After a disappointing 2nd day yesterday with little wind, 4 starts, 1 abandoned race, 3 recalls and a number of Black Flag’s !! It was good to get back to normal today and sail 3 excellent races in glorious sunshine and 8 to 16 kts of breeze. I must say the standard of racing is of the highest level, which is understandable in the final countdown of only 3 months before the Worlds !
In all 3 races today it predominantly “paid” to go right, towards the shore. How you achieved that was the 64 million dollar question…… Sometimes it paid to start at the committee boat and tack immediately (With 40 other boats trying to do the same)! Other times it paid to start further down the line, wait until most of the fleet had tacked and then tack keeping clear air and head in.
Getting it right nearly every time was our Gold Cup Champion Markus Wieser helming his new PCT Dragon UAE 7 from Dubai, crewed by Sergey Pugachev and Georgii Leonchuk. Markus has a brilliant knack of being in the right place at the right time and although it looked like RUS 27 was going to win the first race of the day, a clever gybe inshore on the final run saw Markus slip through at the finish and take the gun…..
Here we see a full on action shot (by Ricardo Pinto) of the winning boat during a spinnaker hoist.
In race 2 of the day, the ever consistent RUS 27 team of Anatoly Loginov, Alexander Shalagin and Vadim Statsenko managed to hold onto their lead after considerable pressure from the highly talented fleet. This result keeps Anatoly and his team just ahead overall by 4pts from Markus.
An excellent photo from “Professional” Ricardo Pinto, captures the excitement of a start.
In race 3 of the day, (race 5 of the series), it was once again Markus Wieser in UAE 7 who took control of the fleet on the first beat, not by being the furthest right boat off the start, but right-middle, which enabled him to tack below the leading group coming out from the shore. With this lead pack all needing to slightly over-stand the windward mark, so as to keep clear air, it gave Markus the opportunity to tack just below them and squeeze up to round ahead. From then on he stayed ahead and increased his lead…. too good !
In 3rd place overall is the fellow team mate from Dubai, UAE 20 “Desert Eagle”.. pictured here in full flow with Henrik Witzmann on the helm, Markus Kay & Michael Koch.
In 4th place overall after 5 races and currently leading Italian (For the National Title) is ITA 56 “Cloud”, helmed by Giuseppe Duca, crewed by Pedro Andrade and Vittorio Zaole. These boys have been always around the front and are keeping the “Cloud” team at the top whilst Jean Sababastien recovers in Hospital.
In 5th place overall and putting in a great “Corinthian” performance is the team from Sweden sailing “Little Hook”, an excellent charter boat… This SWE team with helm Olle, crewed by Patrik and Staffan hold a comfortable lead in the Corinthian competition which runs “within” the main points series….
The dreaded Blackboard (white), that was a reminder of yesterday mistakes made.
So fellow sailors with just one day to go and a possible 2 races it’s still wide open as to who will win… realistically it will be Anatoly, Markus, Henrick or Guiseppe, with Olle Johanssen the man to beat for the Corinthian Prize !!
Higher, Faster, Longer………………. Stavros. (GBR 585).