Kites - 505 Worlds
Yet another glorious sunrise greeted competitors in the 505 Worlds here in Mondello Sicily this morning. The Med was magnificent, the breakfast's sumptuous and the wind non-existent... again. To cheer you up we have pictures from earlier days when the wind did actually blow.
The term 'Groundhog Day' has gained significant traction here as we awaken to the same gloriousness over and over, with the full knowledge there will be little or no wind. This was the second day in a row where racing was impossible.
Today held a little promise to start, as a light westerly front was forecast, but it arrived too late to move the temperature inversion that settled over the coast, stopping the breeze forming.
The race committee abandoned racing and the front came through (naturally) merely proving a little inconvenient for the 122 participants trying to pack their boats into containers and trailers while trying to keep everything dry in the rain.
In the absence of wind here in Mondello the sailors have acquired plenty of good tans, some solid beach volley ball skills. Those (bikini clad) Germans are hard to beat though. Lots of surreptitious photo's of pretty girls on the beach and a strong understanding of the local’s excellent coffee making skills.
It was a shame that yet another day was lost to no wind, but the good guys did well and nothing can change that.
Ian Pinnell and Carl Gibbon (Great Britain) are the new World Champions. Howie Hamlin (who is now on his seventh second place at the Five-Oh worlds) and Andy Zinn (USA) did a great job for second. Wolfgang Hunger and new crew Julien Kliener (Germany) round out the top three.
It’s been a tough regatta, for those who did the Pre-Worlds/Europeans it’s been a tough two weeks. Tough on the water at least; little or no breeze each day, sometimes current, shifty, slow and often excruciating.
On land though, Mondello is a haven and all the participants and their families have loved it.
Next year to San Francisco. Big winds are promised, but how's the coffee?