2006 Optimist Selections - Day 5, Port Elizabeth, ABYC @ Sail Search RSA - SailNet Community

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2006 Optimist Selections - Day 5, Port Elizabeth, ABYC @ Sail Search RSA
by NewsReader 04-10-2006

First day back at school for government schools, but not for our Optimist Sailors. We are still in Port Elizabeth battling it out for places in the Optimist Worlds Team to Uruguay and Optimist Africans team to Egypt. Again we towed the boats out first thing in the morning, we anchored off of Kings Beach and waited around an hour for the wind. Race Officer Richard Stephenson called it off and sent everyone home to lunch. immediately after lunch the postponement flag went down and we again proceeded to sea. The wind in the bay was a light south easterly of around 5 knots, coupled with a flattish sea the decision was made to sail the 1st race of the day and 10th of the series. Much debate ensued as to the correctness of the race officers decision but, at the end of the day a good race was sailed - just under 20 minutes to the windward mark and around 45 minutes in length. A couple of upsets were evident in this race - Michael Crosland led all the way to be pipped at the finish by Mathew Shaw, Alex Lehtinen again showed remarkable control to come in third and Jenny Robertson sailed to a credible 4th, with Brevan Thompson picking up his 2nd discard at 13th. Race two of the day and 11 of the series was sailed in a rising east which again started to favour the lighter sailors. Here Timothy Manley sailed his best result of the series so far with a 4th. Race 12 was sailed in a 12 to 15 knot south easter coupled with rising seas and a slight course change to the windward and finish marks. This was the first race of the series where we actually saw sailors pushing the line. This race saw a start line that was neutral and devoid of any bias. Lejan Lewthwaite sailed an excellent race to gain a 3rd place - her best place of the series thus far and placing her in contention for a spot in the Worlds team. If Lejan does manage to get into the Worlds team it will be the first time in a long while that a female sailor has represented South Africa at the Worlds. After the race the entire fleet was forced to wait for shipping movement before they could enter the harbour and make their weary way to hot chocolate whilst the adults crawled up the moorings to a welcome sip of Old Brown Sherry. Top three in each of the three races sailed today:
  1. 1st Mathew Shaw, 2nd Michael Crosland, 3rd Alex Lehtinen
  2. 1st Brevan Thompson (6 points), 2nd Mathew Shaw, 3rd Michael Crossland
  3. 1st Brevan Thompson, 2nd Mathew Shaw, 3rd Lejan Lethwaite
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