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Light winds at the World’s..
The 2nd race of the Dragon World Championship started yesterday in a 6 kt south easterly wind, with flat water and almost no current. With a square o.4 mile line competitors had to decide if they wanted to gamble on more wind out to sea (thus start at the committee boat), or make for the shore on the left. Because the right had paid so well for the first race the starboard end of the line was quite crowded and this forced a general recall, so PRO Kevin Wilson immediately implemented the “Black Flag”……… This got the fleet’s attention and so the race began on the second attempt with the IDA Chairman Rob Campbell winning the Pin End in GBR 743 followed by NED 372 and RUS 90……
Meanwhile boats that copied the previous day and tacked out to sea looked good to start with but fortune did not provide the extra wind that had helped the starboard hand side of the course in race one. In fact the middle seemed to allow boats that had good light wind speed to glide into a good position at the top mark. Also the boats that had gone all the way left (which included NED 372) came in strongly on port tack looking for an opportunity to cross the starboard boats before rounding mark one.
SWE 194 Helmed by Johan Palmquist and crewed by his wife and Christofer Edstrom were first to round the windward mark closely followed by last week’s winner Joegen Schonherr DEN 401 and a whole bunch of boats……… On the dog leg the wind was still in a left hand faze as boats were still almost close hauled as crews attached spinnaker poles, so it came as a huge surprise to me (NED 372) in 7th place, that all the leading six boats elected to gybe set. This gave a huge smile to my helsman’s (Wouter Ten Wolde) face as we continued with pressure all the way to lead at the bottom gate. Other boats that gained by keeping to the shore side of the course, and not gybing, were AUS 214 William Packer and AUS 213 Wolf Breit. So the second beat was fought hard between these three boats as again the shore side seemed to pay with a little more breeze.. Further back in the fleet AUS 208 Richard Lynn and UKR 7 Markus Wieser were making huge gains and on the final run of the shortened course pulled themselves up to 6th and 5th respectively.
Meanwhile AUS 214 just pipped AUS 213 on the finish to give Willam Packer and his team (Dennis Cullity and Randle Harding), the victory and restore some pride to the Australian Nation……. RUS 81 Mikhail Apukhtin, had an excellent final run to snatch 3rd place from NED 372 Wouter Ten Wolde, who was still seen smiling with his daughter Juliette all the way into the marina, happy with their 4th place, as the race officer, Kevin Wilson, decided not to try for a second race………
So overall AUS 208 Richard Lynn leads the event on 10pts with UKR 7 Wieser close behind. Other main contenders all tried desperately to catch up but nobody else is currently under 20 pts for the two races……. However with a fleet of 72 boats it’s early days and this World Championship could go all the way down to the last beat of the 8th and final race. I’ll keep you all posted………….
Higher, Faster, Longer……………. Stavros (NED 372).