by Rob Burn
Rob Burn reports from the sixth day of the World 420 Championships, in Valencia, Spain:
Gold Fleet Start - Day 6 420 World Championships
The Day was BIG! Bigger than Texas, in fact.
Big Distances, big waits, big waves, big breeze, and for some, big results....
Final series at any Worlds are huge and full of drama, tragedy and joy, and still along way to go. Every sailor in their respective Fleets wants to make the most of it and achieve their best.
The wind was from a different direction and very, very hot, the sky was much more clear, we could see mountains in the distance and down the coast. At the coaches and team leaders meeting it was announced there would be an hour and a half delay before launching, the Open Fleet got on the water around 1.30pm, the Girls soon after.
It soon became clear the Race Officer had a different idea from previous days..... way, way out past the moored ships, so far out that on our big Rib we couldn't anchor, and when the breeze came up, the Committee boat couldn't either. It must have taken more than an hour under fast tow to get there, the Gold Fleet in the Open didn't get away until 4pm.
Family Gibbs into the Blue, 5 kms offshore - Day 6 420 World Championships
The Girls course was along way out as well but under the Open, we could see their top mark thru Binos from near our Finish boat. The wind was a little unstable and the Race Committee was waiting until the expected swing to get going. The wind continued to build and swing around to the more sea breeze direction.
As parents of sailors, we are often driven to drink. Swimming in the Azure blue of a Bombay Sapphire bottle is the best way of describing the colour of the water, especially once you got in it while waiting. After the first flights got away the wind and waves built up, the wind to around 19 knots, we were struggling to get up the boarding ladder.
This event has been remarkable with the tolerance of the Race Officers and the amount of General Recalls. Not to mention, once patience is lost, the amount of Black Flag penalties. Today was no different, lots of General Recalls in the first race for all flights, then a bit better behaved as everyone just wanted to finish and just go home.
Of the Kiwis, the day belonged to Taylor and Henry in the Gold Fleet. First race was a solid finish of 8th and a great confidence builder. The second which started around 6pm in 17 -19 knots, but dropping, was their best, they lead the fleet until the wing mark and dropped a couple of places on the downwind to finish third and jump up the leader board by 12 places to 14th overall.
Sam and Zac, the model of consistency through out the Qualifying series, were missing something today and recorded a 33rd and 26th...we know they will be back.. They have dropped back to 12th.
Day 6 420 World Championships
The Bronze Fleet held Taylor and Sam, and Annabel and Sam. Taylor and Sam had a 5th in the first race, then a thrilling 3rd in the second. Us spectators were on the finish line cheering them on as they over took two boats just before the Line. We did the same to Annabel and Sam, great finish on the second race in 17th. Their first was marred by a capsize and lost spinnaker pole, they finished 28th. Again big effort by less experienced sailors in big breeze and big waves. The waves are very short and sharp, and every which way, hell even in a big rib like ours, much worst in a 420.
On the Open Course the disappointing thing was having the sailors wait so long between races, nearly two hours of sailing around in nearly 20 knots, sailors putting on extra layers...if they had them, many didn't and got really cold.
Sounded like a similar thing on the Girls course, Liv Mackay said around 8 General Recalls but unsure of Fleets.
The two NZL Girls crews, Liv and Abby and Eliza and Julia in the Silver fleet had much better races. Liv and Abby had two 2nds, which put them at the top of the Silver fleet. Eliza and Julia had a 4th and 12th, good solid results. As with all the Fleets, there are many top sailors who didn't make the Fleets they were hoping for, there is plenty of top talent in each Fleet, whether it be Gold, Silver or Bronze.
This scribe is a bit sketchy on the final flight results as the brain has not been fully engaged in deciphering the overall results and am reluctant to say who is what. Taylor and Sam must be somewhere to the top of the Bronze Fleet.
The lights were on the boat park soon after we got back, we docked at 8pm. Well after nine by the time we left the club, tired and hungry sailors in tow. Technical issues with eyes not working after eight hours of driving a boat in rough seas with a fried brain to get the report out on time.
A day's highlight was being asked to formerly swap the QCYC Burgee for the RCNV one with the Club President in front of the video cameras etc, and being interviewed about the 420 Fleet in NZ and it's development. The Burgee swap is on the official 420 site video clips.
Another tough day at the Office looming for all sailors.
A big thank you for all the messages coming in, thank you to all sponsors and supporters. Thank you to to Yachting New Zealand for providing such a great coach in Shelley Hesson for the Open Fleet, and the NZ International Yachting Trust for providing for coach Ben Goodwin, also doing a great job.
As always, results by http://www.420sailing.org/event-v2.asp?eventid=124480!clicking_here