For the first time in nearly 7 years of Formula National Titles held in Australia, no racing was held on Day 3 with the wind failing to materialise in a consistent direction despite the Race Committee making every attempt to get a race underway. The sailors were kept on stand-by for over 6 hours with the N over AP (end of racing for the day) flag finally hoisted at 5pm allowing the sailors a chance to head home and prepare for the evening’s Event BBQ.
Current event leader, with 7 bullets, Brasilian sailor Paulo Dos Reis (Patrik/North) kept a cool head spending most of the day relaxing out of the dribbles of rain in the shade with the rest of the Brasilian team, including Wilhelm Schurmann (Starboard/Neilpryde) who is currently in 3rd overall, and Mathias Pinheiro (Starboard/North) just behind Schurmann in 4th.
Jesper Vesterstrøm (Starboard/North) had a relaxing day at the beach, chatting with the local sailors and trying the local cuisine, keeping the energy levels up just in case a race could be started today and he would have another opportunity to take a win from the dominant Brasilian, Dos Reis.
Defending champion Sean O’Brien (Starboard/Point-7) had an on-edge day, hoping the morning forecast of light southerly breezes would be enough for another race so he could claw back the 2 points required to pass Pinheiro in to 4th. O’Brien is currently in 5th overall with a few clear points margin to the next Australians, Brett Morris (Starboard/North) and Luke Baillie (Gaastra/Neilpryde).
After the end of racing was signalled, Baillie led of contingent of the younger sailors and a few of the internationals over from Singapore, across to the front beach of Hawks Nest, a beach break on the ocean side of Port Stephens, for a quick surfing session with 2-3 ft waves peeling in on glassy waters with the lack of wind. After the surfing session, the sailors were treated to an ‘Aussie style’ BBQ at the famous Hawks Nest Golf Club, one of the popular eating holes in Hawks Nest.
The forecast for the final day of racing continues to baffle the sailors with conflicting forecasts from each weather service as the aftermath of the low pressure trough which has sat above the New South Wales coast for most of the week, dumping torrential rain and causing damaging floods to many of the nearby towns on the Hunter Coast, where Hawks Nest is situated. With the possibility of 4 more races being run on the final day, there is plenty more action to come and the battle for the Downunder Pro title will be fought to the death, as the Australian contingent aim to reign back the lead from the internationals currently holding the first 4 positions.
Full results after 7 races here:2012 Downunder Pro Formula Provisional Results