Two more heats were sailed at Carnac yesterday afternoon in weather conditions that were very different from those enjoyed the day before.
The beautiful sunshine had been replaced by pouring rain and the Bay of Quiberon, which had looked so inviting just 24 hours earlier, was now the absolute opposite.
There was wind, however. In fact a south westerly breeze of 15 to 17 knots at rigging time, with the possibility of more to come, persuaded the entire fleet to opt for the No 2 rig. Not everybody was confident that their choice was correct, but they were consoled by the fact that all the others were similarly equipped.
As things turned out, the most important factor of the day was power to weight ratios, as the breeze fell to below 10 knots during the day's first heat (Heat 5 of the 12 heat series). This meant that the lightest teams, and those who were able to generate the most power from their rigs were at a distinct advantage, while the remainder had to suffer the frustration of never having more than two team members on the trapeze wires.
Once again, the 'RMW Marine' team of Rob Greenhalgh, Dan Johnson and Jonny Meers sailed outstandingly well, and finished first by a large margin. Howie Hamlin, Mike Martin and Chris Cleary on 'General Electric-US Challenge' were second, and Tony Hannon, Cameron Macdonald and Greg Windust on 'Total Recall' were third.
John Winning, Jack Young and Euan MacNicol (who was suffering from a bout of flu) on 'Yandoo-d'Albora Marinas' finished fourth ahead of Jarrod Simpson, Simon Nearn and Grant Rollason on 'Ernst & Young' and Andy Richards, Steve Mitchell and Dave Richards on 'Radii'.
While this was going on, two teams made the ligitimate move of retiring from the heat, and went ashore to change to their No 1 rigs, after deciding it was worth sacrificing their fairly low positions in Heat 5 to stand a good chance of finishing at the top of Heat 6.
Initially, their advantage did not benefit them greatly, and once again the 'RMW Marine' team made excellent use of the the power they had to lead round the first two laps. However, the extra horsepower of the No 1 rigs told in the end, and it was Flemming Clausen, Thomas Ebler and Soren Clausen on 'Wempe' who took the win, with Rob Dulson, Paul Constable and Alec McKinlay on 'Base 1' in second place. 'RMW Marine' crossed the finishing line third, but there was further disappointment for them, as they were one of three boats adjudged over the line at the start.
'Yandoo-d'Albora Marinas' was officially third, ahead of 'General Electric-US Challenge' and 'Radii'. 'Hermes' sailed by Ed Browne, Mark Tait and Anthony Esse finished sixth.
Tomorrow, at the half way stage, will be a lay day.
Heat 5 results:
1. 'RMW Marine' Rob Greenhalgh, Dan Johnson and Jonny Meers, GBR
2. 'General Electric-US Challenge' Howie Hamlin, Mike Martin and Chris
3. 'Total Recall' Tony Hannan, Cameron Macdonald and Greg Windust, AUS
4. 'Yandoo-d'Albora Marinas' John Winning, Jack Young and Euan MacNicol, AUS
5. 'Ernst & Young' Jarrod Simpson, Simon Nearn and Grant Rollason, GBR
6. 'Radii' Andy Richards, Steve Mitchell and Dave Richards, GBR
Heat 6 results:
1. 'Wempe' Flemming Clausen, Thomas Ebler and Soren Clausen, DEN
2. 'Base 1' Rob Dulson, Paul Constable and Alec McKinlay, GBR
3. 'Yandoo-d'Albora Marinas' John Winning, Jack Young and Euan MacNicol, AUS
4. 'General Electric-US Challenge' Howie Hamin, Mike Martin and Chris
5. 'Radii' Andy Richards, Steve Mitchell and Dave Richards, GBR
6. 'Hermes' Ed Browne, Mark Tait and Anthony Esse, GBR
Overall standings after 6 heats
1. 'RMW Marine' 3 points
2. 'Yandoo-d'Albora Marinas' 22.4 points
3. 'General Electric-US Challenge' 25 points
4. 'Total Recall' 37.1 points
5. 'Base 1' 45.4 points
6. 'Radii' 47.7 points