Andy and Dave Richards in mStation/Gul showed they are equally adept in lighter conditions with a 2,1,5 to keep a firm hold of top spot

Day three of the Gul and Audi-sponsored Laser 5000 nationals at the Mayflower and Royal Corinthian Yacht Clubs in Plymouth took place on 29 August. The scheduled three races were held in a light south-easterly sea breeze that filled in in the early afternoon. The breeze peaked at about 10 knots for the start of the first race and then continued to lighten as the day wore on. This led the race officer to opt for three short races, placing huge emphasis on the start and first beat. With the lighter conditions, the competition at the front of the fleet intensified and with boat handling not commanding the huge advantage it had done in the previous day’s fresher conditions, there were a number of new names on the podium. Olly and Mark Ponsford (Hyde Sails) stormed up the leader board from ninth to fourth with a 3,3,1 from the day, Losing out on first in the second race to some crafty sailing by the Richards brothers in mStation/Gul on the last leg who snuck up from third and the Fairleys who slipped into second. This also puts the Ponsfords ahead on the Newcomers award overall.

Justin Deal and Nick Bubb (Crewsaver/Mormaii) won the first race and held second in the second race before losing the plot slightly as regards the course and had to settle for sixth in the third. Mark Dicker and Malcom Reed also made a welcome return to the podium with a second in the third race to compliment a seventh and 13th in races one and two. At the top of the leader board, Andy and Dave Richards in mStation/Gul showed they are equally adept in lighter with a 2,1,5 to keep a firm hold of top spot. Mark Emmet and Anthony Esse (Hermes/ Ronstan/Juice Plus), second overall overnight had a terrible day, a breakage at the start of race one saw them having to return to shore for repairs and they only made it out in time for the start of the third race. A 13th here wrapped up a day they will want to put behind them, with their two discards used they will have to sail consitent top three positions to recover their second place.

Jamie Shelton and Graeme White (West Country Watersport/ Mylor Rigging) had another consistent days sailing with a 4,4,7 to end the day second overall. Andy and Lizzie Fairley had another solid day out with a 5,2,3 to hold on to third overall.

Results (after eight races)

1 mStation/Gul, Andy and Dave Richards

2 West Country Watersport/ Mylor Rigging, Jamie Shelton and Graeme White

3 RNCYC, Andrew and Lizzie Fairley

4 Hyde Sails, Mark and Olly Ponsford (Leading Newcomer)

5 Hermes/ Ronstan/Juice Plus, Mark Emmet/ Anthony Esse