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17 July 2001, 01:13 pm
Day One - Qualifying Series
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29er World Championships

Lets call this Day One for Sorting Out- everything from the weather to scoring did not go quite as predicted. On the other hand, it was a great day for the crews to get things sorted out for sailing the 2001 Worlds at CORK.
While we are sorting things out, lets sort out the word CORK. CORK stands for the Canadian Olympic Regatta at Kingston. When the venue of Kingston, Ontario was selected for the 1976 Olympics, this site was called the Canadian Olympic Regatta at Kingston. The acronym, CORK, stuck to this site ever since.

The day started with a 9:00 am skippers meeting and a new set of sailing instructions. The big change in the sailing instructions was to combine the 4 subdivisions of the fleet into two: red and green. Each start then had 32 boats. The change in the subdivisions contributed to the confusion in the scoring. That and some protests left the standings open late into the night.

The two divisions, however, worked out just fine on the course. The 32 boat starts were disciplined with only one general recall in six races on the day. Given the acceleration of the 29er, these starts were dynamite to witness.

The wind on the first two races was light and variable. The big thermal which drives the sailing wind at CORK did not materialize until after 2:00 pm due to a persistent line of cumulous clouds. On the first race, most of the fleet went left. A smaller contingent including Australia 2, went right which did not pay off. Likewise the boats that went far left fell behind those that started on the left side of the line but then took a moderate course up the middle. Those in the left middle rode a Star Wars tractor-beam lift that pulled them right into the weather mark.

As the wind filled to a nice 10-12 knots around 2:00 pm, the sun came out and the 29ers were flying. Red Fleet got in two fine races in sparkling conditions. The blazing speed of the 29er dialed in as the boats ripped downwind. The leward gate roundings were fast and furious with the colorful shutes snuffing quickly into their socks and the poles retracting all on the single take-down line.

The fleets that did well included the British, the New Zealanders and the Australians with Argentina in the hunt. Good down wind boat handling and tactics paid dividends in these fleets.

Results, Top 10 (5 races, 1 discard)

1 GBR 543 PINK JOHN Tom Weeks RAF 4 points
2 GBR 489 GIMSON JOHN Simon Marks 8 points
3 AUS 509 OUTTERIDGE NATHAN Grant Rose 9 points
4 NZL 122 WOOLLEY GEOFFREY Scott Wilkinson 11 points
5 NZL 273 KENNEDY SCOTT Mike Bassett 12 points
6 AUS 18 TURNER JOSEPH Charles Dorron 13 points
7 GBR 518 HOPSON ALEX Nick Murphy 15 points
8 USA 15 BERNAL ALEX Tedd White 17 points
9 ARG 201 BISI ROBERTO MATIAS Jose Maria Diez 20 points
10 AUS 8 BONNITCHA JONATHAN Paul Bonnitcha 22 points

Stephen Orsini/News Editor
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