At the 2012 Flying Dutchman World Championship at Santa Cruz Yacht Club, going into the ninth race, second and third places were open as was fifth place and there were only four points separating seven boats any of which could finish sixth!
2012 Flying Dutchman World Championships Race 9
The start was delayed due to various protests and requests for the International Jury decision regarding race 7 to be re-opened. The Jury decided that the results as posted after the Saturday Hearing should stand and boats were released from the harbour on to a superb sunny Santa Cruz Bay with about eight knots of wind and a slight chop.
The fleet got clean away at the first start of the day. The wind built during the race as did the swell and chop and the 43 FDs afloat had superb racing conditions. Finally Santa Cruz delivered the promised sailing weather!
Nicola and Francesco Vespasiani in ITA 4 secured an excellent start at the pin end but many of the fleet tacked off to the favoured starboard side of the course. At the first mark, Andrew McKee and Mathew Bismark in NZL 111 had established a comfortable lead over the second team - Enno Krammer and Ard Geelkerken in NED 26 who needed to finish in the top four ahead of GER 88 to achieve second overall.
The local team Philippe Khan crewed by Steve Bourdow (USA 1197), Olympic silver medal winning FD crew at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, used their local knowledge and skill to round the first windward mark in third place followed by the World Champions Szabolcs Majthényi and András Domokos in HUN 70.
Down the fleet places were being won and lost, some boats capsized in the Santa Cruz swell which can roll boats in on a reach.
By the end of the second beat, the first four places remained unchanged. Nicola and Francesco in ITA 4 was in fifth place and some of the other USA teams were revelling in the conditions with Lin Robson and Adriaan Schmal, sixth round and Tim Sayles and Matthias Kennerknec rounding in seventh place.
Within a hundred metres of the finish Enno and Ard (NED 26) managed to find some extra speed and rolled over Andrew and Mathew (NZL 111) to win the final race and secure second place overall.
The second place pulled Andrew and Matt up to fifth place overall displacing Peggy and Torsten Bahr who retired from the race and finished sixth overall.
Szabolcs Majthényi and András Domokos in HUN 70 finished third but had already secured first overall before the start of the race.
Philippe Kahn and Steve Bourdow (USA 1197) finished fourth bring them up to 18th place overall.
Then there was another tight finish. Lin and Adriaan (USA 36) sailed over Nicola and Francesco in ITA 4 to finish fifth bringing them up to 16th overall. Nicola and Francesco had secured fourth place overall before the start of the race.
Final Overall Results after Race 9 net of two discards:
1st Szabolcs Majthényi and András Domokos - HUN 70 - 15 pts
2nd Enno Krammer and Ard Geelkerken - NED 26 - 18 pts
3rd Kay-Uwe Lüdtke/Kai Schäfers - GER 88 - 21 pts
4th Nicola and Francesco Vespasiani - ITA 4 - 34 pts
5th Andrew McKee and Mathew Bismark - NZL 111 - 47 pts
6th Peggy Bahr/Torsten Bahr - GER 19 - 54 pts
Race 9 - First six:
1st Enno Krammer and Ard Geelkerken - NED 26,
2nd Andrew McKee and Mathew Bismark - NZL 111
3rd Szabolcs Majthényi and András Domokos - HUN 70,
4th Philippe Khan crewed by Steve Bourdow - USA 1197
5th Lin Robson and Adriaan Schmal - USA 36
6th Nicola and Francesco Vespasiani - ITA 4
Flying Dutchman Worlds website