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B14 World Championship at Circolo vela Torbole, Lake Garda, Italy - Day 1

by Mark Barnes 18 Jul 2023 00:35 PDT 17-21 July 2023

Day 1 and many still in recovery from the five race day (one abandoned) of day three of the Euros. Temperatures were in the upper 30s and felt like you were melting in the dinghy park. Scenery as ever impressive. Atmosphere in the dinghy park great. Top teams helping their two buddy teams with setups prior to launching.

The fleet would be sailing on the northern of the two courses, as sharing the venue with the Musto Skiffs. The question is who would have bragging rights with regard to the Ashes? (Top 3 teams from each hemisphere.)

Following on from the Euros the benchmark had been set. Harken (Nick Craig/Tobytastic) had a point to prove as reigning World Champions.

Racing got underway on time in 14 – 16 knots funnelling up the lake. Out of the blocks it was Harken that got the jump out of the mid line and headed for the cliffs, chased by the main protagonists Wonky Donkey (Mark Watts/Matt Johnson), AUS 375 (Craig Garmston/Paul Fleming) and a pack of 6-7 close followers. In that group were Wonkey Donkey, AUS 375 and Seavolution (Mark Barnes/Simon Reynolds). As the race progressed Harken held a controlling lead with AUS 375 working its way through the fleet. After two Laps Harken won from Wonky Donkey and AUS 375.

Race 2 saw a building breeze with the fleet this time heading off for a 3 lapper. Harken again took the lead and was chased by The Nude (Richie Reynolds/Lissa Macmillan) and Asbo 2 (Crispin Taylor/Guy Harrell) with the big guns further back in pursuit. First to trip up was Seavolution during a gybe hoist on lap one, where Barnsie got the mainsheet wrapped around his foot resulting in a faceplant mid-gybe in 4th. Once they managed to get up, they would chase down the fleet but not get back to their previous position, so obtaining a bigger counter, but after busting a toe strap in the Euros and managing an 8th, do not write them off.

Back to the race and AUS 375 was closing in on Harken and passing the front chasers with Wonky Donkey also in pursuit. Over the three laps, we saw several swimmers and some very close racing amongst the mid to back fleet. At the end, it would be AUS 375, followed by AUS 378 (Leigh Dunston/Paul Newman) coming home 3rd.

So back to the Ashes. Europe is 1, 4, 6, with Australia 2, 3, 5. Europe needs to get back on track and take it to the Aussies on day 2. It ain't over till the fat lady sings.

In the evening we had the opening ceremony, together with an Australian presentation for the 2024/25 worlds and then the AGM.

Results after Day 1:

PosNatSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2Pts
GBR796Nick Craig CraigTobytastic LewisBurghfield Frensham Lee on Solent112
AUS375Craig GarmstonPaul FlemingMcCYC / SBSC325
AUS378Leigh DunstanPaul NewmanSafety Beach Sailing Club437
GBR797Mark WattsMatt JohnsonWeston SC268
AUS800Richie ReynoldsLissa McMillanWoollahra Sailing Club7411
GBR789Crispin TaylorGuy HarrilStarcross YC6511
GBR799Mark BarnesSimon ReynoldsWhitstable Yacht Club5813
GBR788Tony BlackmoreJamie DawsonStarcross YC10717
GBR756Guy RaynesPaul RoberstWeston81018
10°AUS781Tristan WilliamsHugo BriggsMcCrae Yacht Club91322
11°GBR795Amir ShamsuddinNick PyeKing George SC111526
12°AUS156Ewan CampbellTori CampbellSafety Beach Sailing Club121426
13°AUS357Anthony HouseLuis MirandaWoollahra Sailing Club131629
14°GBR762Russ GibbsLucy LoughtonStarcross Yacht ClubUFD930
15°GBR786Geraldine FermorLeaky FermorSinic Club181230
16°GBR769Gary StuartKev HallNorthampton sailing Club141731
17°AUS78Joey RandallLouis ChapmanMcCrae Yacht ClubDNC1132
18°FRA760Thierry LlonchDuflos MickealCercle de voile de Castelnaudary15DNC36
19°GBR784Amy RobertsDavid RobertsRoyale Torbay Yacht Club16DNC37
20°GER768Christian WilmsDaniela AltSegel Club Graben‑Neudorf17DNC38

Tuesday should prove to be a full-on day with two 3-lap races.

More great friendships, photos and experiences being found, especially amongst the younger sailors.

Tomorrow we hope for a cooler day and some great panoramic sailing photos of a truly great venue and event.

More information and the latest results can be found on the Circolo vela Torbole website here.

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