On the opening day of the 49er World Championship in Zadar, Croatia, evening showers broke to a cloudy day with light winds keeping anxious sailors onshore. After a few hours, the race committee released the sailors for three races each in the three qualifying flights. With varying and shifting winds that eventually settled into a nice afternoon seabreeze of 8-11 knots, the 74 boats took turns and completed enough races for a full day’s racing.
After three races, early regatta leaders Lukasz Przybytek and Pawel Kolodzinski (POL) are tied with Tobias Schadewaldt and Hannes Baumann (GER) with 10 points. One point behind is a 3-way tie with Bermuda brothers Jesse and Zander Kirkland, Justus Schmidt and Max Boehme (GER) and Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL).
With Bermuda hoping to take one of the five qualification spots for the 2012 Olympic Games, skipper Jesse Kirkland explained their strategy; 'we went into the day with a simple plan of top 10 finishes.' He explained further that 'We’ve been here for a week training and the conditions have been similar with a soft northwesterly, so the conditions were perfect to our training' Although early in the regatta, Jesse made a point to mention his thanks to 'the many supporters back home as well as some Bermudian friends here supporting us as well.' Preparation and a cheering squad couldn’t be better!
The forecast for tomorrow’s racing looks rewarding with more consistent wind of 10-15 knots and clear skies.
49er Worlds website
by Jerelyn Biehl
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9:19 PM Mon 7 May 2012GMT
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