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Day 2 in Cascais, Grade 1 Juan Carlos Trophy.
With another scheduled 2.0pm start sailors waited frustratingly ashore yesterday as the most perfect southerly wind blew all morning at around 20kts. As the sun was so strong it was inevitable that this early breeze would die away as the more likely sea breeze tried to “kick in” from a more westerly direction. This is exactly what happened as the fleet started the first race of the day (race 3 of the event), so the three boats GBR 648, POR 47 and RUS 27 who headed for the left shore on the first beat made a huge jump on the fleet to round the windward mark in that order. Their gain had come from sailing in the last of the southerly wind whilst the right hand side of the beat was already experiencing the wind change. But this did not take away the joy shown by Eeva Saukkonen helming GBR 648, my El Gringo as she led the fleet until halfway down the first run.
However, as the westerly breeze got stronger, the run turned into a reach, then a beat. So the race officer had no option but to abandon the race. Unlucky for RUS 27 who had taken the lead during the wind shift. Still the show must go on and within 30 minutes a new course had been set and the re-start got underway shortly after 3.0pm. This time the same three boats RUS 27, POR 47 and GBR 648 once again held the top three places at the first windward mark after playing the right side of the beat. Although the breeze was beginning to loose pressure Anatololy Loginov helming his RUS 27 held the lead on the first downwind leg from Eeva, having a great sailing day helming GBR 648, closely followed by local favourite Henrique Anjos POR47.
As the wind continued to die away RUS 27 rounded the second up-wind mark followed by POR 47 & GBR 648. With surprisingly no shortened course these three boats set spinnakers and tried to finish the final run, thinking “Oh no, not this again” would their positions be lost again if the race was abandoned or ran out of time……… As it turned out, with more luck than judgement, the leading boats did manage to cross the finish line in hardly a breath of wind. It was hard work to keep the spinnakers set and sit so still in the boat, sweating like hell, just watching that sacred finish line get slowly nearer and nearer. So Anatololy took the gun and Eeva was 2nd, but in the final surge to the line NOR 282 helmed by Pieter Heerama from Holland took 3rd place. As the relief of all the three crews of these leading boats from actually finishing set in, Pieter was heard calling to the race officer “Another Race ?”……………
Dutch sense of humour……
So RUS 27 now leads overall after three races, but the forecast is good for today and with an 11.00am start we should see at least three more races….
Higher, Faster, Longer……….. Stavros. (GBR 648).