Championship Decided After 9 Races.
With only one race left to sail on Saturday, the first Byte Championship sailed in the new CII rig has been won by Calvin Lim Zhi YANG of Singapore.
He does not have to sail the last race but will do so which says a lot for the attitude of the Singapore sailors and their Hungarian Coach Andras. Only three points separate second to fourth and Calvin's placing in race 10 could be very important in the final standings.
The three races yesterday were won by the Singaporeans - Victoria Chan Jing HUA, Calvin and Helena Lee Jia HUI.
This was, once again not your "normal" day on Lake Iseo and, by the end of the day there were many competitors shaking their heads! The race started in less wind than the day before but was still in the 12 - 14 knot range. However, the competitors were about to experience some major shifts.
Following a heavily bunched start, Calvin, the Series winner, Morgan Aussell, (FRA) and Oliver TWEDDELL (GBR), were all together at the weather mark with Oliver having his best race so far. He is shown on Calvin's hip coming into the mark with Morgan just out of the picture on the left. Ruth TAYLER, (GBR), having her best race to date, is seen crossing behind them on port.
As an aside, Oliver, although one of the biggest competitors in the series also happens to be the youngest at 13 years of age. Next youngest is Ruth TAYLER'S son Nick at 14.
To get back to the racing, Morgan, Calvin, and Oliver rounded the bottom mark in that order and headed left with a good jump on the next boats. While working the left side there was a huge right hand shift that took the three of them out of the top spots and into 5th, 9th (Calvin's worst race), and 11th respectively.
Meanwhile Victoria Chan Jing Hua quietly worked her way up the fleet and was in first by the top mark. She never gave up the lead after that and was followed across the line by Shane Ong Wei JING (SIN), and Marco GIANNINI, (ITA), both having their best race of the series.
A win in this race by Calvin Lim Zhi YANG virtually put the series away for the Singapore sailor. The wind was starting to drop into the 10 knot range but Calvin, whose forte during the week was his heavy air sailing, was not fazed in the least and lead from start to finish. Right behind him at the weather mark were some familiar faces and one new one. Morgan AUSSELL, (FRA), rounded second to Calvin with Helena Lee Jia Hui, (SIN), on his hip and behind her Oliver TWEDELL (GBR).
Meanwhile Vera GECK (AUS), was having her best race, holding off Glenn Cheang Heng Loong RUSSEL (SIN), and Marco GIANNINI (ITA). Unfortunately, she was unaware she had touched a mark until informed of the fact half way down the leg by another competitor. She did her penalty turns but, unfortunately, too late and was disqualified losing her best finish of the series. The rule reads "immediately" and, even though unaware till informed later, it's unfortunate but that's the way the rule gets interpreted.
The winds were anywhere from zero to 8 knots and from all over the map with shifts up to 40 degrees. Below, Nakrst Ira, CRO, gets off the line with a great start but things soon started to unravel on the course.
The eventual winner Helena Lee Jia Hui was the first to admit that the wind gods smiled on her. She found herself in the thirties at the last leeward mark but, as she rounded the mark, was met by an enormous left hand shift that took her straight to the finish. Meanwhile most of the fleet ahead had continued to the right side and found themselves sailing a great circle around the finish line. However, that's sailboat racing!
Full results and photos are available on the event website at the address below.