Safety tested at Broo Premium Lager Musto Performance Skiff Worlds
by Paul Manning and Sail-World on 12 Jan 2011
David Annan (GBR) - 2011 Musto Skiff World Championships, Melbourne - Day 2 Shane Baker Photographs http://www.shanebaker.net
Only one race was sailed in the Broo Premium Lager sponsored Musto Performance Skiff World championship at Black Rock Yacht Club, Melbourne, Australia.
The first, and as it turned out to be, only race of Day 2 of the World Championships got under way in a warm Northerly breeze at 11:45.
A 1.1nm course was laid to suit a wind bearing of 025 at 17knots, and the race got away on the first attempt.
The majority of the fleet headed left initially and then crossed to the right hand side of the course for a starboard approach to the windward mark. Tom Wright GBR 432 and Richie Robertson AUS 380 were overlapped as the bore away, very closely followed by Bruce Keen GBR 441, Ian Renilson GBR 449 and Marcus Hamilton AUS 453.
The breeze had started to build at this point to around 20knots and both Robertson and Wright were caught out on the very fast flat water downwind leg and neither recovered from their capsize.
Henderson was the first to gybe set and overtook all the boats coming in from the right by the leeward mark.
At the second windward rounding Keen had taken the lead followed by a very close group including Hamilton, Renilson, Henderson and Tim Hill AUS 424.
The breeze increased again on the final downwind leg to the optimum conditions for the skiffs, leaving the spectator boats in their wakes as they jumped clear of the water at times well in excess of 20 knots!
Bruce Keen skillfully hung on to take the win from a hard charging Hamilton, who was again very closely followed by Renilson.
A capsize close to the finish line, put a British competitor into hospital with a dislocated shoulder. The regatta safety systems were put to the test with a suddenly increasing breeze forcing the Race Officer to call a halt to the start of the scheduled second race and put all competitors ashore. After a few anxious moments with capsized yachts the competitors were all accounted for. After a few hours postponement, the 45 strong fleet put to sea again only to be hit by a sudden rain squall, which heavily reduced visibility and for safety reasons the fleet returned to shore and no futher racing was staged for the day.
Two or three races will be attempted on Thursday, which will give a legitimate series and a discard. The regatta concludes on Sunday.
Full results can be viewed at the event results page
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