Black Sheep wins 707 championship by eight points from Code Z

Sailing out of the Royal Southern YC, Hamble day four of the Hunter 707 national championship was held in light and shifty conditions after a three-hour postponement yesterday.

Race 10 was windward/leeward with a downwind finish. The fleet got off the line first go and most went left. Those in the middle, including championship leaders, Black Sheep, were looking good half way up the beat, but again it was left that paid in the end with favourable tide and wind.

Round the leeward mark the leading pack included Betty, Pocket Battleship, The Sweeney, Giraffe and Starborn. Further back in the pack big gains were made by going for the left leeward mark and coming back up the beat in more breeze. The course was shortened at the windward mark and Betty took the win, from Pocket Battleship who sneaked in front of The Sweeney.

Other than Pocket Battleship everyone else in the top five finished outside the top ten.

Race 11 was a windward/leeward with a downwind finish. With the black flag up the fleet got away cleanly. Doh! had the best start at the committee boat end and were looking good until they fell into a hole in the middle of the beat. The Sweeney rounded the windward mark first in front of Cacciatore, Code Z and Betty.

At the leeward mark the left-hand buoy was favoured once again, as the wind shifted 30 degrees and increased. Starborn and Trojan leap-frogged the leaders to take first and second at the mark followed by Doh! and The Sweeney. Starborn held the lead until the finish and Doh! just managed to sneak in front of Trojan.

Overall: James Ross, Rob Fisher, Ian Phillips, Bim Daser and Gareth Russell on Black Sheep won the championship with a comfortable lead of eight points. Code Z made heir trip down from Port Edgar in Scotland worthwhile by finishing second, in front of Pocket Battleship, Doh! and The Sweeney.