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2022 5.5 Metre French Open at the Regates Royales in Cannes - Day 2

by Robert Deaves 21 Sep 10:37 PDT 17-24 September 2022

On the second day of the 2022 5.5 Metre French Open at the Regates Royales in Cannes, Aspire (POL 17, Mateusz Kusznierewicz, Przemyslaw Gacek, Flavio Marazzi) has extended its lead to two points over Otto (NOR 68, Bent Christian Wilhelmsen, Herve Cunningham, Lasse Berthelsen) with New Moon III (BAH 25, Mark Holowesko, Christoph Burger, Peter Vlasov) one point behind in third.

Despite hopes of three good races with a solid forecast, only one race was possible on the second day. After the fleet headed out early, the predicted strong wind took a while to arrive, but when it did, it picked up very quickly to 20 knots with big waves.

Aspire led all the way round to win. New Moon III had to restart after being judged early and initially trailed round the first mark in fifth. But a prudent inshore tack on the second beat realised a 15 degree shift, which combined with great speed and height, moved them up to second at the top, which they held onto down to the finish. Otto rounded the top mark in second, but after New Moon III passed them and a few downwind problems, finally crossed in third.

Many boats had problems in the strong winds, less than half hoisted their spinnakers and only seven boats actually finished. New Moon recorded a top speed of 17 knots, most were doing 14-15 knots downwind. But the race committee then sent the fleet home and there was no more fun to be had.

As well as the Moderns racing it out at the front, there are three Evolutions and two Classic 5.5 Metres taking part this week. While Ali Baba (GER 84, Wolf-Eberhard Richter, Beata Kallkowski, Oliver Weiss) is dominating the Evolutions as well as mixing it with the Moderns so far, the two Classics are head-to-head this week.

The oldest boat in Cannes this week is Rush VI (GER 111, Andreas Haubold Martina Klemmt, Aksel Andresen). She was originally designed by the famous brothers, Einar Ohlson and Carl-Eric Ohlson, and built on carvel planked mahogany, for the Swedish 1956 Olympic gold medalist, Lars Thörn, for the Rome Olympics in 1960. However, he failed to qualify as the Swedish representative and sold the boat. Her current form is 20 cm longer than the original with several modifications to the deck layout over the years.

Alzira (GER 117, Olaf Schulz Holger Bock, Florian Hentschel) is being sailed under SUI 20 this week. Built in 1967 from carvel planked mahogany by Heinrich Bootswerft of Switzerland, Alzira is a Vollenweider design. In recent years she has undergone an extensive refit, while the hull, deck and cockpit have always been kept in superb condition.

After two days Rush VI is 12th while Alzira is 10th, with just two points separation.

Racing in Cannes continues until Friday.

Results after Day 2: (three races)

1. Aspire (POL 17, Mateusz Kusznierewicz Przemyslaw Gacek, Flavio Marazzi) 5pts
2. Otto (NOR 68, Bent Christian Wilhelmsen Herve Cunningham, Lasse Berthelsen) 6pts
3. New Moon III (BAH 25, Mark Holowesko Christoph Burger, Peter Vlasov) 8pts
4. No Stress (SUI 201/GER 122, Jörg Sonntag Jacob Rek, Lina Urbat) 15pts
5. Pungin (SUI 213, Hans-Peter Schmid Gilbert Dürr, Walter Dürr) 17pts

Full results here...

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