Worlds – Day 3 Report
Final day of qualifying. Tense. Nervous. Big winds. – oops, sorry not the big winds. Hayling Island was in the vice like grip extremely sunny weather. The sea breeze was expected but not at start time! So rather than fry afloat and risk heatstroke the P&RO’s decided very sensibly to keep the fleet ashore until there was race-able breeze established across the bay. So Mark Darling & Mark Halliday were considered expendable and were the chosen victims to go and sit in the bay to monitor conditions. The fleet wish to express their sincere thanks. Anyway, about an hour late the D-flag sent the 360 fully hydrated and still happy individuals afloat gently sail into the furnace of the Bay.
Fair but adrenaline challenged racing was possible so away they went. Each successive fleet managed to catch up with the previous one and the finishing team needed hosing down to prevent them from bursting into flames as the co-mingled fleets scorched across the line. Okay, gently pootled across the line but with many abeam of each other. As ever in tidal waters, under laying the windward mark and approaching on port with a wall of starboard boats to get through was the undoing of many a boat.
Before dealing with serious results I just have to share with you the most joyous moment of the day, and as most of you know we merry lot rather like sailors enjoying themselves – anyway I digress. Norwegians Andreas Finstad Bush & Mickel Segalstad-Slaatto, not your lightest ever RS Feva team, reached the first windward mark in first place. So delighted were they with this unanticipated event that they hollered like deepvoiced Bieber fans. Mickel went into the hoist only to temporarily adjourn kite handling operations while he turned around to high five his helm! Laugh? I nearly died.
So goes in the Final Series smelling of roses? Well the three jersey wearers of Yellow, Blue and Red finished the day still in possession of jerseys with the Allens – Chris & Jamie (GBR) swapping their blue with Leonardo Stocchero & Gianluca Virgenti’s (ITA) yellow, leaving Matt Whitfield & James Taylor (GBR) in red for the second day. Now we are going into final series both Silver and Bronze fleets will have their own Yellow, Blue and Red jersey wearers. This isn’t gospel accurate but on the basis of their being 180 boats split equally then the leaders of these other fleets are: Silver Tom Joesbury & Will Creaven GBR (Y), Emma Baker & Isabella Black GBR(B) and Eirik Lunberg & Regine Syrdal Tronstad NOR (R) and for Bronze it is: Dominic & Jonathan Hall GBR(Y), Martijn Jessurun & Alysha Kat NED (B) and Ella Mitchell & Hannah Jennings GBR (R).
Seeking out interesting snippets from the results, Courtney Bilbrough & Orla Mitchell from Docklands were last years U13 champs. This year they are right in there qualifying in 25th. Tidly liddle Emsworth Sailing Club have 2 boats in the top 15! Scotland are packing some punch in 31st through the Munro’s. There are 5 nations in the top 15, in order of appearance GBR, ITA, IRL, ESP and FRA, and 8 in the top 23 adding NED, SWE and EST as well. The Q series has been difficult for those who revel in a breeze. The test has been good so far. The sportsmanship and sailing quality have been favourably commented on by the International Jury and the Race Officer respectively. The days spot prize went to a non sailor – Natasha Halliday isn’t sailing and is here because her mates are and Dad is out lounging in the sun all day laying marks, but she has helped tirelessly taking and fetching trolleys on the beach. A real credit to herself. Top girl and the two other 12 year old girls who got their spot prizes later! Tomorrows forecast? Another scorcher. Just what’s needed after the beach BBQ and games tonight!