Today sunday 27th June the sky opened and wind remained strong, with waves on the water, creating optimal conditions for sailing. Some even considered switching to rig 2 in the afternoon, with ships 45º or more most of the time, but finally it did not happen, because unfortunately the racing was stopped around 4 pm due to worsening weeds problem on the water.
In the morning racing started in the course in front of the clubhouse, but in the afternoon the course was switched to the side one, better adapted to more eastern winds that stablished for the rest of the day.
On the third race the leader of the scoring board, Ante Kovacevic from Croatia had a bad race, finishing 19th, and Guillermo Beltrí from Spain overtook him, while Brad Gibson took the race followed by Mirko Ukas as second. The fourth race was won by Zvonko Jelacic followed by Beltrí, as Olivier Cohen , FRA100, who was battling until the end for the first postion with Zvonko, hit a buoy on the arrival area, and conceded all points. By the end of 4th race Ante is back in command of the table.
There were very nice fights on both races, and a number of protests, as the stress rises and options to make a good result overall start to be defined, with more homogeneous fleets now providing tighter combats at starts and turning marks.
The top positions show an interesting mix of hull designs now, with Kovacevik Pikante’s, Beltrí’s Sedici, a Britpop, Brad’s Pop!, Zvonko’s new Kantun 2 and a Kantun S and Huub Gillissen’s Shuffle in the top 9, with a Il-etait-un-petit-navier at 12th. That certainly suggests a more open competition in terms of designs, and less Britpop domination thant expected. Is this the end of and era? probably too soon to raise conclusions, but let’s keep and eye on the hull column of the scoring table !
As said above, unfortunately floating weeds affected almost everybody at one point or another, and it become a frustrating exercise, a lottery,as defined by Fred Rocha when the skippers were called to decide wether to continue racing or suspend until tomorrow, with race 5 halfway through the 5 heats. A decission was taken to suspend, and since that moment the organizers deployed a big effort to implement measures to prevent the weeds to get into the racing area, with lines of floaters and nets being deployed at evening, taking advantage of the long day hours this time of the year.
I heard otherwise a lot of positive comments about the venue and the organization. The Facebook account is having a solid following, both in the venue and by IOM fans around the world, with pictures, videos, and results being dinamically uploaded, mainly by Hanneke Gillissen, and many comments.
No doubt all skippers are eagerly waiting for tomorrow hoping for a solution to the weeds problem. See you tomorrow at Club Naútico de Vitoria !