British Fireball duo Tom Gillard and Andy Thompson will take a seven-point lead into the final two races of the 2024 Fireball Worlds in Geelong tomorrow, as they look to be crowned world champions for another time.

The pair have so far sailed a near flawless regatta with an 18th in Race 3 the only result outside the top four.

Sitting in second overall with an outside chance of claiming the title on the last day is fellow Britons DJ Edwards and Vyv Townend on Mondo, who are now dropping a 13th from today.

Brendan Garner and Ben O’Brien on Black Pearl are sitting third overall. Photos: Alex Dare

With a pair of good results tomorrow, the Mondo team could use a sixth as their second discard, shaving some solid points off their scorecard.

In third overall after an 8,1 scorecard today is Brendan Garner and Ben O’Brien on Black Pearl, who turned a poor position into a Race 8 win in an extremely shifty final work, keeping them in the hunt.

Garner said it was a challenging day and that it had set up an exciting battle for the final day.

Challenging conditions on the penultimate day of the Fireball Worlds. Photos: Alex Dare

“In the first race we got caught out a couple of times being a little too confident with what might happen up the track, so then we decided our plan was just sail the higher number and sail towards pressure,” he said.

“We’ll have a crack, I think what’s fantastic for the regatta and for the class is that it’s wide open going into tomorrow, there’s a few boats that can still win.

“They’re not our conditions (tomorrow) but neither was today and we still came out with a good result so we’ll just see what happens.”

Ben Knoop and James Belton on Fierce Creature sit in seventh overall. Photos: Alex Dare

There are some great battles being set up for the final day to make up the remainder of the top 10 with a number of teams having great regattas so far and looking for a good final result.

Ben Schulz and Angus Higgins in Riptide are sitting fourth and could sneak onto the podium with a good final day, while David Hall and Paul Constable on Sunsets, Tom Gordon and Jack Fletcher on Cletus, and Ben Knoop and James Belton on Fierce Creature are all in a close fight for the last spot in the top five.

Sophie Jackson, who is sailing with Josh Galland on Zig Zag and currently sits 11th overall, said the racing in this regatta had been incredibly tight.

“I think with the lighter breeze the fleet was a lot more condensed and boats that are sometimes further back made their way up to the front, so there was a lot of congestion coming in around the marks and the fleet was a lot denser,” she said.

“Fireballs sail very similarly to the 470, so it’s a really great boat to cross-train in and get that extra racing practice.”

The final day tomorrow is expected to be tricky, which sets up massive opportunities for teams looking to move up the standings, and big risks for those that need to defend their spot.

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