It was one of those days when you dream of a good log fire and a captivating book but despite the rain and cold, the sailors put on all the warmest gear to start the first races of the 2013 Delta Lloyd regatta.
It was an intense day on the water with a tight programme. Olympic and Paralympic classes sailed three races apart from the 49ers and RS:X who had four races back to back. "We realise it is an intensive schedule, particularly for the RS:X in non-planing conditions, so we decided to lower their target time to 20 mins and optimise resting periods between races," explains regatta PRO Robert Lamb (GBR).
RS:X London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED) didn't mind the conditions, nor the intensive programme with four victories taken on the day, "A perfect start here. Four wins. The circumstances were difficult today. Cold and rainy. People expect a lot of me, but winning stays difficult. The racing was nice. Four races on a day is not what we often do, in Garda we had that also. It's tough, especially when it is so cold as today. Lots of guys in the RS:X had problems with the cold. In these conditions it's important to sail smart, at least smarter than the other guys."
Van Rijsselberge's success story is an inspiration for the younger generation. Young Dutch windsurfer Kiran Badloe who started the year with a podium at ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma found it hard on the opening day but managed to place 11th in a strong fleet, "My races were unstable today. The wind turned a lot, that made it tough, besides the cold. It is nice to compete against Dorian, but today I didn't see him so much. He is so fast. Dorian is an inspiration for me. His success is very important for Dutch Sailing. My goal here is qualification for the top 25 in the Gold fleet."
Close scores in the Women's 470 sees Olympic champions Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL) in first place, a point ahead of Sophie Weguelin and Eilidh Mcintyre (GBR).
There are no surprises in the Men's 470. Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS), undefeated since the start of the season, took the day with three wins.
The Danish shared the day in the 49er. Allan Norregaard Anders Thomsen (DEN took the first two bullets while Jonas Warrer and Peter Lang are leading the fleet after winning the last two races. In the 49erFX, Annemiek Bekkering and Claire Blom (NED) are in first position after four races.
Canadian Finn sailor Greg Douglas leads the fleet with Piotr Kula (POL) in second. With two ISAF Sailing World Cup victories in Melbourne and Hyères and a second place in Palma, Laser class favourite Tom Burton (AUS) takes top place in the Laser.
ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma winner Alison Young is leading the Radial in front of Annalise Murphy (IRL) and Marit Bouwmeester (NED).
Mandy Mulder and Thijs Visser (NED) have taken the first two races to lead the small but strong Nacra 17 fleet.
Moana Delle (GER) is continuing on her good form in the Women's RS:X in front of a deep field. There are twelve countries in the top 15 and some of the best sailors.
The British are dominating the Paralympic classes after three races. Megan Pascoe takes the command in the 2.4 fleet, while John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas (GBR) lead the Sonar on equal point with Hyères winners Bruno Jourdren, Eric Flageul and Nicolas Vimont-Vicary (FRA).
The forecast for the second day of racing is for strong winds.