Tuesday was Day Two at the 2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup – Melbourne, which is being sailed out of Sandringham Yacht Club. True to form Melbourne is delivering all four seasons. Day one of competition saw the baker’s oven door left open and the fleet sweltered in 36 degree heat; whilst today the sprinklers are on and the temperatures have dropped to a levels that you would expect to experience in winter. But this is why sailors from around the world flock to Melbourne to test themselves in the varied conditions that Port Phillip offers in early December.
ISAF Sailing World Cup, Melbourne Day 2 - Nacra 17 Bundock and Curtis (AUS)
Dual Olympic Silver medallist and three times Olympian, Darren Bundock had a very promising debut in the Nacra 17 class alongside his new partner also an Olympic Silver medallist, Nina Curtis.
When the Nacra 17 was selected as the Olympic Multihull class as a mixed crew boat, it was widely assumed that lighter weight women would helm and the men would be needed to provide the crew muscle. But the nature of the Nacra 17 has changed that already.
This had provided a window of opportunity for the slightly built Bundock, who by 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro will be 45 year, an old man in Olympic sailing terms.
Bundy explains, 'the Nacra 17 is smaller than the previous Olympic multihull the Tornado and the loads are much lower, so I can helm and that is where experience really counts. This will be my fourth Olympic campaign and I know how to put it all together at the right moment, while a first Olympics for anyone is a huge learning curve.'
After only nine days in the boat and Bundock is comfortable already, 'when I jumped in the boat, after about 30 seconds it felt like any other cat so away we went'.
Showing good boat speed Bundock and Curtis grabbed a third in the first race on day two, a fifth placing in the second and then finished with an impressive win in the final race of the day.
Bundock commented on their days racing, 'today was a very difficult day for our first ever Nacra 17 racing. We got caught out quite a few times. An up and down day. We had more speed than I expected at this stage of our progress.
'We could have done better today, I don’t think we sailed all that well; but we are still in second.'
The silver medal pairing, finished their debut race day two places ahead of Australia’s highest ranked team, Sydney cousins Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin, who placing sixth at the 2013 World Championships held in The Hague in July.
Waterhouse spoke of the performance in the challenging conditions, 'It was a tough day on the water, with the little rain squalls coming through. You can’t win a regatta on the first day, but you can lose it and we kept in contact, so looking forward to tomorrow.'
Leading the series after three races is matchracing coach turned sailor, Evan McNicol, teaming with London Olympic Silver medallist Lucinda Whittey. The pair recorded a first race win and third and fourth, to be sitting a point clear at the top of the table on eight points.
Euan McNicol commented, 'It was a pretty tricky day, in the first two races we made good decisions, the last one not so great.'
The closeness of the fleet is visible on the leader board and the lack of dominance from any one team.
'Today was a bit of snakes and ladders, it was way too volatile for anyone to come out and put three bullets together. We have spent quite a bit of time working on our boat set up and that shows in our boat speed,' said McNicol.
ISAF Sailing World Cup website