ISAF Sailing World Championships - Tricky conditions at 49er Worlds
by Jerelyn Biehl on 15 Dec 2011
Perth 2011 ISAF World Championships continued with the third day of the 49er Worlds in Fremantle, Australia. It was a long day on the water for the 49er and race management teams as the wind did not cooperate on the Owen course compared to the other courses on the 2011 Worlds track.
49er Worlds GBR Pink Peacock - ISAF Sailing World Championships Perth 2011 Jerelyn Biehl
After a two hour on-the-water postponement, the Race Committee was finally able to get the first fleet off for two races in 12-18 knots of breeze that was oscillating, but had settled enough to get fair races.
The patience of the sailors and race committee had paid off and two good races were held for the yellow fleet with Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel (GER) winning the first race and Dave Evans and Ed Powys (GBR) crossing first for the second. Manu Dyen and Stephane Christidis (FRA) sailed a solid day with a 5-4 in the yellow fleet capitalizing on the shifting conditions and moving into second overall. It was tricky conditions with the lead changing several times over the multi-lap race and teams having to call the right tactics as they were tucked up against the beach off Owen course.
After two races, the yellow fleet was sent in and it was the blue fleets turn. The first race started in 12 knots and was won by John Pink and Rick Peacock (GBR), a hard fought battle that they never gave up. The wind then began to drop and shift and it looked like they might not get a race off, but patience again proved to win the day and the last race was off with the Phillips brothers (AUS) taking the win on the last upwind leg to the finish and the cheers of the local spectator fleet.
Finals begin tomorrow with the gold fleet for the top 25 and the remaining split between silver and bronze.
Racing continues tomorrow to finish the qualifying series.
Fourteen countries will qualify for twenty of the entries for the 2012 Olympics to be held in Weymouth next August. There are twenty-nine nations entered in the 49er fleet in Full Perth 2011 49er Worlds microsite
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