by Rob Burn
For nearly two days we have sat around in the blazing sun waiting for wind.
No sailing yesterday, the Fleets were sent out only to come in again after an hour and a half in the baking sun. There must have been a huge build up of things that go bang as by midnight there was the fiercest electrical storm the writer has ever witnessed. We were all cowering in our bedrooms as the power went out, lightning strikes all around us.
This coincided with the town's yearly festival where 10,000 people throng the closed to traffic streets until 4am. Fortunately our sailors had a 8pm curfew and it was only the Coach who got caught in the rain and lightning.
This morning it was fine and sunny but no wind. Another day of hurry and wait as the sailors had their hopes dashed with every 40deg wind shift or the breeze dropping out completely.
For Taylor and Oscar, they wanted to race, but knew they had won the Silver Fleet anyway if they didn't. For the Sam Lee and Sam Thomas, they were keen to improve their placing and gain some more valuable experience.
There are only so many bikini clad girls to watch, so by 3.30pm, they were chomping at the bit to get on the water. The breeze had filled in to around 10-12 knots and very sailable.
One race was all that was going to be and it had to be a good one. The Silver fleet had a least six Black Flags on the second start and that hurt some mortally. Team NZL were safe and secure though and on their way. Both teams were in the top ten around the first mark and the battle was on. The Sams dropped back a little, just lacking in experience against some vastly experienced sailors. They finished a very creditable 13th to finish 24th overall.
Taylor and Oscar swapped lead positions with the Italians and Germans but eventually came in third. This gave them a winning margin of 25 points from the Italians, a very good performance and nothing out of the top three placings for the Final series.....what might have been if there was more wind to start....?
Overall, the Greek brothers Davas, won the Open World Championship. Silver the year before, Bronze the year before that....awesome to watch. The French second and the Spanish Charles brothers third. The Singapore girls won the Ladies Championships, just edging out the Chileans.
The results and pictures of the prize giving etc are on the official site at www.420worlds.org
Off for a wine and a Pizza now, big drive to Italy tomorrow....set up a new boat at lake Garda, then into the Junior European Championship ...bring on the wind! The Sam's and families are on the Kerosene canary home to Winter and good snow hopefully for them. We have to endure the height of Summer for a little longer.
A huge thank you to all our supporters and sponsors as always, the NZL Team could never perform as we have without your support.