04 Nov Massey smokes fleet
Archie Massey and Matt Noble bounced right back to the top of the leaderboard in the International 14 World Championship, after winning both races off Warnemunde today.
The British team launched off the pin end of both starts and hooked into a seam of strong breeze on the left side of the course. Both times it took them to first place around the windward mark, and they turned on the speed to win on each occasion.
Jarrod Simpson and Grant Rollerson followed Massey around the course and held a comfortable second place in the first race, with the shifty breeze blowing off the shore at about 12 to 16 knots. Mike Lennon and Andy Rice were lying in third until the finish when a fast-closing Dave Alexander and Cameron McDonald just pipped them to the line.
Having won the two previous races, Andy and Tom Partington had high hopes of climbing to the top of the leaderboard, but suffered a bad start and collided with another boat, forcing them to take penalty turns, and later a capsize, so finished just 15th after clawing their way back from the 30s.
Series leader before today, Roger Blasse/Andrew Gilligan had a collision after fellow Australians Lindsay Irwin/Andrew Perry were unable to give them water at the leeward mark. Blasse’s pole speared between the wing and the hull, locking them together for a painful period, before they finally extricated themselves and got firing on all cylinders again.
At the start of the next race Dave Evans and his Olympic medallist crew Simon Hiscocks judged the pin end perfectly, port-tacking across the whole fleet and out to the right. Unfortunately their glory was shortlived as left was the way to go, with Massey and Noble yet again claiming the favoured lane and romping away to victory.
Prince of Wales Cup winner Alister Richardson and Simon Wheeler had their first good showing of the week, rounding the mark in second place and maintaining their position until the finish. However yet again Alexander/McDonald did another last-minute smash and grab, ousting the Brits from 2nd place after judging the final layline to perfection.
The forecast for tomorrow is for more wind from the south-west, so it could be another shifty, gusty day. Massey and Noble are looking very comfortable in the medium to strong winds, and it will be hard for others to topple from the top.
Provisional top six results overall after five races of seven (with one discard)
1. Archie Massey/Matt Noble (GBR), 10 points
2. Dave Alexander/Cameron McDonald (AUS), 14
3. Mike Lennon/ Andy Rice (GBR), 18
4. Jarrod Simpson/ Grant Rollerson (GBR), 18
5. Andy & Tom Partington (GBR), 22
6. Roger Blasse/Andrew Gilligan (AUS), 23 points