Jens Rathsack, Tiago Marcelino & Diogo Pereira win Race 1 of the Juan Carlos Trophy.
Race 1 of the Juan Carlos Trophy began at 2pm yesterday (Thurs 6th April) with an Easterly wind of around 12 kts. Although the breeze had been stronger during the morning, with temperatures climbing to the mid 20’s, it was inevitable that the pressure would die away during the afternoon and it did just that..
The 45 boats get away first time with a clear line in almost perfect conditions in Cascais.
The river “Tagus” is the longest river in the Iberian Peninsula and it empties into the Atlantic near Lisbon, so it was crucial to keep this in mind as the fleet made their way towards to top mark of the 2 mile beat. When the tide is going out from Lisbon it runs East to West so as the lead boats rounded mark one they had to be careful not to be dragged against both the windward buoy and the spreader mark. Although it was not such an issue on the first beat it would certainly play a big part in the second upwind leg as the breeze died away.
All the leaders at the top mark had come from the left side of the course, RUS 27, RUS 98, RUS 76 and RUS 35 were all in great shape as too was MON 2 helmed by Jens Rathsack. The fleet quickly spread on the first downwind leg as the current was now with the boats thus opening up the distance between them.
Mon 2 on the first downwind leg making the most of her advantage after a very good first beat.
The course was shortened a little on the second upwind to 1.7 miles as the wind began to drop, so the crucial decision had to made as to which gate mark to take? MON 2 chose the right hand gate to head back towards the shore whilst RUS 27 (Anatoly Loginov) elected to take the left gate. What happened in the next 30 minutes was not for the feint hearted as some of the leading boats simply ran out of pressure in the middle of the course. Initially the left looked strong again, then new pressure from the right changed everything, but the middle was a disaster.
Lawrie Smith GBR 801 made a nice gain from the new pressure on the right to finish 2nd.
Also having a good second beat was local sailor Jose Bello helming POR 40, who after rounding the bottom gate around 14th position, carefully kept in the right hand pressure to climb up to an impressive 3rd place as the race was shortened at the top mark.
3rd place went to POR 40 “Dragull” Jose Bello, Andre Caiado & Bernardo Torres Pego.
Meanwhile 2 other boats that held their nerve and continued in towards the left shore, following MON 2, was GBR 758 “Fever” Klaus Diederichs and JPN 50 “Yevis II” Bocci Aoyama. So although the right hand side pressure helped some boats, it was the left side of the course that eventually came strong again! Particularly as the final quarter towards the finish was against the building current flowing out of Lisbon.
4th place went to GBR 758 “Fever” Klaus Diederichs, Jamie Lea & Diego Negri.
Klaus Diederichs kept his confidence in the left side of the course to finish 4th closely followed by Bocci Aoyama who took a very pleasing 5th place…
5th in Race 1 was JPN 50 “Yevis II” Bocci Aoyama, Martin Payne & Norio Igei.
So there we have it…. Frustration for some, elation for others, that’s Yacht Racing 🙂
Higher, Faster, Longer………….. Stavros. (JPN 50).