We had a wait for the wind today here at Lake Brno, in the Czech Republic, for the first day of racing at the Nextra 2001 ISAF Team Racing World Championship , but finally a good days racing was had by all.
Tension mounted on the beach as the competitors waited in anticipation for some wind to fill in. The first day of racing at an event is always the most nerve making, but even more so when you have to wait for the wind!
Racing got under way at around 13:00 in around 4-5 knots of Southerly wind. That has been the pattern here say the teams that have arrived early to the event. There is very little wind in the morning, and then around 13:00 to 14:00 hours the wind fills in from the South. The locals say it is a thermal wind from the mountains. You can check the wind conditions on the event website.
12 heats were completed in the first Round Robin. There were no major upsets with nearly all the favourites winning their heats. USA 1 and USA 2 were unbeaten today. As were IRL 1 and IRL 2, and CZE 1 and CZE 2. But it's early stages indeed. That's 12 from 81 heats in the first Round Robin, with the organisers hoping to hold another Round Robin with Championship and Silver Fleets, followed by quarter finals, semi final and finals to decide the Champions.
Racing was postponed at 13:45 because the wind was too light, racing was abandoned at 14:20 for the day due to the lack of wind. It was just as well because within 10 minutes a thunderstorm had come over head! It brought with it very strong winds, heavy rain and thunder and lightning. The competitors scattered, mostly under the shelter of the tents and in the club house. The wind was so strong that it was threatening to blow over some of the 420's that were on the beach, so some brave people ran out into the storm to hold them up and tie them down with ropes to keep them safe for the night.
The venue is ideal for spectating and many of the competitors friends and family have travelled here to support them. They lined the banks of the lake avidly watching the racing, which is very exciting and also easy to follow due to the teams being easily distinguished by the different coloured boats. Many cheers of support for their team, particularly where I was for Team US: "Go US, Go US!", could be heard as the sailors sailed out to the start line. The atmosphere is really good already and for the finals it will be electric!
Results, Heats 1-12.
1. USA 2 V POL, 1-0
2. NZL V AUS 1, 1-0
3. GBR 1 V AUS 2, 1-0
4. USA 1 V GBR 2, 1-0
5. IRL 1 V NED, 1-0
6. IRL 2 V JPN 1, 1-0
7. JPN 2 V CZE 1, 0-1
8. AUS 2 V POL, 1-0
9. CZE 2 V YUG, 1-0
10. IND V SVK, 1-0
11. AUS 1 V USA 1, 0-1
12. USA 2 V GBR 1, 1-0
See the event website for news and updates on the racing throughout the day.