The fourth race of the Grolsch 505 world championship took place yesterday after one postponement, in very light airs
The fourth race of the Grolsch 505 world championship took place yesterday after one postponement, in very light airs. Once again, there were several competitors disqualified for hitting the gate boat or pathfinder which included first race winners Dave Smithwhite and Neal Fulcher, event leaders after three races, Ian Barker and Dan Cripps, and 1999 world champions Howard Hamlin and Mike Martin.
However, a massive windshift up the beat forced Race Committee to abandoned the race and re-start it in a different position. The second start went according to plan in 14 knots of breeze which made for some exciting racing. The leaders all chose bear-away sets at the windward mark and had a good breeze right to the corner. However, the breeze backed as the leaders started down the first reach, forcing several teams to douse their kites to make the mark.
The shift turned the second reach into a run resulting in many place changes but it was Andy Beeckman and Ben Benjamin (USA) who won the race. Krister Bergstrom and Thomas Moss were lying second but capsized on the last gybe before the finish and fell to fourth.
Simon Payne and Bill Masterman duelled with Tim Collins and Drew Buttner for second, with Collins and Buttner (USA) taking second and Payne and Masterman (GBR) third. Bergstrom and Moss (SWE) were fourth, Les Nathanson and Richard Machin (AUS) fifth, Luke Molloy and Lucas Prescott (AUS) sixth, Henry Amthor and Steve Sparkman (USA) seventh, Brett Van Munster and Andrew Petch (AUS) eighth, Doug Hagan and Stuart Park (USA) ninth, Ian Pinnell and Steve Hunt (GBR) 10th.