Markus Wieser UKR 7 can only be beaten by Lawrie Smith GBR 751 as the World Championship in Melbourne draws to a close….. With no racing yesterday firstly due to too much wind and a lack of visibility, then as the clouds lifted and the sun shone the wind died away to absolutely zero, nothing! It was actually what I call a “Bob Hope” day, as the famous American comedian was once asked if he enjoyed his round of Golf at one of his annual invitation tournaments. The weather on that particular day had begun with fog, then down came the rain, then by the 9th hole out came the sun, then up sprang a fierce wind. So Bob Hope said “I like the English weather, but not all in the same Day!”…… Well the Port of Prince Phillip remained empty yesterday as all 72 Dragons stayed tied up on the dock, some with their spinnakers raised to dry them off in the afternoon sun… many with their frustrated crew swimming around the boat to clean the hulls and others just sat chatting away ………
So the wind never came and eventually the PRO called time at around 4pm. Back in the Club House as the beer flowed and the talking became noisier, Kevin Wilson announced that there could only be one race sailed today (Sat), as the rules and guidelines for the World Championships do not allow for extra races on the last day. This really annoyed several competitors who by now have seen a potential 8 race event reduced to a possible 6. With the best wind by far having been missed during the “Lay Day” on Weds, I think future Championships may see changes. After all a considerable amount of time and money has been spent by all the sailors and they deserve the chance to race at every given opportunity. With many not taking flights until Sunday, it is a pity more races cannot be sailed today!
However, that is the deal, so what does it mean ? Well, as it stands Markus Wieser leads the event from Lawrie Smith by 15 pts, but as I previously stated if a 6th race is sailed (hopefully at 11.00am today), a discard will apply so this means his lead is reduce to just 3pts. Smith however has to take care and may need to draw on his passed “Match Racing” skills which won him the Bronze Medal in Barcelona back in 1992, when he beat Jochen Schuemann (who is crewing aboard GER 1002), in the Soling Match Race 3rd and 4th place sail off…… Wieser himself is no fool when it comes to Match Racing as he has won the German Championship in this “Boat v Boat” type of America’s Cup Sailing. Because he has not had a result outside of the top 10, today’s race could be thrown away, thus giving him the opportunity to mess Smith’s race up and guarantee the World crown… The question is, will he do it ? Will Smith be able to get a clean start and finish not only 3 places ahead of Wieser but also in the top 6 ? It’s come down to the wire and all will be revealed if conditions allow today……………………..
Higher, Faster, Longer……………. Stavros (NED 372).