What a difference a day makes………….

Tight racing at the bottom mark - 2010 J24 Nationals in Melbourne
Tight racing at the bottom mark - 2010 J24 Nationals in Melbourne

In true one design tradition you can always rely on great a competition.

With only one days racing to go in the Australian J24 championships, there is only one point between first and second and one point between third and fourth. The current standings have Doug McGain NSW first 14 points, Sean Wallis W.A. second 15 points, Hugo Ottaway Vic third 22 points, Dave Suda Vic fourth 23 points and Sean Kirkjian NSW 32 points.

McGain, Wallis, Ottaway and Kirkjian, are all Australian Champions, and Suda a runner up National Champion.

Today’s heats, 7 & 8 were sailed in perfect Port Philip Bay sailing conditions, a 10 to 15 knot southeast wind matched with a flat sea and clear 28 degree temperature saw both Suda and Kirkjian win heats putting additional pressure on the front three boats.

Doug McGain and Hugo Ottaway consolidated their positions with two seconds for Doug and two thirds for Hugo.

Sean Wallis had his worst day so far with an 8th and 4th, however with the one race drop system now achieved after six races completed, Wallis is still able to hold second.

Both McGain and Wallis need top eight positions tomorrow to secure their hold on first and second anything worse could see Ottaway and Suda with a win, move into the lead.

The game now changes with “Hunting” a practice where the lead boats race only against each other ignoring the rest of the fleet. This practice is risky as a boat in Kirkjian’s position can slip unnoticed into a race winning position and leap frog into third.

With a change in weather conditions forecasting lighter winds, the final results in the Australian J24 Championships might be very interesting.

Written by Hugo Ottaway