Torbole’ was full of surprises yesterday as the 42 dragons battled for honers in race 3 and 4…. A “normal” day in Torbole’ will see the “Vent o Peler” blow from the North for the first 12 hours of the day, affecting a large part of the surface of Lake Garda incorperating and nourishing other winds. Then as if by “magic” (or God turning a switch), the “Ora” will begin to blow from the South. This wind is famous all over the world as it achieves it’s maximum intensity in Upper Garda thanks to the orographic conformation of the mountains.  To us without dictionary’s…  it basically is sucked through the mountains in the afternoon because of the difference in temperature between the surface of the Lake and the Northern territory of the Mountains. It will normally last until sunset……    Normally……   :-)

Day 2 started with an excellent Northerly wind, which saw a few earlybird sailors out testing their skills and having a good morning sail in winds around 18-20 kts. Then as the main fleet began to leave the dock for the 1.0pm start, the wind started to drop and turn to the south, as per normal. However, the past week here in Torbole’ has not seen the normal temperature differences, so the PRO had to postpone for nearly one hour…  Untill it was possible to start race 3.  This race got away well and it saw a battle between two Danish boats, DEN 403 Valdemar Bandolowski (who was last here 25yrs ago, in Solings, when he told me he always remembered going Right!!) but that was a little further down the Lake and here in Torbole’ the usual norm is to go left on the first beat….  and DEN 394 Soren Pehrsson, with GER 1 Vincie also in contention.  Indeed it was Vincie who took the first place with Soren 2nd and Valdemar 3rd…

In race 4 the two boats in contention overall yesterday, DEN 266 and BEL 80 had to push the pace a little after both recording mediocre results in race 3. To that end both Frank Berg and Ben Van Cauwenbergh made excellent start’s at the Pin end and with Tim Tavinor helming the old “Sunflower”  (crewed by his Tigger Team),  were the top three boats to round the first mark. During the remaining part of the race the wind was beginning to drop as it was now getting late in the day, but no one could have anticipated the disaster that lay ahead for both Frank and Ben……

They say in Yacht Racing, it’s never over till it’s over….  Well I’m afraid the Championship chances were lost for both DEN 266 and BEL 80 as they approached the finish line comfortably ahead of the fleet. With just 30m to go, the wind simply “shut off” leaving Frank and Ben stopped….  Although it also affected many of the top 10 boats, it was the cunning and experienced Vincent Hoesch who managed to stay high on the final dog-leg to hold onto the very last bit of the southerly wind, to take the win. Tim Tavinor also has a “crafty” last 100m to finish 2nd and take him to 4th overall.

Sometimes in sailing there are times when racing is simply “not fair”… This for sure was one of those heartbreaking times…  But, that’s yacht racing and there will be times when both Frank and Ben get their own bit of “Good Fortune” at other events… Of course heartbreaks for some are also “high fives” for others as boats from miles behind can make huge gains and send many delighted sailors smiling all the way to the bar…..  :-) ..  One thing is for sure both Frank and Ben will be out there fighting again today as we all prepare for an early start (08.30) to get a race in the “Vent o Peler’ the Northerly wind this morning….

Overall, Vincie now has a 3pt lead with his 3 first places and a 10th, GER 10 helmed by Markus Brennecke has had four consistent races to hold the runners up spot whilst RUS 76 battles hard to remain 3rd. But today will be the first time we have raced with the different wind direction, so let’s just see how this all pan’s out…………

Higher, Faster, Longer…………   Stavros (NED 411).