Worlds – Day 4 Report
The final series started with optimism and for many anxiety. The fleet is now sorted (I’m sure it was easier in Harry Potter all this sorting – no need to do other than sit down with a hat on!) into equal sized Gold, Silver and Bronze Fleets. At the morning briefing a steady 7 kts was reported by the bay watch team. So on the hottest day of the year so far (32C in Southampton!), the Gold fleet was launched on time with the Silver and Bronze some 20+ mins later. By race time the wind was west of south and 5kts. The plan was to race each fleet successively with Gold doing inner loop first and the Silver and Bronze getting their shot on the outer loop twice once Gold had cleared the Leeward gate. The grand idea was to keep the fleets separated and racing able to proceed quickly and with little interruption.
Conditions were clearly perfect for Robbie King & Josh Atherton representing Ireland. Patient boat handling, good positioning and perfect tactics saw them romp to consecutive wins. They weren’t runaway wins but carefully crafted efforts with the opportunities picked off and the cover slammed on when they got ahead. Very mature! Jamie Smith and Piers Nicholls took out a 2,3 score line to slip into 2nd overall and the lead of the U13’s. Last year the Q series was blasted off by a properly windy day and resulted in no U13’s getting into the Gold fleet. This years tropical event at HISC by contrast sees no fewer than 7 U13 teams in the Gold fleet. The talent pipeline is alive and well as can be confirmed by last years U13 winners currently sitting in 23rd (they miss this years cut off by 1 month!) The brilliant Italians Leonardo Stocchero & Gianluca Virgenti haven’t been out of the top 4 all week so far and are 3rd at present.
The first race had to be canned when the Gold fleet was approaching the windward mark due to a massive left shift. The race team very rapidly managed to relay the course the course and get the show on the road again but with the light winds the small delays all added up to the third race also being canned in a weakening breeze and in the face of the fleet having been afloat for a fair time in the roasting conditions. The hog roast was planned for Thursday and so we didn’t need to baste the fleet today!
The battle for the ladies trophy is white hot with only one point separating Anna Prescott & Jess Eales in 5th overall from Jemima Lawson & Jenny Cropley in 6th. Third ladies are Jess Hammet and Hattie Lucas-Clements.
In the Silver fleet Norwegians Eirik Lundberg and Regine Tronstad have started to take a grip on top slot. Their gap on Rebecca Lewis & Fiona Mulcahy is now 8pts while they in turn have 9pts on Anya Green & Charlotte Ormerod. Italians Giacomo & Flippo Quarenghi are 4th. The Norwegians won 1 race while the other went to Hugo Tucker & Guus Dutilh from Holland. We have to give an honourable mention to Maltese Andrew& Michela Mifsud who are 6th in the first Worlds attended by Maltese sailors.
The Bronze fleet leaders are there on a tie break from second place. So at present it is Jourdan Swindon & Zak Bermon who lead from Alice Kidd & Remi Pfister. James Eales and Hector Nelson are 3rd. The other prize category places: to finish off the U13’s – 2nd Arthur Brown & Niamh Davies and 3rd Albert Gelpi & Marti Serra (ESP) and the familes are led by Chris & Jamie Allen with the Munro’s of Scotland 2nd but on a tie break from the Mathisen’s of Norway!