Please select your home edition
Barton Marine 2019 728x90

Tokyo2020 - Day 2 - Snakes and Ladders on Sagami Bay

by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World 26 Jul 05:58 PDT 27 July 2021
Tokyo2020 - Day 2 - July, 26, - Enoshima, Japan. Line judges at the start of the Laser fleet - Race 2. © Richard Gladwell - / Photosport

In contrast to the opening day, Day 2 of the Tokyo2020 Olympic Regatta was conducted under grey skies, possibly signalling the arrival of tropical storm Nepartak, in the coming days.

While the typhoon warnings, of rain, more than wind, have triggered the re-scheduling of events in Rowing and Archery, a good dollop of breeze would be more than welcome at the Olympic Regatta, being sailed on six courses set off the island of Enoshima.

The breeze has certainly been up and down, with breezes down to the minimum level for a race start, and then later there are whitecaps on the course.

However as we have seen from the photoboat, there is a lot of tide running in places on the course, with tidal over-fall conditions appearing in some parts of the course.

Looking upwind, from the bottom mark, the usual sight is to see a fleet spread from corner to corner of the course and it is not surprising to see that most of the top competitors already have a double digit placing in their scorecard.

Sam Meech (NZL) explained how it looked on the water to Yachting NZ.

"Some of the guys are making it (the windshifts and tide) look pretty easy. A couple of guys getting in the right hand side (of the Stadium course) make it look easy, but the two times I went out to the right it didn't look too good, and I was nervous about going there a third time."

Meech says his primary issue is not finding the rhythmn of when to tack on the shifts in the offshore breeze. "Some people are able to get the flow of things a bit easier. For me, the starts are going well, the mark roundings are pretty good. I feel like I am doing the technical side really well, it is just getting the windshifts right."

Meech seems to have good speed enabling him to hit the front of the fleet on a couple of occasions and pulling in places downwind.

However like many of the top sailors - he is yet to really find the groove - particularly on the two courses which are closest to shore, and get the maximum land effect - which looks easy on the topographical map, but not so easy on the water where a land haze is a further restriction on visibility.

The formbook also appears to turned inside out, a little however it is early days in the regatta as those who have had good racing practice in Europe, press home their advantage. Later in the week with a change in wind direction and maybe in strength around the passing of the typhoon.

Overall the placings and points are still very tight, particularly amongst the top three in each of the four classes that have sailed so far. However further down the points table some of the more fancied, have allowed a substantial points gap to open early in the regatta - and the climb back will be difficult.

2016 Silver medalist, Annalise Murphy (IRL), lies in 32nd position in the Laser Radial fleet, with Paige Railey (USA) in 39th overall. In the Laser fleet, current World Champion Matt Wearn lies in 12th place overall. It was a strange sight to see Wearn beaten over the finish line in Race 2, by fellow Oceania sailor Eroni Leilua (Samoa). But to be fair Wearn did appear to have a boom vang issue.

The likelihood of a typhoon was touched on prior to the Olympics by 49er coach, Hamish Willcox, now attending his eighth Olympics regatta, as a coach/weatherman.

"The Philippines ocean area is the warmest ocean in the world and it is getting warmer all the time," he told Sail-World prior to the NZ team departure. He put the chance of the Olympics being disturbed by a typhoon at around 50%.

"Depending on its track, we could get onshore winds and big waves. It could be unsailable for ome of the classes, if it is like we have seen befor. The waves break almost right across from Enoshima to Kamakura. You can't get out of the harbour, even if you can sail out in the ocean."

"Then we will get into a light seabreeze situation, which is quite feeble and difficult to recognise whether it is an onshore gradient, or whether it is a seabreeze and the characteristics are quite different, depending on which it is."

News today is that World Sailing has banned the used of the New Zealand developed YachtBot, weather measurement application, which monitored on the water wind readings from the coach boat, and taking the weather game up a level from the handbearing compass and piece of wool approach, amazing still used by many coaches.

The move by World Sailing comes as no surprise, with the world body trying to control the so-called "arms race". However YotBot has been under development for over 20 years and has been used at numerous world championships and similar as well as being part of a regular coaching and boat tune program. The strength of the system is that it allows the constant logging of wind data on the day, and can be used to determine rig settings and the like. Australia and New Zealand apparently read the latest World Sailing regulations with the conclusion that YachtBot was legal, however apparently a definitive ruling has now been made to disallow use of the system for the Olympics.

The late call is very unfair on those Nations who have been using the system, who have now had to use alternate methods, while countries who have been using another system of analysis can continue with that use.

Tomorrow sees the opening races for several classes in Tokyo2020, including the Finn, heavyweight men's singlehanded class, mens and women two-person skiff.

With several of the key contenders in the Finn and 49er, featuring in the recent America's Cup Match, it will be interesting to see if they continue the trend set in the regatta to date, or if being race sharp they are able to show the other competitors, the way around Enoshima and Sagami Bay.

Related Articles

Mixing it up
A few sailing events which are a bit 'out of the norm' As we head towards the end of September, I've been thinking about which events, and days out sailing, have been the most fun this year. There are a few to choose from, and overall it's been a good year for time on the water. Posted on 21 Sep
Michael Weber and Jeff Braddon on the Jackrabbit
An interview with Michael Weber and Jeff Braddon on the 2021 Jackrabbit J/22 regatta I checked in with Michael Weber and Jeff Braddon, who serve as advisor emeritus and chair (respectively) of the 2021 Jackrabbit J/22 regatta, via email, to learn more about this freshwater One Design regatta. Posted on 15 Sep
A shameful story and a warning to sailors
A shameful story and a warning to the sailing world Sometime in the recent past, a club hosted a small-but-well-attended regional regatta. A consciously unvaccinated individual attended, refused to wear a mask, and then tested positive for Covid-19. Posted on 14 Sep
Laura Grondin and Megan Ratliff on the M24 NAs
David Schmidt checks in with the chair and president ahead of the 2021 Melges 24 U.S. Nationals I checked in with Laura Grondin, chair of the International Melges 24 Class Association, and Megan Ratliff, president of the U.S. Melges 24 Class Association, via email, to learn more about the 2021 Melges 24 National Championship regatta. Posted on 14 Sep
Happy, happy. Joy, joy!
Without doubt, the best perk of this job is the reach and connection There are definitely some serious perks to this gig. Yet without doubt, the best is the reach and connection with sailors far and wide. The emails, calls, and chats on the quay still come in, and continue to inspire the entire team. Posted on 13 Sep
Paul Earl and Shan McAdoo on the Snipe NAs
An interview with Paul Earl and Shan McAdoo on the 2021 Snipe North Americans I checked in with Paul Earl and Shan McAdoo, co-chairs of the 2021 Snipe North Americans, via email, to learn more about this exciting One Design regatta. Posted on 8 Sep
It's such an important word in any sport It's such an important word in any sport, and seeing an inspirational performance in sailing fills us with enthusiasm. Posted on 7 Sep
Juana Rudzki on the annual Juana Good Time Regatta
David Schmidt checks in with the event chair to learn more... I checked in with Juana Rudzki, event chair of the 31st annual Juana Good Time Regatta, via email, to learn more about this fun-minded multihull regatta. Posted on 7 Sep
Gladwell's Line: Dalts told to walk the plank
Attempts to force the next Cup to be held in NZ are misguided at best. The current Defender and America's Cup trustee, Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, are doing what they should be doing - which is to take the recommendation and decision from their America's Cup team and endorse it. Posted on 4 Sep
The big cats
Catamarans, and even more specifically, powercats is the name of our game here. 12-cylinder Jags, or lightning fast Cheetahs? Neither automotive, nor feline. Catamarans, and even more specifically, powercats is the name of our game here. Posted on 2 Sep
Doyle Sails 2020 - Pure Brilliance 728x90 BOTTOMC-Tech 2020 Tubes 728x90 BOTTOMSelden 2020 - FOOTER