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Blind Match Racing World Championship at Royal Northern & Clyde Yacht Club - Day 3

by Lucy Hodges 5 Sep 2018 13:51 PDT 1-7 September 2018
Blind Match Racing Worlds day 3 © Neill Ross /

Day 3 started the same way as day 2 with all sailors held ashore waiting for breeze. This time gave all teams a chance to be the sailors from France, both sighted and visually impaired, and to hear and test their accessible app SARA.

This app allows blind sailors to put in marks and gates of a race course to then allow the app to advise the course to the mark and advise speed/distance. It was a great success with all teams.

But then at 11.30 with the wind still light all teams headed out, and by 12.30 the breeze had built up to a good 8 knots with tide across the course from the West.

Race 1, of the day saw GBR2 meet USA after a small battle at the start and an early entry by GBR 2 they came back to the line and took the lead from start, USA was not far behind but with some good covering on the first leg, they arrived at the top mark first. But two tacks at the windward mark lost them some ground but an effective goose-wing on the run extended the lead further. Despite needing to take a penalty for hitting the windward mark they retained the lead only to miss the finish line. However, realising their mistake they recovered and crossed the line to take a win.

Race 2 saw GBR1 meet Australia, the wind had dropped slightly and the tide was stronger. GBR1 was slow to enter but crossed the line before the two minute gun. GBR1 again took the lead with a good start which they extended to a leg lead by the second beat. A safe windward mark rounding and adjustments for wind shifts on the final run saw them finish with a one leg lead.

Again the race committee kept the racing going in the changing conditions with a course change. As the wind speed increased the race time fell to only 10 mins resulting in the race Committee extended the course by moving the windward mark by 50 meters.

Race 3 saw GBR1 meet USA. At 4 minutes till the start GBR1 and USA were jostling for position on start line. GBR1 started at the port end tacking onto port tack and crossing comfortably ahead of USA. USA worked the starboard side of course while GBR1 worked the port gaining one leg after the first lap. This was a clear win for GBR1 with a leg to spare.

Race 4 saw GBR2 against USA for their third flight of round robin 2. GBR 2 had gained half a leg lead at the first mark. USA became a little disoriented while GBR2 effectively navigated to another win with one leg to spare.

Race 5 saw GBR2 meet Canada it had been a tussle the day before and the first beat of this race started just the same. Both GBR2 and Canada approached the start on starboard tack. Canada, the leeward boat, tacked onto port forcing GBR2 to change course. Despite the unsettling start GBR2 sailed effectively but due to tide Canada tacked back on to port ahead of GBR2 but with a slight off the breeze sailing from Canada, it saw GBR2 gain a half leg lead by the second beat which they extended to almost one leg by the finish.

At the end of Day 3, GBR1 finished on a 100% and GBR2 only losing two races to GBR 1. Both teams are now through to the semi finals.

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