Only one race was sailed today (race 6 of the 7 race Championship), but it took nearly all day to complete it. The forecast was correct with just enough wind from the south-west to move the fleet against the strong flood tide ..
In fact when the initial race was started around 13.00hrs, none of the competitors were able to reach the top mark (mark 1) within the 45 minute time limit, so the race was abandoned.. The conditions simply did not allow for the boats to cover the 2.2 mile upwind leg in time, so the PRO sensibly reduced the distance to 1.2 miles and increased the number of upwind legs.
When the race was eventually re-started it was POR 47 and GBR 778 who chose to go extreme left from the PIN end of the line, whilst overall leader POR 55 started next to the committee boat. The strong current made progress difficult but after a while it was apparent that the left was the way to go……. So whilst the majority of the fleet tacked left, then right to clear their air or find a clear lane, Henrique Anjos helming POR 47 and Lawrie Smith helming GBR 778 made huge gains on the left…
I spoke to Lawrie after the race, he told me “everyone that was close to us that tacked away, immediately lost boat lengths because of the current. At one stage we could feel we too were in the current, so I bore away and reached for a while, until we started to make big gains again”. The distance these two boats made on the fleet, as the “one way” beat was established, was enormous. So it was left to URK 7 Marcus Wieser to give chase and in the end settle for 3rd place.
Of the overall leaders, Jose’ Matoso (POR 55) was having his worse race (after choosing the wrong side), meanwhile Jens Christensen DEN 405 was just getting the better of GER 1068 helmed by Ingo Ehrlicher, who has top sail-maker Werner Fritz on board. Jens actually finished 8th and Ingo 11th. So this really means we are due a most exciting end to this fantastic Championship. DEN 405 leads on 40pts, POR 55 is on 43pts and GER 1068 46pts.
What makes the final showdown even more interesting is that it’s North Sails verses Fritz Sails, as Jens Christensen is the owner of the strong and popular North Sails, whilst Werner has been commanding a good percentage of the Dragon market with his Fritz Sails for many years. It’s certainly great news for all of us mere Dragon owner’s, that now can see both set’s of sails work well…For us it’s just the “Nut” on the tiller that’s the problem……… 🙂
Higher, Faster, Longer……….. Stavros. (USA 310).