by Peter Dawson
Day 1 of the Worlds finally arrived after a few days acclimatization and training.
NZL International Yachting Trust proudly supports New Zealand sailors
Practice Race yesterday was the usual shambles so no further report on that. Racing got underway on time at midday. There are three flights for each race, 250 entries so about 84 boats on a start line
Race 1 Flight 1- Erica
Northwest 15 knots moderate sea and a nice wind generated chop. No real swell. Erica made the top mark about 32nd. She managed to overtake a couple on the reach and a few more downwind. She held her own on the final beat to finish 23rd. Top boats in this fleet came from China, Italy and Germany.
Race 1 Flight 2 – Naomi and Andrew
Breeze picked up slightly to about 16-17 knots and held steady at that for the race. At the top mark it was Norway, Argentina then Japan. By the finish the top 3 places went to Norway, US Virgin Islands and Denmark. The Turkish girl has also looked pretty quick finishing 5th. Andrew was about 21st and Naomi about 24th at the top mark. By the finish they had worked their way up the final beat to Andrew 17th and Naomi 21st.
Race 1 Flight 3 – Sam and Logan
This was the best Kiwi race of the day. Sam was 3rd at the top mark, passed both in front to lead by the wing mark. Logan was 4th by the wing mark. There was a lot of tacking by the German up the last beat covering Logan who had worked his way into 2nd. This covering allowed China to slip into a close 2nd ahead of Logan 3rd. Sam finished 5th.
Race 2 Flight 1 – Naomi
The breeze continued to build to about 18 knots. Naomi said she had a shocking start but had worked up to 12th at the top mark. On the final beat she was very happy with her speed and worked her way up to 7th. Puerto Rico 1st Singapore 2nd and Norway 3rd.
Race 2 Flight 2 – Sam and Erica
At the top mark Erica was about 21st and Sam right on her tail in 22nd. They both made good ground on the downwind and finished Sam 9th and Erica 10th. Puerto 1st Belg 2nd Norway 3rd.
Race 2 Flight 3 – Andrew and Logan
This was another good race for the Kiwis. Andrew with a good start was 4th around the wing mark and Logan 10th. The German had a big lead at the top mark but was run down by the Brazilian on the reach. Again the German sailed well upwind to win the race from Brazil then Singapore. Andrew finished 4th and Logan 5th.
Team Summary – a good keeper day for the kiwis. A good shakedown for the first day of a long regatta. 3 races are scheduled for tomorrow and the forecast is for similar breeze maybe slightly less and similar direction.
Update: Logan has ended up being scored OCS for his first race when he was well into the 2nd row. He rounded up some witnesses protested his OCS but was unfortunately unsuccessful.
Regatta website is http://www.optiworld2008.com/
The NZ Optimist Team is supported by NZL Yachting Trust and coached by Andrew Wills of North Sails NZ