Racing at the Warren Jones started on time on day four, on the now familiar shifty Easterly course in 5 - 8 knots with streaky puffs and plenty of taxing shifts. Late in the afternoon the breeze shifted into the South allowing for a more traditional longer course with fewer boundaries.
Chris Steele (36 Below Racing) showed plenty of his match racing skills, despatching the majority of his opponents until he came up against his arch rival Sam Gilmour from RFYBC. This contest was full of flavour with Steele coming from behind with a penalty to force a dial up at the windward mark on the final rounding.
Despite his best efforts to slow the game down on the run to the finish, Gilmour did not fall for any of Steele’s tricks and crossed to take the gun. Chris and his team from RNZYS had done enough to cement the first place in the semis.
Sam Gilmour (Neptune Racing) cruised through his matches with comparative ease and once he had got the better of Chris Steele had bagged his place in the semi-finals. He did however lose his penultimate match against the rapidly improving Matt Jerwood and his Redline Racing team from SoPYC.
“Really looking forward to tomorrows racing, looks like the breeze is going to be up and obviously we have raced against a lot of these teams particularly Matt Jerwood and Chris Steele, who have both qualified into the semi’s so who ever Chris chooses in the semis, they are all going to be close matches," said Sam.
“In these Easterly courses its been anyones game, its been really light, it hasn’t put a huge premium on crew work, its meant that most of the teams have been able to come out and race hard against the more experienced teams.”
Matt Jerwood spent the first two days of the regatta getting used to monohull racing again and despite being one of the more experience match racers on the circuit, he struggled in the early rounds. His team however came out all guns blazing when it mattered to notch up a string of victories including beating Sam Gilmour and Chris Steele in his final two flights.
“We were definitely a little shaky at the start of the week, we haven’t done a lot of keel boat match racing this year or last year, we still love the keelboat match racing though. After day one we knew we could improve so we worked on a few communication things and I got my feel back a bit and we are on our way,” Matt commented.
That left one more available place which was to go down to the wire. George Anyon from the RNZYS Performance Programme has punched above his weight here in Perth and certainly attracted the attention of a number of the coaches watching the racing. George was looking fairly steady for the final slot until he came up against Harry Price’s team. This could have been the decider and after a quite fiery encounter, it went in favour of Price.
With a one point advantage Anyon had to sit out the final matches and bite his nails whilst Price had two final matches to sail, both of which he needed to win. Unfortunately for him they were against the two top teams, Chris Steele and Sam Gilmour. In the final match of the day in the fading light, as the sun set over the skyscrapers of the City of Perth, Harry Price and his team from the CYCA Youth Sailing Academy, fell agonising short handing the final semi-final place to George Anyon.
So to the semi-finals to be staged on Friday afternoon from 1400hrs and the grand finale following shortly after, all streamed live onto the big screen at Elizabeth Quay in the Port of Perth.
The semi-finals are scheduled to take place from 1400hrs (local time) and the finals shortly after. Listen in on 106.5FM Radio streamed live via the website www.warrenjonesregatta.org.au
Standings after Day 4 (conclusion of Round Robin 2)
Chris Steele (36 Below Racing) RNZYS NZL - 19 - 3
Sam Gilmour (Neptune Racing) RFBYC AUS - 16 - 6
Matt Jerwood (Redline Racing) SoPYC AUS - 15 - 7
George Anyon (RNZYS Performance Programme) NZL - 13 - 9
Harry Price (Down Under Racing) CYCA AUS - 12 - 10
Lachy Gilmour (Gilmour Racing Team) RFBYC AUS - 11 - 11
James Hodgson (Mooloolaba YC) MYC AUS - 10 - 12
Will Boulden (Alpha Racing Team) RFBYC AUS - 10 - 12
Will Dargaville (Dargavllle Racing) RPAYC AUS - 8 - 14
Mans Holmberg (CFA Sports) CCYC SWE - 6 - 16
Leonard Takahashi (RNZYS Performance Programme) NZL - 5 - 17
Ethan Prieto-Low (Calypso Racing) RFBYC AUS - 5 - 17