At the IODA European Championship day 5 presented more challenging conditions than had been seen to date.
Two races were completed for the day, with the first race starting in about 10 knots.
The fleet refused to stay behind the line and finally the black flag was used to get the fleet away. The second race saw the breeze increase a little to 13 knots but then the wind began to shift - to the right for the girls who had started first and then to the left for the boys. On the outer loop the wind dropped to 6 knots and with a strong contra current, the boats began to make very little headway to the finish. This final race took more than 60 minutes for the boys.
It was a difficult day for both the race committee and the sailors. Despite this, Luis Cabrera, Spain was first in both of his races, a remarkable result in these difficult conditions. Francesca Bergamo, Italy, who was twentieth last year in Poland, is now leading from Maria Caba (ESP) in second with Nikol Stankova (CZE), the leader from yesterday, now in third.
Social networking within the Optimist class is now common with teams 'blogging' their event travels to friends and family. Today we feature three of them - USA, GBR and KEN. They provide a great insight into both the activities of the sailors and the amount of organisation required by coaches and team leaders. In many cases they are also a very original take on the country they are visiting........read and enjoy.
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