Racing on day two of the Byte CII World Championship 2007 started off very light... then the wind died off completely. PRO John Weston sent everyone in for lunch hoping to get a couple off in the afternoon. The wind arrived alright - in the form of a massive squall with horrendous amounts of rain. Most of the boats were blown over on the lawn before competitors could get to them. When it all cleared away the wind again died off to nothing and racing was abandoned for the day. Then, it was off to downtown Pattaya where the competitors were all guests of the Sizzler restaurant chain, the principle sponsors of the Championship. Fabulous food!
Keerati leads comfortably around the gybe mark - 2007 Byte CII World Championship Day 3
It was an ominous start to day three as conditions were exactly the same as Day Two and, once again, the competitors were sent in for lunch. Once again the squall came through right on schedule and all the boats were once again tipped over. However, when it cleared the wind built back up and there was enough wind (just) to start Race five, twice around a triangle. The wind died just before the end of the first round and the race was shortened. That made five in the bag and the first drop kicked in. John - ever the optimist - kept the fleet out for a good hour, barely able to match the tide and stay in touch with the committee boat. Sure enough, the wind filled in and John got off two more windward/leeward races to bring the total to seven. Superb race management!
As soon as the boats were off the beach they were into the start sequence and off. There was no 'I' flag but Alan Roberts GBR, Dana Archibald CAN and Ray Smith GBR were OCS. This was a race that you had to sail up the middle and points leader Keerati Bualung THA made the best job of it. He rounded the weather mark first and opened up his lead down the reach.
The race was won easily by Keerati when it was shortened at the committee boat. Second was Katja Borstnar SIN and third Kitipong Khambang THA. With the wind gone, the Committee postponed for about one hour.
2 Boats are being swept downwind from the line by the current - 2007 Byte CII World Championship Day 3
Race six: When the wind finally came in it had shifted into the Southeast and, with time getting on, a fairly short windward leeward, twice around, was set.
3 The inevitable pile up - 2007 Byte CII World Championship Day 3
While the first race had been run at slack tide, it had now turned and was running north pushing the boats well back from the line. This meant that it was very hard to lay the pin if you did not have good speed at the gun and there were numerous pile ups at that end.
4 After 1 round it was Valerie Chia SIN all alone with room to spare as she started up the second beat. But further behind - 2007 Byte CII World Championship Day 3
5 it was very close - 2007 Byte CII World Championship Day 3
Valerie takes the gun. Denise Chagas BRA was second. Following her fifth in the first race of the day these were her best two races of the series so far. Third in Race six was Joanne Tay who has not been out of the top ten since the Ronstan series and, with her fourth in Race Seven, now sits second in the series.
7 Race seven - 2007 Byte CII World Championship Day 3
The start of Race Seven was a repeat of Race Sixexcept the current was even stronger and, as can be seen in the photo below with a minute to go, boats are already flipping to port.
The wind had increased enough that boat speeds were much more equal and the lineup at the weather mark was almost continuous from the front to the back of the fleet
Rachel Lim SIN leads a pack. She would end up third for her best race of the series.
8 Alan Roberts - 2007 Byte CII World Championship Day 3
Alan Roberts GBR1 (bow number 15) tacks under a 4-boat stack only to find himself unable to clear the mark and lose about eight places
9 Herman Nurfield - 2007 Byte CII World Championship Day 3
Herman Nurfendi SIN leads Rachel Lim SIN at the second weather mark. He would win this race with Rachel third.
10 Joanne Tay SIN leads Keerati Bualung THA - 2007 Byte CII World Championship Day 3
Joanne Tay SIN leads Keerati Bualung THA the second time at the weather mark. She would finish fourth, Keerati fifth.
11 Dana Archibald CAN in 10th place - 2007 Byte CII World Championship Day 3
Dana Archibald CAN in 10th place.
The RC was to be congratulated on getting off three races in very difficult circumstances. Having done so, it means that, if they can get in three tomorrow, the fleet will have two drops and there are many looking for such an opportunity! Interestingly, after seven races it is male, female, male, female, male, female in the top six spots. Thai sailor Keerati Bualung would seem to have a lock on first place if he sails conservatively but, after that, it is wide open.