From photographer and race reporter Rick Steuart
An overcast day meant that we wouldn’t have the roaring sou wester of the last two race days and we expected and received no more than 10 to 12 knots out of the west sou west with a light chop and very little swell to concern the 505’s.
Today was going to be far more tactical with the lighter breezes and the shifty west sou westerly would play into the hands of the boats that could read the changes on the water.
Race one started with some of the boats going left as they did in the heavier days, but it was quickly realised that the middle was going to pay if you could stay in phase and so it was. First around the top was the German boat Jan – Phillip Hofman and Felix Brockerhoff with Julian Stueckl and Johannes Tellen in hot pursuit. Both strong contenders for the world championships they stayed at or near the front for the rest of the race and found themselves as worthy winners of the first race with Great Britains Ian Pinnell and Reeve Dunn taking third place.
Race two started with the line firing off well. We followed the yachts up to the top watching the pathfinders make the top mark first and then return for the first rounding. The pathfinders, USA’s Parker Shinn and Eric Anderson came down for the gates with at least 100 meters between them and the next boat. Around the mark they went and then a sudden stop. They had hooked up on the gate rope under their rudder. And then the indignities compounded as the rudder came off the transom and they lurched out of control below the mark. We had to take evasive action and a support boat came in and helped them off the course.
On the second downwind, going left paid off for the top ten boats and they stormed the line with only the arrival of USA’s Mike Martin and Adam Lowry stopping the determined charge of Aussies Michael Quirk and Joel Castle who were aiming to get over the line first. Ian Pinnell and Reeve Dunn of GBR were third.
Standings so far: Germanys Jan-Phillip Hofmann in the lead with 5 points from Ian Pinnell of GBR at 6 points. Germany third as well with Julian Steuckl carrying 9 points.
Early days yet.. there’s a promise of showers tomorrow in the morning and the breeze is going to come back.
Photos from Day 1