During day four of racing at the Student Yachting World Cup, Switzerland made an outstanding performance which put them in second place. The French team from Kedge BS kept the top place in the general ranking.
The fourth day has been composed of four windward-leeward races with two laps each. The teams enjoyed a clear sky with a shining sun in Pornic.
In the morning, the wind was much lower than the previous days, around 10 knots. The teams had to review their tactics and strategies. At the first race of the day, Scotland did not make a start as good as usual and was ninth on the second mark. Switzerland looked to be in good shape for the races of the day and finished second. France seemed to be unbeatable and won again this round. The USA got third.
The wind speed went even slower for the second race. With only seven knots on the instruments, the soft skills of the team and the keenness of the tuning were even more crucial. On the first mark, France crossed the line only ninth while Germany which made a great start was leading this first race. However all the teams were side by side and at the finish line Switzerland had overtaken Germany to go first in front of the Committee boat. The results are Switzerland, first, then Germany, USA and France. The latter had not stopped any effort to reconquer the lost places.
As the third race started, the wind did not strengthen and the teams needed to concentrate even more on how to grasp the path. At the first mark, the French were leading followed by Germany and Australia. The boats were really close to each other and the skippers needed to pay close attention to their surroundings. Still, on the first leeward, the wind swung left. Switzerland took the opportunity to take over the head of the race, leaving France at the seventh place. Australia finessed to get second. France tried to struggle back but finished fourth after Switzerland, Australia and England.
In the afternoon the wind was not blowing hard, but very shifty. At the first mark, Australia was first. Ireland, Switzerland, and England came after. After the first lap, France was leading, then Switzerland and Australia. The mark was over crowded as there was only two minutes between the first and the last crew. France won the last race of the day; Switzerland got second then England and Australia. The USA finished fifth but got an OCS penalty for a false start.
The races today proved that there is still a fight for leading the Student Yachting World Cup. France keeps leading of this edition but strong competitors got revealed as Switzerland won two races and almost won the other two once. Today races proved once again that the final ranking is not settled yet, there is a tiny gap of four points between Switzerland (second) and the USA (third). Tomorrow, the crews are due to compete in good weather conditions again. The races may have some surprises in store!
by Mike Pateniotis
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8:06 PM Thu 17 Oct 2013GMT
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