Largs delivered the Laser Radial World Championships competitors a testing measure of its notoriously difficult offshore, easterly breeze for the second day of competition on the Clyde estuary.
With the breezes gusting and swirling off the heather clad hills and down the glens at the back of the town of Largs the sudden changes in direction, and the pressure rising and falling on different sides of the race course, the challenge was especially difficult to stay consistent across the two races which both the Women and the Men's fleets sailed on day two.
Even those who had a good day came ashore admitting how hard they had found it to read the breeze, to predict what was going to happen next, whilst there were several top seeded sailors who suffered a rollercoaster day - one good result and one bad one; even the odd horror show.
In the Women's Olympic class France's Sarah Steyaert
, who won the Laser Radial world title in Auckland in 2008, upped her challenge here when she won her first race of the day and then backed up her first win of the series with a third, to lift her to second overall.
Vital to the first race was being in a position to reap just the right amount of benefit from the right side of the course when the wind shifted right. At the top of the leg it had changed so much that some of those who had invested most heavily came reaching in to the windward turn. The second women's contest saw the wind fade back slightly from the puffy 5-10 knots with bigger holes in the breeze to be avoided at all costs.
But the only sailor to manage to keep it solid, posting scores all in the top ten so far is Marit Bouwmeester
(NED). Her fifth and seventh ensures she retains her overall lead, but also discards a seventh in her armoury for the future. The ISAF World Cup Standings leader leads the top five which otherwise comprises four or past or reigning world champions.
(FIN) the current world champion was just one of the many who had an up and down day in the easterly. First race for her she won ahead of Scot Charlotte Dobson
who came back strongly in the lighter breezes after a moderate opening yesterday, but Multala discards the 49th from her second race which she later described as 'pretty terrible'.
Multala's compatriot Tuula Tenkanen
won the yellow fleet's second race as did Poland's Ewa Makowska
in the blue fleet.
Olympic gold medallist Anna Tunnicliffe
(USA) admitted later she just had not got her head round the conditions today, her 37th and discarded 50th sliding her down into the mid twenties overall.
Poland leads men's fleet
In the Men's fleet Poland's Marcin Rudawski, the reigning world champion, was on impressive form, later citing his speed as the key factor contributing most to his pair of wins to lead the Men's championship overall ahead of his compatriot Wojciech Zemke who sailed to a second and a first. This duo have the same points aggregate, three pts, and emerge eight points clear of Korea's Insub Kim.
Sarah Steyert (FRA): " I made a very, very good start and then just was good on the shifts. And I had very good speed on the downwinds all day. That is mainly why I won. On the second downwind I passed first. On the second race it was very difficult with the wind shifts. But for me it was better because it was lighter than on the other days I have been here. I seemed to have a real good nose for the shifts today, with good feelings for the breeze.
I have not sailed for the past few months because I have been studying, so I am not so sure why I was quick downwind. I have not raced since Miami where I got a 22nd.
The wind is good and the waves good here, but it is a little wet and a little bit cold."