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2023 World Bay Area Regatta Day 3

by Guy Nowell 16 Dec 2023 07:11 PST 14-17 December 2023

Last week we were in Thailand where shorts and t-shirts were de rigeur. Today we are in Shenzhen, China (next door to Hong Kong) and a pressure system further north sent down 16 kts of breeze for the delectation of the three World Bay Area Regatta divisions.

With gusts at 20kts plus: "stripey water", as described by PRO Simon James. And it was damn cold, too - 19 degrees, which is the bottom of the deep freeze for those of us not used to it. Some of the Scandinavians on the WMRT course next door were strolling around dressed for the tropics, but they were just showing off.

Two windward-leeward courses for each of the three divisions - Beneteau 40.7 (no spinnakers), J/80, Far East 23. With the wind swinging 40 degrees, the RO split the difference and parked the mark at 330 degrees. The Beneteaus were so eager to start their second race that they all charged the line some 30 seconds early and earned a General Recall. Some of the J/80s and the Far East 23s may have wished that they, too, had left their spinnakers on shore. It was noticeable that both classes had boats running downwind with and without kites, and both going at the same speed. For those that could get it under control and get planing, it was a high octane sleigh ride. (For those who couldn't, remember to watch out for navigation marks).

The sun came out for a little while, making the urban setting really quite spectacular. It's a shame that the road bridge across this bay turns the potential sailing area into two patches that are really too small to really useful for anything bigger than a sportsboat.

Tomorrow the forecast is for stronger breeze and lower temperatures. Spinnakers if you dare.

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