Despite forecast for light winds, good racing Day 3 Topper Worlds
Sailors arrived for day three of the 2011 Sovereign Ski Topper World Championship at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland to be greeted by a warming sunshine and a gentle breeze. This was encouraging as the forecast had been for very little wind and so sailors readied themselves for the first day afloat in their championship fleets of Gold, Silver and Bronze.
Having had a look at the race course the PRO released the fleet at 10:05, and in a record breaking 28 minutes all the boats were afloat and heading for the race area.
Unfortunately the breeze was somewhat unstable and so the AP was raised leaving sailors to chat with friends and coaches whilst the PRO awaited the breeze to stabilise and fill in from the east.
At 13:15 the long awaited east breeze of 6 – 7 knots greeted the sailors and a course was laid. Gold fleet went into sequence at 13:35 and were away on a clean start for their first race of the day.
The Silver fleet went into sequence as Gold fleet made their way up the beat, but there was a big wind shift left. Silver fleet managed a clean start, but very bunched at the committee boat end. Finally Bronze fleet were away cleanly but this time with a strong pin end bias!
The light winds and shifty conditions meant sailors needed to hunt for pressure and avoid the worst of the tide – those that managed both came out on top, but others were left frustrated as the pressure swung from side to side as racing progressed – pre-race strategies often had to go out of the window!
Fleet winners for the first race were: Gold – Patrick Crosbie (IRL); Silver – Joe Henderson (GBR); Bronze – Conrad Parkinson (GBR)
Race 2 saw the Gold fleet on a general recall before a clean start and a bold move was made by Andrew Penney (IRL) who port tacked the entire fleet. Silver fleet were less fortunate with the start sequence though as a big wind shift caused the PRO to abort the silver fleet start at 3 minutes and postpone waiting for the wind to settle again. A second attempt to get Silver fleet away was again postponed due to another wind shift before they finally got away for Race 2, followed by the Bronze fleet. The conditions for the racing remained challenging with huge gains and losses across the fleets.
Although we had a different race winner for Gold, Joe and Conrad in Silver and Bronze took the bullets again. Race 2 winners: Gold – Laura Gilmore (GBR); Silver – Joe Henderson (GBR); Bronze – Conrad Parkinson (GBR).
The Gold fleet managed to get a third race started but by now it was proving too difficult to get the Silver and Bronze off for a third start. Gold fleet managed to get their Race 3 completed with Irish sailor Patrick Crosbie taking his second bullet of the day.
On coming ashore, the sailors were able to have a go at the radio controlled yachts in the evening which had been postponed from the previous day while the Irish coach contingent decided to have their own World Championships in the harbour, borrowing their sailors’ boats for the evening!