The second day of the 24th Marmaris International Race Week was a big day for the teams as they looked forward to the hotly anticipated offshore race. The crews faced a challenging racecourse set outside the gulf of Marmaris and spanning 20 nautical miles.
In a similar pattern to yesterday, the conditions proved to be very light in the morning, keeping the fleet of eager competitors poised for action whilst taking in the picturesque landscape that surrounded them. With a bit of sight seeing done it was time to put game faces on as the wind finally picked up and it was time to get racing. An upwind start for the fleets and the packed starting line made for a great spectacle as most of the teams headed for the pin end of the line.
The alternative racecourse that the competitors were required to sail took them past the rugged fishing island of Yilancik Ada, which translates into English as ‘Small Snake Island’. The first mark, which must be rounded with the mark to Starboard, was a few miles South East of the island and once it had been rounded the teams sailed towards the gulf of Tulnuc to head for the finish line.
The first leg was sailed upwind and once the crowded start was over with the fleet spread out across the Aegean sea, an impressive sight to behold for all of those watching from the land. The boats that chose to keep a higher course on windward seemed to benefit from the stronger breeze and as a result they soon put some distance between themselves and the rest of the fleet.
The fastest boat of the fleet was a Volvo 70 known as Black Betty. Even though she was the last to start, it wasn’t long before she sailed past all of her rivals. Her huge gains on the racecourse were thanks to the special design of this racing machine – the sail area of the Volvo 70 is considerably bigger than that of it’s predecessor, the Volvo 60, it’s also extremely lightweight allowing the boat to zip along the water and excel here amongst the smooth, flat waters. The team aboard Black Betty were the leaders at the first mark and kept their position all the way to the finish.
Before the fleet could catch up the wind shifted further to the right meaning spinnakers were hoisted on the approach to the mark.
First to cross the finish line was of course Black Betty and as the team crossed the line they seemed to take the wind with them. Glassy waters followed and there was little wind remaining making it tough for the rest of the fleet. The remainder of the race was relatively slow paced but the competitive spirit of the participants was tangible and the course made for a great days sailing.
Tomorrow there is yet another full day of racing to look forward to as we enter the third day of the Marmaris International Race Week. There’s a long way to go before the final day of the regatta and all of the teams still have everything to play for.
The video highlights from the second racing day
by Mike Pateniotis
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6:41 AM Wed 30 Oct 2013GMT
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