After yesterday's complete cancellation of competition due to a 40 knots offshore wind, today started with a nice breeze from almost the opposite direction. It increased very quickly before the first start and already shifted to the northwest. The starting gun was fired at 1000 hours local time, with about 20 knots of wind and it continued to build up. Most of the teams went to the left side of the course. Only six decided to try their luck on the right, which did not pay off. The H16s that took a long starboard tack also fell behind, but the ones that took an early flier came out best. BRUNO and BERNAZ were first at the upwind mark. BRUNO commented, 'We kept this position throughout the race. It was difficult sailing with high and short waves.' They finished about 300 meters ahead of the runners up, Fletcher WARREN and Georgia MYERS from New Zealand. Meanwhile, eleven crews out of 43 gave up due to the wild conditions. Boats were blown over and the beach master warned the competitors of the next race, 'The wind and surf are picking up. If you do not feel comfortable, do not go out. If you want to reef your mainsail, there are ropes available.'
During the boat swap, the H16s were tuned for high winds, as it had increased up to 30 knots in gusts. Some of the teams did reef their mainsail. All of them were allowed to leave the beach at 1115, where after the struggle against the elements started. The conditions were rough and required a very good teamwork. TELVA and KAYA from Tahiti knew how to play this game and took the lead pretty soon. TELVA commented, 'We are used to sail in these conditions, although it is normally a little bit less extreme at home. We did not have a good start, since we missed the five minutes signal, but we have been in first position all the time.' According to TELVA, they were one or two minutes ahead of Mark LARUFFA (ITA) and Joshua SELIG (RSA), 'In the end, we had difficulties to find the finish line. They shortened the race, so the gate was gone. We stopped and looked around, before we knew where to go.'
After his arrival back on the beach, experienced Hobie 16 sailor LARUFFA explained that it was really scary, 'The waves just smashed your feet off the boat. The wind must have been easily 35 knots. I have never depowered my side stays that much.' The South African women Belinda HAYWARD and Kim WILKINSON-DAVIES, silver medallists in the Women's World Championship, performed a remarkable feat by finishing in third position. 27 teams out of 43 completed the race.
Sunday will be the last day of the open qualifier with 83 teams, representing 19 countries. On Monday 31 October the semi finals will start.
Top Ten After One Race
|1||FRA||Alban BRUNO||Jean BERNAZ||1||1|
|1||TAH||Teiva VERONIQUE||Kaya GUILLAIN||1||1|
|3||BRA||Bernardo ARNDT||Bruno OLIVEIRA||2||2|
|3||ITA||Mark LARUFFA||Joshua SELIG||2||2|
|3||NZL||Fletcher WARREN||Georgia MYERS||2||2|
|6||PNG||Andrew LOCKE||Belinda ZANESCO||3||3|
|6||RSA||Belinda HAYWARD||Kim WILKINSON-DAVIES||3||3|
|8||AUS||Shane PETERSON||Jesse DOBIE||4||4|
|8||RSA||Andrew WARD||Steve ARNOLD||4||4|
|10||NED||Ute VRIJBURG||Gerben VRIJBURG||5||5|
|10||NOR||Brian HUNT||Truls Lover ARNESEN||5||5|