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Close finishes at the Worlds on Day 3

The third day of competition at the Worlds really just continued where the last one left off.  David Campbell-James was keen to get the race numbers evened out and back on track for a full series as we’d promised Weymouth could deliver. Day three saw 3 open fleet and 1 Classic fleet races in a light 5-8 knots, getting underway after a 2hr postponement.

The Open class  first race went off with little fuss,  recalls at this level are not frequent, especially in these winds and with the minimal tide effects in Portland harbour.  Again, the left looked favoured in the Westerly wind direction and the fleet largely took off in that direction.  Upwind foiling was not possible in that wind speed, so it was in low-rider model that they reached the top mark. There, Manuel Calavia ESP 11, just had the lead over Mischa Heemskerk NED 7 and Tymu Bendyk POL 41 in close persuit.  They, and the rest of the fleet all set of on the cavalry charge that is ‘A’ Class Catamaran downwind foiling.  These modern boats, with their Z shaped foils and adjustable rudder rake, have become much more docile to sail than they used to be.  Far fewer pitch-pole crashes happen now, especially in these light winds and it is remarkable how little wind these top sailors can get airborne in.

The three laps unwound at a good pace until at the finish, it was a real neck and neck racing with Manuel just pipping Mischa, and the NZL sailor Dave Shaw NZL 230, in third only seconds behind.  The next race was a similar exciting finish only with Mischa, who had narrowly missed a jury boat on the final few yards of the run-in, got his first bullet of the championship.  But this time with Tymu second and Manuel, who was rather angry with himself, after he’d led Mischa on the last leg, in third.  Their last race of the day was a somewhat tame affair wind-wise, however, the mental workout of a minimum condition race cannot be underestimated in these boats. The leaders are with ones capable of stringing together the bits of breeze.  This time, it was the Swiss lake sailor Nils Palmieri who just beat Mischa on the line by a length.

Then the Classics had a go.  This was much more their territory as with less drag underneath, they can be faster in the light stuff.  The race was won in great tactical style by Scott Anderson AUS 31 with the Aussie Wunderkind Andy Landeberger  AUS 300 next, and the ever present Alberto Farnasi  SWE 56 on his trusty old Marstrom.

Now, after five races, we have a slim little Aussie cowboy leading the Classics, and a big flying Dutchman leading the Open.  They could hardly be more different, showing that this boat is for everyone. Tomorrow however, may be a very different bucket of haddock.  Stiff winds are forecast, promising some spectacular, if marginally controlled action.  We can’t wait to see how this rather fascinating championships in developement will play out.  


Photos - Gordon Upton