The race committee took the decision to start racing at the earlier time of 0900 yesterday to ensure racing for the 297 young sailors competing in the Volvo RYA Youth Championships and Trials.

The northerly wind was variable at best, never reaching above 10 knots, making conditions tricky. Two races were completed in all fleets before the wind again died.

The race committee tried all day to start racing, the Laser Standard rig managed to complete three races before returning ashore at 1600. The Radials also completed three races in total after a long day on the water an hour later. All the double-handed boats were sent ashore at 1230, where they were held until 1630. The breeze did not fill in adequately to complete a full race until 1730 and it was 1900 before all sailors were ashore.

Pippa Wilson (Lymington) and Jenny Marks (Lymington) have only been sailing together for a matter of months, but are leading the 31-strong mixed fleet of boys and girls scoring a second and third place today in what were difficult conditions. When asked about the secret of their success so far this week Pippa Wilson replied: “Getting your eyes out of boat, the wind has been so random you have to try to spot things before they happen.” Pippa is used to beating the boys on the water, in 2001 she was crowned Cadet national champion and has twice finished fourth at the Cadet world championship. Although the 29er pairing hold a ten-point lead over second-placed Jonny Marshall and Tom Smedley they are downplaying expectations “six more races could change the event,” said Wilson. With only one more day of racing and a 69-point lead over second-placed girls crew Jo Skinner and Mari Shepherd, Wilson and Marks would need a complete change in form not to qualify to represent Great Britain ay the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships this July in Canada.

A change of leader in the Laser Standard class which saw previous championship leader Charles Baillie-Strong (Stokes Bay) finish in 10th place in race five, which allowed Andy Brookes (Elton Sailing Club), who finished second, to move into the lead on equal points with second placed Nick Scott (Grafham Water Sailing Club) after the first discard was applied. With only three points separating the top three sailors, the place in Team GB for this years Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships was still very much up for grabs.

In the 117-strong Laser Radial class two races were sailed, James Tilley (Restronguet) showed consistency scoring a first and a third place to lead Nick Thompson by one point. Natalie Lloyd is currently lying fifth overall and 28 points in front of her nearest rival Colette Blair

Nic Asher and Jonathan Cavill showed good form today in the 420 class, scoring three firsts to be placed to put them three points clear of Laurie Fitzjohn-Sykes and Tom Mapplebeck. Charlotte Savage and Maia Walsh are now seven points clear from the Scottish pairing of Joanne MacDonald and Faye Govan.

Ben Mansfield (Southampton) and Ben Hinks (Southampton) are the youngest crew competing in the Hobie 16 class, both just 15 years old. They have scored consistently throughout the week to lead pre event favourites Ben Cutler-Sharp and Rupert Stock by two points going into the last day. Although the Hobie 16 class competed at last year’s Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship, it will not be a class this year so the teams are just competing for a place in the Volvo RYA Youth Squad.

Results (after day 4)

Laser Standard-6 races, 1 discard

1, Andy Brooks (4,(8),8,1,2,1) 16pts

2, Nick Scott (2,3,2,3,6, (31)) 16 pts

3, Charles Baillie-Strong (1,5,1,2,10, (11)) 19 pts

Laser Radial-boys-6 races, one discard

1, James Tilley (1,1,2,1,1,(3)) 6 pts

2, Nic Thompson (1,2,1,1,2,(10)) 7 pts

3, Giles Scott (2,1,6,4,1,(12) 14 pts

Laser Radial-girls-6 races, one discard

1, Natalie Lloyd (6,5,1,4,(11),2) 18 pts