by Rob Burn
Rob Burn reports from the fourth day of the World 420 Championships, in Valencia, Spain:
Flags at Half mast, sailors waiting to launch, Day 2, 420 worlds
Hola, mey Amigos
A sad day remembered, and the day a little odd too.....
Flags flew at half mast, a minutes silence from the sailors, officials and supporters at noon as we paid our respects to the 90 people killed in the Spanish train crash two days ago.
The day had started differently, cloudy this morning, hot and sticky, breeze in the harbour but nothing out on the courses. A Spanish Coach who had consulted the Race Committee passed on to me.... 'direction 060, 6 knots, unstable, worse direction, won't settle in until later, maybe 4pm'.... The boat park turned into an inferno, the best place was in the shade behind the cafe, near the Flag pole and launching ramps. Finally about 1.30pm, the signal sounded, the Flags went up and the Open Fleet was able to launch.
BurnGibbs Charters passed Coach Shelley towing our 4 NZL Open Fleeters out to Course Bravo to mark out our anchorage to watch some quality racing.
With fluctuating breeze, ranging from 5-7 knots, racing got underway at around 3pm with Yellow Flight.
The Day again belonged to Sam Barnett and Zac Merton for the Kiwis. A 6th in the first race in Yellow Flight, followed by an 8th, showed they had a handle on the tricky conditions with several good shifts and a course change. In contrast, Taylor Burn and Henry Gibbs in the same flight managed a 13th and 17th, acceptable, but far from stellar they were looking for.
Taylor Balogh and Sam Lee came back from a 33rd to finish strongly at 12th in Red flight and restore some lost confidence.
Annabel Cave and Sam Bullock struggled in the shifty conditions with a 35th and 34th in Blue Flight.
Out on the Girls Course Alpha, Eliza Wilkinson and Julia Francis showed what they can really do, a great 6th then a 21st in Yellow Flight. Liv Mackay and Abby Goodwin didn't have the best of days with a 29th and 22nd in Blue Flight.
It is hard sometimes to understand as you sit back with your cup of Milo just how hard it is out there at a World Championships. This is not Club, Regional or Nationals racing, there are 27 countries here, all sending their best, and all have worked hard to put in good performances. This is Day two of the Qualifiers, the pressure is on now to make Gold Fleet, for some that is not going to happen, even Silver Fleet, possibly. One day left to make the top Fleet in both Open and Girls ...every sailor has gone to bed tonight thinking of that fact.
Random Valencia facts.....
Valencia Oranges come from California
You can't stay in the same traffic lane in inner city roads as the traffic lanes change by half a lane at each intersection .....would Kiwis cope..?
The Beggar that plays his recorder below our bedroom window each night until after midnight is actually quite talented.
The 'Working girls' advertisements stuck to our van windows that we discover every morning are getting more and more lurid.
The Central Market in the Old City is cheaper than the supermarket and we can walk there.
The Open Fleet is led by Brazil, Italy then Spain, Sam and Zac 6th, Taylor and Henry 33rd, Taylor and Sam 77th, Annabel and Sam 81st.
The Girls Fleet is Italy, Spain and Chile. Liv and Abby are 39th, Eliza and Julia are 46th.
Full reports and results http://www.420sailing.org/event-v2.asp?eventid=124480
We are wishing for a great day sailing tomorrow.