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Felixstowe Ferry SC Nationals day 3

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Day three of the Carbonology Firefly Nationals Championships was another close day of tactical dinghy racing for the 53 boat fleet.

A late start was scheduled for reasons of tide and ‘crew’s union’ recovery, and as we shall see later this lie-in was capitalised on brilliantly by Atomic, crewed by the class union official Ruthie Verrier-Jones.

Rob and Mel Sherrington were the pathfinder boat, and several minor windshifts during the gate start allowed some early gains by boats that started at the right time. For a time, it looked as if playing each shift in turn would reap the most reward but in the event the wind backed dramatically on the left hand side of the course.  Bloodhound crewed by George Yeoman and Sophie Ormsby from Itchenor Sailing Club as able to set themselves up for an enormous lead.

The top 10 boats round the windward mark included many boats lying around 20th overall, and many of the championship top-dogs were looking dog-slow having failed to catch the shift. Yeoman drew out his lead by many hundreds of yards as the race progressed while second place was handed back by Clarke and Wilkinson (Tea for Two) to F3119 Horror.

The last lap was described by Roger Morris and Jo Findlay (sailing Horror) as if the girls were ganging up on him – having to fend off attacks from Emma Derby and Sophe Knight in the famous Alarm, and Sophie Shepherd and Sarah Lombard in Mojo. Eventually though, notwithstanding Yeoman and Ormsby’s spectacular win, ‘man of the match’ (ahem) must surely go to Katie Archer and Ruth V-J who raced through the fleet from a bad start and pipped Roger Morris and Jo Findlay on the line, simply by judging the tidal lay-line spot on. Well done girls!

Tommorow sees the fleet contend for one of the most famous trophies in dinghy racing – the endurance test that is the Sir Ralph Gore Challenge cup. Check back tomorrow for more news and pictures