2013 Flying Fifteen Worlds- Light and shifty winds - Day 6 Hong Kong
by Graeme Robinson on 7 Nov 2013
Kiwi competitor, Graeme Robinson gives a personal perspective of racing in the 2013 Flying Fifteen Worlds, being sailed at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club.
Day 2, 2013 Flying Fifteen Worlds, Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club http://www.rhkyc.org.hk/
The Flying Fifteen Worlds now only have one race to go to complete the seven race series. The official report pretty much sums up Day 6, with us all on the water under tow to the race area by 10:30am, then with all of the wind shifts and start line adjustments it was two hours after the scheduled start time of noon before we finally got Race 6 under way.
Sandra and I had a fairly bad start, back a couple of lengths from the line in 5 knots of northeasterly breeze, but we had a good first beat to be well up in the mid-teens at the top mark, despite the tiller replacement and connection to the rudder stock being decidedly loose and dodgy after our repairs in the dark last night. We hung in well on the run, but then had another of our all-too-frequent incidents with a solid contact with the large black gate mark and very slow penalty turn throwing us out of contention, into the tail end bunch of the tight fleet..
While we hung in well and made the odd gain of places on the beat, reaches and final run and beat to the finish of the race, we were rather disappointed with our 27th place and we have dropped one place in the overall standings to 26th, or exactly mid-fleet amongst the 52 entries for the series. At the end of the two hours of racing in 5-8 knots of wind, our team-mates Andy & Greg Taylor finished quite close astern of us in 36th place and they are now 37th overall, with just one race to go.
As reported, Graham Viles and Chris Turner (GBR) have already sewn up their successful defence of the World Championship title that they won two years ago at Hayling Island and like the runners-up Nick & Janet Jerwood (AUS) they don't even have to don their wetsuits and go out racing tomorrow.
The battle for third place and the other top ten placings will go on into the final race, with reputations at stake for several of the best sailors from past World Championships vying for the superb trophies that are at stake. For us, there is the honour of representing New Zealand here in Hong Kong and with a good result we could both yet move up a place or two in the overall standings. Some serious tiller repairs and maintenance in the dark tonight at least means that Sandra can steer the boat with a bit more confidence in Race 7 (I hope).