first time in many weeks, the breeze was up around 10 – 15 knots from the south east, making the sailors work hard to keep their boats upright.  For some, that was easy, while for others, such as Zac Sleight, it got a bit overwhelming at times as he capsized his boat on several occasions.

Even though Joshua King won the start in the first race, he was unable to maintain the pressure from Eden Humphries as she powered her way to her first win of the season.  Joshua was content to just finish the course in conditions which do not suit his light build. In fact he trailed Zac for much of the race, finally gaining second place when Zac capsized.

The breeze was lighter in the second race, however that did not stop Eden as she again powered away from the fleet.  Having picked the best end of the starting line, she tacked soon after the start and crossed ahead of her competitors.  In the lighter conditions, Joshua was on the pace, sitting in second place, waiting for an error by the leader.  The error never came, as Eden continued on her way to another win.

Can she do it again, was the question on everyone’s mind as they lined up for the third and final race of the day.  Again a good start saw her leading the pack toward the first mark, however the gap was closer, with both Joshua and Zac within striking distance.  Downwind she kept her cool, just concentrating on the job at hand. Second, and final lap, Eden played the perfect covering game, staying between the mark and her pursuers. Down to the finish, it was just a matter of not making any mistakes.  Job done.  3 wins out of 3 gives her a one point lead over Joshua.  Expect a close battle over the next 6 weeks.