Broken masts and collisions were among the challenges sailors at the Para World Sailing Championships faced on Monday (30 November) in Williamstown, Melbourne, Australia.
The third day included races five and six of the 11-race series, with the final medal races to take place on Thursday (3 December).
On the SKUD18 course, conditions were trying for all crews in the first race, which was won by Australians Dan Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch ahead of their team mates Amethyst Barnbrook and Brett Pearce. The Netherlands crew of Rolf Schrama and Sandra Nap took third.
In the race that followed, conditions were frightening, with vicious gusts sweeping down the course. The USA’s Ryan Porteous and Maureen McKinnon launched their spinnaker after rounding the windward mark, only to watch it fill instantly as a gust hit and snap the mast.
Soon afterward, the Israeli crew of Hagar and Moshe Zahavi suffered a similar fate, as both boats were towed back to the marina. The Australian crew, having established a good lead by the final lap, delayed the deployment of a spinnaker until after they had gybed, and kept a close watch on the Canadian boat closing in behind them. They went on to score another win, with Canada's John McRoberts and Jackie Gray second, and the Netherlands' Rolf Schrama and Sandra Nap third.
After six races, Australia leads the SKUD18 class with six points, followed by Great Britain with 17 and Italy with 21; the lowest points were dropped.
In the 2.4mR race, France's Damien Seguin showed his versatility by winning both races.
After six races, dropping the worst, Seguin leads with the 2.4mR class with nine points, Germany's Heiko Kroeger is second with 14 and Bugg in third with 19.
On the sonar course, the predicted tightening of the competition was clear when the first three boats crossed the finish line almost together, each overlapped with the boat ahead. The Australian crew of Colin Harrison, Jonathan Harris and Russell Boaden started soundly in the centre of the fleet and narrowly led at the first mark from the British and French crews. During the final downwind leg, French skipper Bruno Jourdren broke away from the Australian and British boats, favouring the left as they closed on the finish line. The finishing order was Australia, France and Britain.
In much stronger conditions during the second race, the British turned the tables, leading the Australians home with the New Zealand crew of Richard Dodson, Chris Sharp and Andrew May in third place. The French boat had their worst result for the series so far, finishing eighth.
Total scores in the sonar class, dropping of each boat's worst score, has the Australians leading on seven points, ahead of the British crew with 13 points and the French crew with 22.
Competition continues on Tuesday (1 December) with races seven and eight. Complete results and information on the Para Sailing World Championships can be found on the event website.
Day 2 recap
Day 1 recap