After two weeks of training, the light nine to twelve knot winds were unexpected and caught a number of sailors in all the fleets by surprise. Jennifer SPALDING (CAN) led defending champion Krystal WEIR (AUS), Charlotte DOBSON (GBR) and European Champion STEYAERT at the first mark. The young French star went furthest right on the second windward leg to take a lead which she held to the finish. Followed by SPALDING in second and WEIR third.
In the slightly lighter winds of the second race STEYAERT took places on both downwind legs to recover from twelfth at the first mark to third at the finish behind Gea JUTENS (NED) and Petra NIEMANN (GER), who both held the same positions through out the race.
In the second women's fleet Sarah BLANCK (AUS) had a similar day to STEYAERT coming from fourth at the first mark to finish first and then pulling through to grab a fifth in the second race behind race winner Karin SODERSTROM (SWE).
|Sarah STEYAERT leads after day one
© LC Moreira
In the men's fleet, which is also split into two groups, Carlo DE PAOLI (ITA) led Andreas PERDICARIS (BRA) and Max ANDREWS (NZL). On the downwind PERDICARIS and ANDREWS pulled though to first and second which they held to the finish. Place changes were a lot more dramatic in the second group when Brad FUNK (USA) dropped from third to 13th as the young Russian Igor LISOVENKO came from nowhere to win from Daniel JACKOBSSON (BRA) and fellow Brazilian Eduardo COUTO.
COUTO was again at the top in his second race rounding in second he passed Tiago RODRIGUES (BRA) to lead home Dany STANSIC (CRO) who recovered from a poor first windward leg and FUNK who this time climbed from fourth to third.
Brazilians were also cleaning up in the other group as Fabio Dutra PILLAR mirrored COUTO's race. Peruvian Gonzalo BARCLAY was the only person able to spoil a perfect Brazilian top nine with a second place finish. A lighter day is expected tomorrow before the trade winds slowly build for the remainder of the Championship.
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