Day three of the Yellow Sea International Yacht Race was not very promising early this morning because of the rainy weather, but fortunately it did not last for long. At the end it proved to be a very successful one, full of racing and sailing for everybody.
The clear sunny skies in combination with the course areas that today were set inside the heart of the city, allowing everybody to enjoy sailing were a sight not to be missed. First started the Optimist and Hobbie Cat sailors that gave a more festive character to the event. The young sailors had a race inside the city harbor next to the hundred’s of people that were gathered to watch them compete.
At the same time, the crews of the Yellow Sea International Yacht Race prepared their boats for the inshore races that were scheduled for today. Due to the cancellation of the Incheon inshore race, the race committee decided to have two races here in order to replace the cancelled one.
First race started with light winds and shifty weather, which made tactic decisions a hard job for the teams. Team Haemaru and Sunny started on top with Weihai Ivy choosing the pin end. Uminoko and Band Poe did not start very well and were left behind with the wind dropping almost to zero at that moment. Most boats preferred the left side of the course, while Edeler Stern tacked right after the start and sailed a shift to the right side. Team Irene imitated their move and tacked right after. That made Band Poe, Team Sunny and Haemaru anxious and followed the two boats in order to keep close to them.
At the end luck favored the bold ones that tacked first and Team Irene was in the lead with a significant distance from the rest of the fleet. Not much changed during downwind and the second loop, so Team Irene was able to celebrate another bullet. Team Haemaru claimed second place just a few meters behind Irene.
The wind then picked up and was more consistent, offering equal chances to the boats. Team Sunny preferred the pin end; whereas Team Haemaru started next to race committee and both had a great start. Team Irene on the other hand, did not manage to stay close to the starting line and found themselves behind fighting with Elena. This gave an opportunity to Team Sunny that did not let it go away, they increased their lead and forced Irene to tack after them without any chance of overtaking them. But Irene had not played their last card yet, they managed to sail better and benefit of the wind shifts and rounded the upwind mark less than a boat length ahead of Team Sunny.
Eventually Irene scored their third bullet in the race and has a safe lead from the rest of the teams. Sunny is following on second and they need a good race tomorrow to get on top. The price giving ceremony followed right after the races where the winners received their trophies.
Tomorrow the boats will start from Weihai for the second offshore leg to Qingdao and will have to sail more than 180 nautical miles before they finish there.