420 Open Worlds- Nervous and ordinary start by Kiwis on Day 1
by Rob Burn on 29 Jul 2014
By the numbers at the 420 Open Worlds and Ladies World Championships, Travemunde, Germany, 111 in the Open Fleet, 84 in the 'Ladies' Fleet, 6 Kiwi Teams, 2 Open(boys), 4 Ladies(girls), 27 countries, 32 stories high.
Opening Ceremony 420 Worlds - Day 1, 2014 Open 420 Worlds, Travemunde, GER Rob Burn
That is the height of the huge tower block at the mouth of the Trave River. The building makes no sense until you realise the river was once the Border and the building was erected as a 'watchtower' on the Western side. It now makes a great landmark to aim for on the way home as the two race courses are so far out.
Travemunde is a beautiful little town, centuries old and packed with tourists and beachgoers. It is also a big ferry port with huge ships transiting the narrow river, continually honking as they steam along, there is very little room on each side. There is a car ferry and a foot ferry that go continually from side to side, from the Travemunde town side to the Priwall beach side where the 420 Worlds are being run from a marquee and series of portacabins.
Travemunde Week has been in full swing all week, Music pumping out day and night, the water full of sailing boats, square riggers and tourist boats, fireworks going off late into the night, cerebrating German sailing and the perfect Bratworst.
The Kiwi Teams all went through Registration and Measurement without too much stress, add a little weight here and there, a new lifejacket and one stolen, but generally ok. James, Tobias and Team management have been working really hard to get everyone organised, having Tobias as a German speaker certainly helps.
The Opening Ceremony was across the river, mercifully short but chaotic, hard to get good Team photos in all the excitement, as always, like 'herding cats'. The Opening Ceremony coincided with the final night of Travemunde Week so a huge fireworks display was laid on and the Tall Ship, Passat, was illuminated with coloured lights and lasers. Spectacular, but the downside was the ferries didn't go until all was finished, the sailors were very late home.
The Kiwi Teams are Sam Barnett and Zak Merton, Tauranga, Taylor Burn and Taylor Balogh, Picton and Christchurch, Brittany Wornall and Emma Stenhouse, Christchurch, Eliza Wilkinson and Kate Stewart, Auckland, Annabel Cave and Sophie von Waldow, Auckland (and via Berlin), Ava Mannering and Rosa Bella Hill, Napier and Christchurch.
Coaches are James Turner YNZ, and Tobias Koeb of Austria, formerly Queen Charlotte Yacht Club head coach. James on the boys course, Tobias on the Girls.This writer is the Team Manager.
Two races per day are scheduled, 6 races for the Qualifying series, possibly a Lay Day, then 6 Races as the Final Series where all Fleets are split into Gold and Silver.
There are 55-56 in Blue and Yellow fleets for the Open (boys), 42 in Blue and Yellow fleets for the Girls.
After a week of big waves and big breeze, some of the best sailing conditions ever seen ..... but as predicted, no wind for Measurement and just enough for the Practice race where all our crews were relatively happy with their set ups.
Day one racing was again very light and hot, a slight delay on the Start on the boys course, but racing underway in a oscillating breeze of 3-5 knots, great for the little guys and girls. The two Courses are a long way out and quite far apart, probably nearly a half hour tow out from the beach, we can see the Girls course off in the distance but are reliant on the girls for their racing stories.
Sam and Zak had a good first race in Yellow Fight, top 10 around the Top mark, a storming finish to seventh. Taylor and Taylor started in Blue, a Pin end Start, pushed into the mark by the Spanish, did their penalty and got off the line last. Recovered to Finish 27th.
Second Start saw Sam and Zak Black Flagged and disqualified, their day over. Taylor and Taylor looked ok at the Start but dipped the fleet to get to the breeze out left. eighth at the Top Mark but came in on Port, had an issue with an Irish boat parked on the mark, had contact, again did a penalty, and got pushed out to the wrong side of the course. A 31st Finish was not ideal.
On the Girls course, the competition proved just as tough in the two Flights. The more experienced crews had some flashes of brilliance, the less experienced soon realised that they were in a World Championships and just how high the standard is. The Start has been not ideal for all crews but most are happy with their speed and are now ready for the hard grind up through the Fleets.
Overall Kiwi results after Day 1, Taylor and Taylor 53( 27, 31), Sam and Zak 57, (7, BFD)
Britt and Emma 37 (26, 14) Eliza and Kate 49 (31, 19), Annabel and Sophie 72 ( 38, 33) , Ava and Rosa 83 (40, 42).
The Spanish Open World reining Champions are in the 30's. One sailor got a first and an almost last to give an idea of the soft and tricky conditions. So far the Spanish, Italian, French and Singaporeans are looking good in the light.
Much more wind predicted over the next few days so things will change again.
For all the Official 420 Association communications, photos and updates, go to www.420sailing.org and go the 420 Worlds page, it's all there.
A huge Thank You as always to our sponsors and supporters, the New Zealand International Yachting Trust, Queen Charlotte Yacht Club, Pelorus Boating Club, Rotary International and all the Picton and Marlborough Service Clubs, amongst many others.