The big news on day three of the Ronstan A-Cat Worlds was the performance of Pease GLASER, although it's Lars GUCK who holds the overall lead.
(USA) rolled the entire fleet in the one race sailed yesterday. Calling the shifts, finding the pressure, and handling the platform in world class form, GLASER held off Lars GUCK
(USA) to win in light conditions.
On Wednesday morning the breeze was blowing out of 020 (are we seeing a trend here…?) at around 6-8 knots. Seas were relatively flat with almost no swell and just a bit of easy waves. The Race Committee was on station and prepared to get racing started on time at 11:00 EST. The fleet had ideas of their own based on the redress hearing on Tuesday. Fifteen seconds before the start, most of the field was OCS (perhaps sending a message) and the RC signalled a postpone rather than a general recall.
The reason for the AP was that the instruction the RC has is that they are to go to the Black Flag immediately after the first general recall of the day. Using the AP gives the RC and the fleet another chance to behave. The second attempt to get the race off resulted in the same setup on the line at the start. This time the RC had no choice but to fly the first substitute and general recall the fleet. Now the option became the black flag. While all this was going on the wind began to fade, dropping into the 5-7 knot range. The fleet realized the consequences of the black flag and finally got off the start with an all clear, more than 40 minutes late for the scheduled first gun.
The race became more difficult as it went on. The breeze continued to drop throughout the race, dropping into the low 4 knot range toward the end. There was also a slight current running down the shore (generally from the weather mark to leeward). Dropping breeze and a downwind setting current started causing some issues at the weather mark. Many boats found that they couldn't point quite as high as they have been able to when the breeze was up and they were tacking on to the Starboard layline too early. Add the current which was setting the boats in the downwind direction and many boats were hitting the weather mark, with a good number of those snagging the anchor rode. To say it was ugly would be kind. It was unfortunate that only a few of these boats found it necessary to take their one-turn penalty after hitting a mark.
Four legs were sailed while the wind gradually dropped in velocity and began a slow shift to the left. Once the wind moved left to the 010-005 range, it became apparent that the weather mark would have to be moved and a course change signalled. As the weather mark boat was manoeuvring into position, the wind dropped into the 4-5 knot range and moved over to the 005-000 range. The mark was reset and the course change was signalled in ample time for the fleet to recognize it. As mentioned earlier, GLASER took the bullet with GUCK in a close second. GUCK has apparently been working very hard on improving his light air abilities, and it showed today. Third and fourth place went to Pete MELVIN (USA) and Glenn ASHBY
With five races completed and two days remaining, the plan now is to run two races each on Thursday and Friday. The weather on Friday is expected to be much cooler and very breezy. When viewed on the whole, this event will have tested the sailors in just about every wind and sea condition available at this beautiful venue in Islamorada, Florida. Competition between GUCK, ASHBY, and MELVIN will continue to be fierce and competitive, but keep an eye on the rest of the top ten - this will be a true Cat Fight (pun intended…).
A-Cat World Championship - www.acatworlds.com
Results - www.acatworlds.com/res/worlds/2007_A-Cat_Worlds_Championship.html