The sun shone again in Cascais today and the Nortada wind picked up, gusting up to 20 knots on the race courses further out to shore. As Simon GROTELUESCHEN (GER), leader after four races in the Laser fleet, commented with a smile, 'The wind was blowing, the wind was calling as well.'
Whilst the shifty conditions turned up a few surprises earlier in the week, today was generally one in which the pre-regatta favourites showed their best form.
Read our fleet by fleet reports by clicking on the links below:
Finn - Tornado - Yngling - Star - 49er - 470s - Lasers - RS:Xs
Robert SCHEIDT and Bruno PRADA (BRA) were on fantastic form in the Star fleet, winning both their races to day to move into the overall lead. Fernando ECHAVARRI and Anton PAZ (ESP) moved into the lead of the Tornados after 3,4 scores lifted them four points ahead of Carolijn BROUWER and Sebastian GODEFROID (BEL).
The Lasers raced in course areas 1 and 2 closer to the shore with smaller waves and slightly more stable winds. GROTELUESCHEN posted 2,4 scores to hold the overall lead, but home favourite Gustavo LIMA (POR) is not looking so good, down in 28th after two double-digit scores today. Lijia XU (CHN) remained unstoppable in the Laser Radial fleet posting her third bullet of the series to move into a 12 point overall lead.
Both the Finn and Yngling fleets began their racing today. Emilios PAPATHANASIOU (GRE) started with two bullets, whilst double Olympic gold medallist Shirley ROBERTSON (GBR) got the better of her compatriot and former crew Sarah AYTON (GBR) to win the first Yngling race.
|Shirley ROBERTSON got off to a flier in the Yngling fleet
© Steve Arkley - www.sailshots.co.uk
The much anticipated British battle in the Yngling class completed lived up to expectations and dominated the first day. In the fleets opening race, AYTON, Sarah WEBB and Pippa WILSON (GBR) and ROBERTSON and Lucy MACGREGOR and Annie LUSH (GBR) pulled out a big advantage on the rest of the fleet and had their own private battle for first. AYTON, WEBB and WILSON led for most of the race, but ROBERTSON and MACGREGOR and LUSH appeared to have fractional advantage on the downwind legs and managed to squeeze past their rivals for Qingdao to take the opening bullet.
Amongst the Lasers, the big battle of the day saw world #1 and 2, Paul GOODISON (GBR) and Tom SLINGSBY (AUS), come up against each other. SLINGSBY won the day with 1,2 scores, but GOODISON's consistency keeps him ahead of his Australian rival in third overall. GROTUELASCHEN is a surprise lead after four races, whilst it turned out to be a horrible day for World Champion Michael BLACKBURN (AUS), who had two scores in the 20s to knock him back to 28th overall.
In the Laser Radial fleet, XU recovered from rounding the first mark in race 3 in 21st, to post 6,1 scores and move into a 12-point overall lead. World #1 Anna TUNNICLIFFE (USA) also found her best form and 1,5 scores for the day move her up to seventh overall.
Out on race area 5 the Tornado fleet raced in the windiest conditions of the day, as the northerly breeze built from 12 knots in their opening race up to around 20 by the time they came ashore. After three demanding days most of the fleet will be looking forward to a day on the shore.
That however may not be the case for Mitch BOOTH and Pim NIEUWENHUIS (NED) who are revelling in the windy conditions. The Dutch team picked up a bullet to start the day, but were one of a number of the top teams to fall foul of very shifty conditions as the wind increased with a 15th in race 6 of the series.
In what is turning out to be a high-scoring regatta, Fernando ECHAVARRI and Anton PAZ (ESP) have taken over at the top spot with very consistent scoring today. After a very close finish in race 5, the Spanish team caught a favourable shift towards the end of race 6 to cross in third. Overnight leaders Carolijn BROUWER and Sebastien GODEFROID (BEL) and reigning World Champions Darren BUNDOCK and Glenn ASHBY (AUS) were less fortunate and their resulting 18th and 12th places sees in second and seventh overall respectively.
|It was a great day for Robert SCHEIDT and Bruno PRADA
© FRIED ELLIOTT - www.friedbits.com
In the Star fleet, there was a lot of close racing in the yellow fleet, whilst SCHEIDT and PRADA ran away with things in the blue. Ian PERCY and Andrew SIMPSON (GBR) nailed both starts and continued to look very fast, moving up to third overall with two second places Overnight leaders Xavier ROHART and Pascal RAMBEAU (FRA) were typically consistent with two thirds, including a very impressive comeback from a mid-fleet position in the day's first race.
The current, short chop and breeze fostered a number of collisions during the day. Portuguese sailors, Henrique ANJOS and Afonso MARQUES lost their forestay during a collision and had to retire from the first race and could not sail the second. The team is filing for redress. If redress is awarded then they will move up in the preliminary standings and be eligible to sail in the gold fleet for the remainder of the regatta. At the moment, the Fins, Staffan LINDBERG and Erkki HEINONEN, are straddling the gold and silver fleet line for the rest of the championship.
Over 1,300 sailors from 76 nations are competing at the 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championships, from 28 June-13 July in Cascais, Portugal. 'The Wind Is Calling' is the official motto for the 2007 Worlds. The Championships are the principal qualification regatta for the 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition, with 75% of all national places to be decided.
For all the news on the ISAF Sailing World Championships 2007 CLICK HERE.