Byte CII World Championship Day 1 - Thai sailor Keerati Bualong leads

2007 Byte CII World Championship
Byte CII World Championship 2007 first day, after five straight days of 15 knot winds started off with ...nothing! The competitors were sent back ashore for lunch and, at about 13:00 hrs, a light wind developed and they were back out on the water to do three races instead of the planned four. Although this was the first race of the Championship, it was officially Race two as the Race one is a carry forward of the Ronstan Series finishing position.

Race two: With wind about 5 - 6 kts, the windward/leeward course was signalled and racing got underway - eventually - but only after 2 general recalls and the use of the 'I' flag on the third start. Above is the first aborted start at the time of the gun.

2 - 2007 Byte CII World Championship

2nd try!

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Lining up under the 'I' flag with 1 minute to go

4 - 2007 Byte CII World Championship

Start gun! The first two boats were over the line and restarted. Ramos BRA, the weather boat took the start.

With the wind light and the weather leg fairly short, it was inevitable that the boats would be closely bunched down the run. The picture below was typical of the fleet coming into the mark at the end of the run.

The wind started to build slighty and Collin Lim moved into the lead on the second beat and held his lead to the finish.

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Ramos BRA was very fast downwind but could not hold the Thais and Singaporeans upwind. Here he is coming from behind showing excelent downwind light air trim.

He passes the group of three boats, tries for a second, third or fourth place.....

....and just misses! At this point Collin has finished, Khee Zi Yang SIN and Keerati Bualung THA are on the line, William Cai Weliang SIN is about to cross and Ramos (heeled) comes in fifth.

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Race three: The wind was holding and the Committee set triangle/windward again and went straight to the 'I' flag. The result was that the race went off on the first start.

Unlike the first race which was fairly staedy, there was a strong right hand sift up the first beat and Herman Nurfendi SIN was first around with a nice lead going down the first run.

Also on the first run, Dana Archibald CAN tries to pass William Cai SIN

By the time the fleet reached to bottom mark, Fabio Ramos BRA had sailed from fifth at the weather mark into first and, below, rounds inside Edmond Tam SIN2.

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Fabio held Edmond upwind but also lost Herman Nurfendi SIN who sailed into first at the top mark with Fabio second. Shortly after the mark, Joanne Tay SIN, above, passed Fabio to move into second.

3/4 down the run, Herman enjoys an almost insurmountable lead. Then.......

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© Chris Howell

Just when it seemed that he would be untouchable, he did a death roll in the light conditions!

By the time he recovered he had lost eight boats because the fleet was so close.

By the time the second beat started, the wind had switched into the south, where it had been for the last five days, and it was a single port tack to the windward mark and a reach back to the finish. By then, it was Keerati Bualung THA in first, Joanne Tay SIN in second and Ramos BRA in third.

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© Chris Howell

Race 4: With the wind back in the south and now up to about 10 kts, the Committee decided on twice around a triangle and the fleet again got off first time under the 'I' flag.

With about two minutes to go the fleet were like bees around the honey pot! A good clean start.

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© Chris Howell

Alan Roberts GBR, winner of the first Byte North Americans at CORK, Kingston in 1993, had probably the best start in the fleet and was first around right ahead of Collin Lim SIN. Although Colin passed him, they were still leading at the start of the second beat but got too far left. Alan would end up seventh, Colin sixth.

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Herman Nurfendi SIN leads Sutee Poonpat THA at the weather mark. Herman would go on to win the race and now stands second in the Championship.

Joanne Tay SIN lead Kitipong Khambangat THA at the first mark. She would finish fourth, he would finish fifth. They now sit eighth and 12th in the regatta.

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© Chris Howell

Dana Archibald CAN, at the first mark, would go on to her best finish picking up a couple more places after this, finishing 11th.

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Action at the gybe mark in the moderate conditions. Camera battery falure at this point resulted in no finishing photos!

By far the most consistent on the day was Thai sailor Keerati Bualung with his 3,1, 2 finishes.

His six points on the day, combined with his fourth carry forward, give him 10 points and a 13 point lead in the Championship. Next most consistent were Collin Lim SIN with 15 points on the day followed by Katcha Bornstar SIN and Joanne Tay SIN tied with 16 for the day. They stand third, sixth and eighth respectively. Full resultson the Results Page.