Margins narrow at the top of the leaderboard as Per Elisa wins long Inshore Race on day four of the Half Ton Classics Cup 2015.
Overnight leader Checkmate XV, helmed by David Cullen, got a great start at the committee boat end and was looking very good up the first beat until they got involved on the loosing side of a port/starboard incident and were forced to take a penalty.
The boat that did head the fleet at that first mark was Robby Tregear’s Per Elisa who had led the fleet out from the pin end of the line. This was her second day of showing great speed in light winds.
Also showing great speed again was Roddy Angus and Dan Challis’s Trastada. With the exception of a retirement in race five this crew from Scotland have generated a steady set of top ten results and they sailed beautifully to finish just over two minutes behind Per Elisa and fifty seconds ahead of Paul Pullen’s Miss Whiplash.
Checkmate successfully fought her way back up into fourth place and in fifth came the local Nieuwpoort team of Nicolas Lejeune and Jean Marie Gilles in Skippy’s Ton, a 1984 Andrieu design built by Fountaine-Pajot which has had a long an illustrious racing career under various Belgian and French owners.
Going into the final day David Cullen and Checkmate XV continue to lead the regatta although their points advantage has been reduced a little from 6.5 to 5 points. Hard on their heels are Paul Pullen and Miss Whiplash who retain second place with 18.1 points.
Robby Tregear and the Per Elisa crew are still in third place overall, but they too have closed down the points difference and now trail Miss Whiplash by 5.4 points. Trastada’s great showing in today’s race has enabled her to leap up the rankings from seventh to fourth overall, 9.2 points behind Per Elisa.
The regatta concludes Friday and with the forecast indicating light winds in the morning that are likely to die completely by early afternoon, the race committee has already brought forward the start of racing from 11.00 to 10.00 to give them the best possible chance of completing two further races to decide the championship.