46 boats competed yesterday on a grey but windy Lake Geneva. 3 races saw three different winners with many place changes due to the shifting wind and different wind pressures. The wind blew mainly from the North East and the start of the first race eventually got underway around 3.0pm. It looked like the Championship favourite GER 10 Vincent Hoesch had taken command of the fleet after a PIN end start followed by a nice port crossing just below the lay line. However, RUS 76 helmed by Yury Bozhedomov made a huge jump on the main fleet from the centre and rounded the top mark a clear first. RUS 90 helmed by Demitry Berezkin also gained from the left hand side of the beat to round in 3rd place, just behind Hoesch. At that was the way race one finished after two up winds and two downwind legs….
With a downwind finish it gives the Race Officer the chance to go immediately into a second race. But for some reason the fleet were made to endure over an hour of sailing up and down the line, waiting for the next start….. It was a great pity because yesterday was the best wind forecast of the 4 scheduled race days. However, race two did eventually get underway and this again saw a port end line bias give an immediate advantage to GER 10 and RUS 34. I was somewhat surprised to find no OCS boats on the score sheet after this start as a number of boats were well over the line at the gun. But even though the individual recall flag was raised, it must have been difficult to record the boat numbers… Lucky Boys !!
So at the top mark both Hoesch and RUS 34 Vasily Senatorov were 1st and 2nd having easily crossed the fleet after very good PIN end starts. Another race contender was GER 1071 Helmut Schmidt who gained from a huge port lift from the middle of the fleet, to round in 3rd place. Although the course was somewhat modified with mark changes, it still turned into a “soldiers” race as runs turned to reaches, and beats were very one sided, which makes overtaking virtually impossible… So GER 10 1st, RUS 34 2nd and GER 1071 3rd…
Race 3 got underway late in the day as the breeze began to drop. Due to a broken Main Halyard, I was not on the race course, but from what I gather the top three boats were all grateful to have made the correct choice on the final beat which saw some huge place changes. GER 1071 again had a great race to take the winning gun followed home by MON 9 Hans Werner Zachariassen, who was still smiling in the bar 2 hours after the race finished ! In 3rd place after a very consistant day of racing was UKR 19 Igor Pethukov, who certainly mastered the conditions with three top ten finishes! So Igor now deservedly leads the Championship on 14 points.
Today, for some reason, we have to be on the water for a 08.30 warning signal…. I sincerely hope it’s the correct call, because knowing Dragon Sailors as I do, early mornings are NOT in the spirit of this International Class…..
Higher, Faster, Longer……… Stavros. (NED 372).