83 Contenders, some from afar afield as California, Toronto and Australia, came to the start line outside the breakwater at Plymouth on Sunday for the first day of the week long World Championship.
They were so keen to enjoy the force 3 conditions that they needed 4 starts before getting away. Even the use of the black flag didn't deter the excitement. The eventual outcome was a reduced fleet, headed at the first mark by the man with local knowledge, Graham SCOTT. He led from start to finish, at one point pulling out a considerable lead. This was greatly reduced on the last reach when he sat in a hole while Stuart JONES and Italian Andrea BONEZZI gleefully trapezed up to him. The final outcome was only briefly in doubt as it finished in that order.
The second start saw Jones get away cleanly at the committee boat, continue all the way to the port layline and round the windward mark 50 metres clear, going on to win with little threat to his lead. Bonezzi fought his way up to second, with fine all round boatspeed, after an average first leg, due to overlaying the windward mark, along with a good lump of the fleet. German Karsten CLAUS sailed consistently well from start to finish to always be up there and comfortably took third.
The end of the race was notable for the large gash on Jones's head caused by head and mainsheet tower connecting during a covering tack to the finish. He trapezed, manfully, across the line to take the gun covered in blood. A couple of pints from the beer sponsors, Erdinger and three stitches sorted all that out.
Full results will be available here and on the event website at the address below.