by Rob Burn
Rob Burn reports from the seventh day of the World 420 Championships, in Valencia, Spain:
Waiting to launch, 420 Worlds. NZ Team 420 Worlds Day 7, Valencia, Spain
The rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain.
Some rain on some sailor's parade but others had something to smile about. It was a long night waiting for the results of Protests.
The day started much as yesterday, hot and clear, but wind from wrong direction and we were told the AP would be up for at least an hour to allow the wind to settle from the correct direction.
The additional complication of the Fuel station being out of petrol for about 50 Ribs that had done huge miles in rough conditions yesterday and a Bravo Course Committee boat that wasn't well, helped with the delay. The Girls launched first while the boat was under repair but soon every sailor was on the water. The Principal Race Officer had apologized to everyone for the delays yesterday and being so far out. Today was much better but still a long haul.
Racing and swimming started in a very pleasant 7-8 knots of building breeze.
Over on the Girls Course, GBR, Italy and Italy continues to hold the three first spots of Gold Fleet.
Our NZL Girls Liv Mackay and Abby Goodwin had an average 17th for their first race, followed by a great 2nd, to put them 3rd overall in the Silver Fleet. Eliza Wilkinson and Julia Francis had a 20th for their first, a 14th in the breezier conditions for the second race and hled 8th overall.
Boat park work at night, 420 Worlds. NZ Team 420 Worlds Day 7, Valencia, Spain
The two crews in Bronze on the Open Course had a great day. Taylor Balogh and Sam Lee had a 5th followed by a 4th to finish the day in 1st place in the Bronze. Annabel Cave and Sam Bullock moved up a gear today, a good 6th for their first race, followed by their first Race win in the second. Lots of excited parents, mother and brother cheering from the Finish line as they crossed.
The Open Fleet was where all the Drama was. The wind was shifting from side to side and expected to go left quite hard during the afternoon. The first race was Pin end biased and the top end of the fleet started there. Taylor and Henry got caught up with the Gold Fleet leaders who ran out of room, tacked onto port at the start before the lIne, stalled, then hit the Pin boat and took NZL out. The Brazilians then broke a halyard and recorded a DNF. Sam and Zac got off to a good start and came in at 11th. Taylor and Henry were 2nd to last at the top mark but finished 24th.
The second race had a postponement before the start because of a wind shift to the Left, the Race started, most went hard left except Taylor and Henry and a few others, the wind shifted to the right and they were at the top mark in 3rd, the ones on the left stuck out there miles behind. Sam and Zac finished 35th, Taylor and Henry 4th .....but a possible Protest against them from the French over a Rule 11 on the last down wind leg.
Protest time for everyone it seemed. Sam and Zac were part of a 'class action' against the Race Committee for allowing the Race to continue, after a very long hearing that was thrown out. Taylor and Henry with help from Shelley prepared for their protest but lost and were disqualified. We were gobsmacked with the decision and the effect it has on their regatta.
Ralph Roberts had put a lot of work into Protest preparation and has always told the boys that one should always to the penalty turns if in doubt, Taylor said they were in no doubt but regrets not doing them anyway and lose a couple of places to protect a great race.
Protest is not over yet. The group protesting the Race Committee are chasing fresh evidence to try and have the Race cancelled, a long shot again but if it works, the DSQ would go.
The Brazils still lead the regatta, the French close behind, followed by the Spanish. Sam and Zac are 18th, Taylor and Henry 20th.
Two races to go, which may turn into just one if there is another late start. http://www.420sailing.org/event-v2.asp?eventid=124480!click_here for all the photos and vids.
As always, many thanks to all our supporters and sponsors, your support is greatly appreciated.
Results by http://www.420sailing.org/event-v2.asp?eventid=124480!clicking_here
101 things to do waiting for a Race start. NZ Team 420 Worlds Day 7, Valencia, Spain