On the second day of the RS500 World Championship, a northerly breeze known as the 'Peler' in Riva started the first race of the day. It was light and fluky – not the highly anticipated Ora – but a two-lap race was completed regardless of the shifty conditions.
RS 500 World Championship
Consistent performers Johan Rook and Malin Broberg from Sweden made a good get-away up the first beat, choosing to sail up the right hand side of the course along with Dutch Magic Marine team Carrie Howe and Mischa Heemskerk. This paid off and they pulled away from the rest of the pack, remaining well ahead for the first lap and the second beat to the windward mark.
An unpredictable patch of breeze gave the rest of the fleet the chance to gain on the leaders on the second upwind leg resulting in everyone arriving at the windward mark at virtually the same time. It was all to play for in the final downwind leg. The pack split to the left, the right and some soaked straight down the middle of the course, but the Dutch leaders just about held on to their lead, with Brits Tim Wilkins and Heather Martin pressing hard and forcing the leaders into a gybing match to the finish. Swedes Johan and Malin finished third, ahead of a busy pack.
The race committee was unable to get a second race started because of the changeable conditions on the water, so the fleet headed back to Riva. A rare storm blew straight down the mountain landing on top of the fleet, flattening 35 out of 37 boats. The heavy squall brought buckets of heavy rainfall and didn’t let up for around 10 minutes. It was a surreal experience looking around at an entire fleet of upturned RS500s! But everyone got ashore safely and the sun reappeared.
At the end of day two first position and the yellow jersey remains with Tim and Heather (GBR), with Carrie and Mischa (NED) promoted to second, and Johan and Malin (SWE) in third. In fourth father and son team Greg and Paul Bartlett (GBR) are continuing to sail well, and the Dutch Bad Boys are no longer on the podium, currently sitting in fifth position, but if the stronger winds pick up for the rest of the week we are sure they will start climbing up the rankings again!