Day two of the 2002 ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championships saw bright sunshine and lighter breeze meet the competitors. It was a big day today with nearly 9 hours of racing taking place.
The breeze was from the North East at 8 knots, dropping to 5 by midafternoon before a swing to the right and a slight increase. Today was a day for time on distance with many crews misjudging the time between stopping the pre-start shenanigans and getting back to the start line.
The day started with League B finishing their 3 remaining flights followed by League A completing their final 2 flights. At 3pm the Race Committee decided to press on with the 16 team round robin which meant that the next 8 flights would be between many of the top seeded players. The big match of the day was between the top two teams from League A, Marie Bjorling SWE and Liz Baylis USA with the teams never more than a boat length apart the jousting never stopped. In the end Baylis just slipped through to claim victory but not until Bjorling had used every tick in the book to try to evade defeat. A good day was also had by Lotte Meldgaard DEN, Dawn Riley USA and Cordelia Ellis GBR who all put on a show of excellent skill and mastery of the conditions to come out at the end of the day 3, 4 and 5 overall respectively.
The race management today was exemplary, Avristo, Pablo and their team worked fluently to send off 11 flights (44 races) and keep the crew change overs rolling. It was a busier day for the Umpires too with tighter matches meaning more Y flags and more penalties. Today it was definitely hats off to the Umpire team lead by Jan Stage, 'Over 9 hours on the water demands a high level of concentration' said Jan 'These girls are taking no prisoners, and that makes it a tough day for everyone'.
Tomorrow it is more of the same, with the last 10 flights of the 16 team round robin to be completed. 'If we finish off the big round robin by the end of tomorrow I'll be very happy' commented Ewan McEwan, one of the Umpires and in charge of keeping the event on schedule. Thursday will see the quarter final stages and hopefully the weather will hold before the possibility of rain on Friday.
The scores on the doors are currently looking like this:
Liz Baylis USA 9/11
Marie Bjorling SWE 9/11
Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen DEN 7/10
Dawn Riley USA 7/10
Cordelia Ellis GBR 7/11
Sabrina Gurioli ITA 6/9
Anne Le Helley FRA 5/9
Giulia Conti ITA 5/9
Christelle Philippe FRA 5/10
Nina B Petersen DEN 4/9
Claire Leroy FRA 4/10
Malin Millbourn SWE 4/11
Ines Montefusco ESP 3/9
Gwen Joulie FRA 3/10
Mar Castenado ESP 1/10
Sandy Grosvenor USA 1/11
At this stage no one is unstoppable, it's going to be a fight to the last.