It was a great day of late autumn sailing in the fresh Scirocco or southerly breeze of 8-14 knots, still shifty and patchy after dropping down onto the water from the mountains of Elba, tacticians had to look sharp to stay in phase.
Four windward leeward races went off like clockwork, with the wind ranging from 160 to 175 degrees.
Tour Voile legend Jimmy PAHUN on Region Ile de France had a good start and took the lead and never relinquished it for Race 5 of the series. Once the leader gets clear air, they are difficult to catch. The starboard layline into the top mark behind him was a solid line, three deep in places, which didn't leave many holes for the few port tackers trying to fit in. The maneuvering was all happening faster in the windier conditions, and there were a flurry of red flags at the first mark rounding of the day, and most of the others.
"The wind pulled left for the next race",
explained Asterix tactician, current 49er World Champion and ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year nominee, Chris DRAPER (GBR), "and the bunch that got around early escaped, while the boats on the right struggled to get back".
The leader of that bunch was Claudio RECHHI and Carla UBERTALLI'S Cheyenne. They are assisted by Team New Zealand's Hamish PEPPER calling tactics. Their victory in Race 6 and a string of good, consistent results throughout the regatta moved them into a commanding lead for the series.
Several boats jumped the gun on the third start of the day, and were called back under an individual recall. The Italian team on Franco Loro PIANA'S Storm System got the inside overlap on their last tack just before the first weather mark, to round in front of America's Deneen DEMOURKAS on Groovederci. There were big grins on everyone on board. A slow set on Storm System allowed Groovederci to sneak past them at the offset mark though. After a quick gybe, Groovederci extended on the run and held their lead to win the race. Loro PIANA finished sixth for their best race of the series.
Monaco 1 rounded out the range of countries by winning the final race of the day. There has been a different winner for each of the eight races completed so far, from six countries. The Championship ends tomorrow, and the race committee plans on fitting in three more races to reach the eleven scheduled for the series. A high pressure system moving in from France is predicted to chase the wind away, with lighter southerlies called for.
Full results are available on the event website at the address below.