After the International 14 Team Racing won by USA and the practice race won by Rob Greenhalgh and Dan Johnson (GBR), the World Championships started in earnest on Saturday, with no racing yesterday due to adverse weather conditions.
Hosted by the Royal Bermudan Yacht Club the World Championships have attracted entries from as far afield as Japan and Australia with the highest representation coming from the UK.
The weather that greeted the competitors as they sailed from the Club to the Great Sound was almost perfect, blue skies and a freshening Force 4 coming from the North. After a general recall the fleet got away at the 2nd time of asking, the majority of the fleet initially worked their way up the port side of the course. First to the windward mark was Zach Berkowitz & Trevor Baylis (USA) followed by Zeb Elliott & Tim Hancock (GBR) both these boats being pre -Championship favourites.
Downwind these two opened a gap from the pursuing pack with the top 10 dominated by Brits. With the wind gradually increasing capsizes downwind were a common site and not only at the back of the fleet, however with a water temperature of 72 degrees it was hardly discomforting. Berkowitz increased his lead over Elliott and this was increased further when Elliott capsized to windward on the penultimate downwind leg. It looked like Kris Bundy & Jamie Hanseler (USA) would inherit 2nd, however they had problems of their own after a gybe causing the asymmetric to wineglass leading to a capsize of their own.
With places seesawing between Bundy, Greenhalgh, Andy Fitzgerald & Martin Barrett, Jonathon Pudney & John McKenna, Julian Pearson & Louise Hickey (all GBR) and Jason Beebe & Sam Reid (AUS) it was down to the wire who would join Berkowitz and Elliott on the podium. At the finish it was Greenhalgh who came through to take 3rd place. Berkowitz's boatspeed and handling was phenomenal and notwithstanding Elliott's capsize which cost him a couple of minutes he was still over 5 minutes behind the leader at the finish. These two made an emphatic statement over the rest of the fleet so it will be interesting to see where the challenge will come from.
Results Race 1:
1 Zach Bervowitz & Trevor Baylis USA
2 Zeb Elliott & Tim Hancock GBR
3 Rob Greenhalgh & Dan Johnson GBR
4 Kris Bundy & Jamies Hanseler USA
5 Jason Beebe & Sam Reid AUS
6 Julian Pearson & Louise Hickey GBR
7 Andy Fitzgerald & Martin Barrett GBR