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Noble Marine 2023 Albacore Internationals at Abersoch - Day 1

by Matt Thompson 30 Jul 2023 22:12 PDT 30 July - 4 August 2023
Albacore Internationals at Shelburne, Nova Scotia day 5 © Pauline Rook

Which way do we go?

Day 1 of the Albacore Internationals at SCYC, Abersoch, got off to a breezy start. The forecast 27 knot gusts did not happen but the day was still very lively.

You can prepare as much as possible but things can still go wrong. Some sailed to an imaginary start area and some went out and came straight back. Some did not even venture off the beach. It was brutal at times. A certain unnamed Canadian team had an early gooseneck gear failure and after trying to jury rig decided they should head back to the beach for a more secure solution. The end of their rainbow appeared, shining on an abandoned catamaran upon which lay a pristine Selden mast from which they robbed the necessary parts! (fair swap for the new jib sheet Henry).

After the practice start, race 1 got under way in a F5-6 WSW blow under darkening skies. And for once no general recall! With everyone clean off the line the 0.7 mile beat was a battle of skill and endurance. They say cream rises and there were no real surprises at the first windward mark. The reach though started to provide some entertainment! The smoking team suffered an eternal issue with the fly away pole which saw them drop several places before the gybe mark. And then to compound injury to insult, at the leeward mark the outhaul gave way with the boom dropping off the gooseneck. Gave over, lick wounds, and loads of fags.

The end result from race 1 was Michael McNamara (UK) 1st, Judy Armstrong (UK) 2nd and Tom Lonsdale (UK) 3rd.

The heavy breeze then decided to die and the rain increase giving the RO a real headache. Multiple resets of the course finally allowed race 2 to start some 45 minutes after race 1 had finished.

The start was clean away, but with the lighter breeze there was a tactical decision to make. Which way to go? Those that went left said it was aa bad call, those that went right said it was a bad call (Tom Lonsdale - do not take my boat name in vain!!), and those that went up the middle (Judy) said it was totally useless. So work that out!

There was a completely different appearance to the early mark rounders in this race leaving some with a lot to make up. But the cream rises...

Two triangles and a beat to the finish gave a final result of Raines Koby (CAN) 1st, Mike Hartley (UK) 2nd and Barney Harris (USA) 3rd.

Two races done and 12 more to compete, after day 1 the leaderboard is:

1st Michael McNamara (UK) 5pts
2nd Raines Koby (CAN) 6pts
3rd Barney Harris (USA) 10pts
4th Judy Armstrong (UK) 12pts
5th Matt Biggs (UK) 15pts

The sun will come out Monday (hopefully).

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