Yachting Australia Corporate Partner
Smith wins One Metre Worlds, Jones third
After 24 races at the Grove Fruit Juice 2005 World Championship for the International One Metre Class (IOM) of radio controlled yachts, hosted by the Mooloolaba Radio Yacht Club, Craig SMITH (AUS) took the title ahead of Graham BANTOCK (GBR) in second and Paul JONES (AUS) in third.
The regatta had everything with gale force winds of 40+ knots on the opening day, moderate conditions on the second and third days to drifters on Tuesday morning and light to moderate conditions for rest of the regatta so the skippers had to contend with the full range of conditions.
On the opening day on Saturday 17 September in gale force conditions, SMITH sailed superbly to finish with three straight firsts and take a four point lead over BANTOCK with Peter STOLLERY (GBR) a further four points behind. At that stage both SMITH and BANTOCK were both sailing superbly and looked like being the boats to beat.
On Sunday in moderate conditions, BANTOCK sailing very consistently, did not have a bad race to move into first place while SMITH struggled all day to drop to six points behind with JONES being the big mover climbing four places into third, whilst STOLLERY slipped to sixth.
Similar conditions on Monday saw BANTOCK continue his dominance and with placings of 2,3,6,1 move 14 points clear of SMITH with STOLLERY and Martin ROBERTS (GBR) locked together in third two points behind. With JONES a further two points in arrears four, boats were virtually locked together while BANTOCK appeared to have a comfortable lead.
In the drifting conditions on Tuesday things all changed around when BANTOCK was caught out in the conditions and dropped back into B Fleet with a 18th place and was caught in B fleet for two races with placings of 28 and 30 before returning to the top fleet with a tenth, dropping to fourth overall at the end of the day. In the meantime, SMITH with placings of 16,2,1,3 moved back into the lead with ROBERTS in second and STOLLERY in third.
Wednesday was a lay day allowing the competitors to relax before commencing all again on Thursday for the final three days. With five boats within eleven points of the lead the regatta was still wide open.
In the light to moderate conditions on Thursday, SMITH and ROBERTS maintained their positions, but BANTOCK again in form made up some ground to move into third from JONES fourth and STOLLERY slipping into fifth and gradually loosing touch with the leaders.
On the penultimate day, after the first race a third drop became available and BANTOCK moved into second place with SMITH in second. It was SMITH’s turn to put in a poor one and with a voluntary withdrawal in race 20, after doubts about a mark rounding, BANTOCK with two wins for the day moved into the lead once more from SMITH with JONES in third.
With only 16 points separating the first four boats at the start of the final day it was going to be a tense run home. A breeze shift after the start of the first race of the day which saw that race abandoned did not help things. In the re-sail SMITH sailed a consistent race for second and, with BANTOCK trapped back in the fleet and finishing 13th, moved into the lead once more.
BANTOCK pulled two points back in race 23 leaving him to beat SMITH by five places for the Championship. The crowd was quiet at the start of the final race and the tension could be felt. The three leaders all manage a good start and soon were clear of the remainder of the fleet. JONES took the lead from BANTOCK but on the first reach SMITH slipped into second and from then on covered BANTOCK’s every move to finish second and take the Championship.