Sail-World.com : Finn Gold Cup: Day 3 started off as a hurry up and wait kind of day
Finn Gold Cup: Day 3 started off as a hurry up and wait kind of day
Day 3 of the Finn World Championships in San Francisco Bay started off as a hurry up and wait kind of day. As the fleet made their way out to the course just off Marina Bay they were greeted by an unusual offshore breeze resulting in the AP postponement pennant going up. This is San Francisco however and it’s just a matter of time before the sea breeze kicks in and that’s just what it did.
Ed Wright wins in light air too!
Race number 5 in the series kicked off in glorious sunshine and 8-12 mph of breeze on the starting line with a solid 15 mph of wind at the windward mark. The more civil weather conditions had more racers trying the left hand side of the playing field with a pretty even distribution of boats across the course. At the top mark however it was Ed Wright (GBR 11) picking up where he left of yesterday leading the fleet around the buoys. Italy’s Michele Paoletti (ITA 146) rounded second with France’s Jonathon Lobert (FRA 112) and Swede Daniel Birgmark (SWE 11) in chase.
As they headed downwind for the first time Wright put on the afterburners and quickly gapped the pursuing boats. As they rounded the gates Wright had built a nice lead over second place Lobert. Britain’s Giles Scott (GBR 41) rounded in third after making an impressive run downwind passing multiple boats. American Zach Railey also sailed a solid downwind leg to get himself in to sixth place at the gate. Remembering the local credo of 'stay right at the circle' the leaders formed a parade line as they headed back up the right side of the course.
With the wind having receded a bit it was Wright again first to the windward mark and this time sporting a 90 second or so lead over Lobert in the next boat and Italy’s Paoletti in third. Frenchman Thomas le Breton (FRA 115) was pressing hard and reeled in a few boats on the reaching leg to set the top 3. Wright cruised home to the easy victory with Lobert in second and le Breton taking third. Giles Scott took fourth with Zach Railey finished in fifth place.
Zack doing what Zack Does
As the fog began to press further through the gate the wind began to do its afternoon thing and the windward mark was now seeing 17 knots of wind just in time for the start of race two on the day. Course B, which features a windward leeward first lap followed by a lap two triangle and a downwind finish, was again the call of St Francis Yacht Club Race Committee head John Craig.
Zack Takes a breather and gets some tips
Returning to his Day 1 form was Spain’s Rafael Trujillo (ESP 100) as he jumped out to an early lead rounding the windward mark first with the Netherlands Pieter-Jan Postma (NED 842) in second and a tight pack of boats right on their heels. In the hunt was Zach Railey, Michele Paoletti, Swede Björn Allansson (SWE 6), and Ed Wright. Trujillo rounded the leeward gate with his lead in tact while Ed Wright had significantly closed the gap now finding himself in third place with Zach Railey pressing him from behind. As they headed back upwind a wind shift had neutralized the normally favored right side of the course and those who went left enjoyed big gains on the leaders most of whom chose to go right.
Raffi owning it race
As they rounded the windward mark it was still Trujillo’s race to lose and as he made the turn to begin his reaching leg he simply put the hammer down extending his lead on the fleet. Also smoking on the reach was Italy’s Giorgio Poggi (ITA 117) who had passed multiple boats upwind to get himself in to second place overall. Trujillo made it to the finish line first to collect his bullet, while scored Poggi second, and Wright took Third. Kiwi Dan Slater had his first top 10 finish of the regatta coming in fourth. Many of the boats in the top of the pack early in the race were sent backwards on the last legs notably Zach Railey and Thomas le Breton who finished up 10th and 12th respectively.
Chaos at the weather mark
With the discard now coming in to play Trujillo was able to drop his race 3 35th place result from yesterday and sent himself vaulting up the rankings to second place overall. This however is looking like Ed Wright’s regatta to lose as sits in first place with a huge 13 point lead overall. Giles Scott and Thomas le Breton are locked up at 24 points apiece for the final podium spot which goes to Scott for the day by virtue of the tiebreaker. Zach Railey sits in fifth place but his 26 point total has him well within striking distance of the podium. No lead however is safe in this fleet and every single sailor has shown vulnerability with a double digit score in their scoring line. One more of those and down the rankings they will sink; and quickly.
More racing is set for tomorrow and with cooler weather on tap that means the big winds, and big water, should be back.
Official Event Site www.finngoldcup.com
by Erik Simonson and David Wells
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9:04 AM Thu 2 Sep 2010 GMT
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