USA2’s unbeaten run was ended here today at the Nextra 2001 ISAF Team Racing World Championships. Fellow Americans USA1 in heat 121 beat them. USA2 are still topping the leader board along with defending champions NZL.
Another upset was NZL being beaten in Heat 111 by NED. NZL also had a close battle with IRL1 in Heat 126. NZL just sneaked though at the last mark into positions 2,3,4, although IRL1 had been in winning positions up until that point.
Also going against the current overall rankings was another same country Heat. Heat 130 GBR1 V GBR2. GBR2 were 1,2,3 at the first mark and boats 1 and 2 never looked back, to beat their fellow Brits, ranked third after yesterday, finishing 1,2,4 in the end.
I spoke to USA1 team member Mike Zani after their win over USA2:
That was a good win then.
Yeah we were 1,2,6 at the first mark and it stayed that way. Basically we won the start.
Where are you guys from?
We are sailing for New York Yacht Club. Two are from San Francisco, two from Connecticut, one from New York and one from North Carolina
So how come you sail together?
We formed in 1995 in New England. Then a few of us moved for different jobs, but we still sail as a team. We used to all sail against each other when we were at college. So now we have to travel to train together. We train in pairs quite a lot, and we do six team racing events in the US together
Is team racing big in the US?
It's pretty popular. There is a lot of inter-college team racing. It's different to here, there are no on the water umpires. It's very aggressive. We have something called 'three minute justice' where for there is a protest still after the race. Each side has an impartial witness, you get a minute to put your case with your witness, and then the two who are deciding get a minute to make the call. People don't want it to come to that, so if they think they can't prove it they just do their turns on the water, so it keeps it simple. We also have a lot of informal team racing where you bring your own boat and join in. NYYC has 24 different organised team racing events, in different classes, not just in 420's. For example we do some teaming racing in keel boats.
There has been a full days racing again here today in ideal team racing conditions, although at times erring slightly on the light side. The wind was very light at the beginning of the event, and was causing the organisers some worry. Now they can relax a little though because we have had plenty of team racing action in the last two days.
ISAF President Paul Henderson arrived today to watch the concluding few days of the event. Mr Henderson is big team racing fan, and he was enjoying watching the racing along with the many spectators here at Lake Brno.
Up to Heat 151 was completed. That leaves another 20 Heats to complete the full Round Robin. We just saw a great race between NZL and GBR1, Heat 151. Two of the GBR boats started towards the left hand end of the start line, to get towards the favoured left hand side of the first beat. Five of the boats had a tacking battle up the left hand side, whilst one GBR punched out to the right corner and came out first around the mark. Second and third were NZL, with GBR fourth and fifth and in sixth NZL. So the sixth position NZL had to get up to fifth or better, or one of the NZL boats in second and third, had to get up to first. On the last beat it became apparent that neither second, or third were going to pass the first GBR boat. At which point one NZL boat held back to try to help the sixth NZL boat though. But they failed to do that successfully, and GBR1 went on to a 1,3,4 win. Only the second team with NED to beat the defending champions here.
Tomorrow it will be decided what the format for the next part of the competition will be. We have two more days of racing, so it may be too early to go into the finals stage of the competition and some further Round Robin league competition will be completed.
Provisional Results, Top 10, after 151 Heats
1. USA2, 14-2, 122 pts
2. NZL, 14-2, 135 pts
3. GBR1, 13-3, 128 pts
4. IRL1, 13-3, 132 pts
5. GBR2, 12-4, 126 pts
6. USA1, 12-4, 137 pts
7. NED, 11-4, 141 pts
8. AUS2, 11-5, 150 pts
9. CZE1, 9-6, 174 pts
10. AUS1, 8-6, 148 pts
For full results and more photographs go to the event website.