Activity heightens as competitors from France, Denmark, Sweden and the U.S. gear up for the J/80 World Championship at Fort Worth Boat Club on Eagle Mountain Lake.
Registration and weigh-in wrapped up at 11:00 am yesterday morning as boats were prepared for a practice race in the afternoon. An impressive group of international judges is on hand to observe the competition.
Fort Worth, affectionately known as "Cowtown", has welcomed these travelers with unbridled Texas hospitality - no doubt we will see more hats and boots as the week goes on.
The warning signal for racing was sounded at 1300 hours and they were off in 12-15 knots of breeze from the South/SW. Aggressive sailors forced one general recall before the Race Committee was able to get them off and running.
Early leaders were mostly Texas sailors and the lead changed as boats split to both the right and left on the course looking for the best breeze. Conditions held and no course changes were necessary for this short, shake-down race.
Defending champion, Laurent ABIGNOLI of France (FRA376) crossed in the top 10, with several of the leaders opting to sail around the finish line. Superstitious?
The skipper's briefing is scheduled for 1900 hours following a Mexican buffet dinner in the main ballroom of the Fort Worth Boat Club. Commodore Glenn DARDEN (LeGlide, USA 407) will welcome the group. He commented earlier, "Fort Worth Boat Club is proud to host this very prestigious event. We are looking forward to a week of great racing."
Racing results will be posted as soon as possible following each race from today until Friday, and full results will be available on the event website at the address below.