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Fernhurst - Sept2017 - 728x90

2017 Blind Fleet Racing World Championship - Day 1

by Lucy Hodges on 13 Sep 11-17 September 2017

Sail Sheboygan welcomed 14 teams from 5 countries from around the World with all teams under the control of Principal Race Officer Richard Reichelsdorfer. Great Britain, under the coaching of Steve Irish, got off to a great start.

B1's were first out on to the water with a 10 o'clock warning signal, but the wind was not set for a 10am start. The breeze was light, coming from the north east 2-4 knots. With a long day of racing for all countries the race team tried to get a few races away but was not to be. But the sea breeze filled in at noon from the South East at 4-5 knots.

The line was short making for an interesting battle for the B1's. GBR's Sharon Grennan had a poor start seeing them hit the Australian team, which added to the poor start seeing them do their turns. But with heads out of the boat looking for shifts and keeping the boat moving in the light airs GBR pulled back through the fleet to 3rd. A great example of not giving up.

The breeze continued to fill in, building to 6-8 knots. This saw the B2 and B3's released to start afternoon racing.

B2 are a new crew under the control of Ben Hazeldine. The B2 teams were battling from the 3 minutes but GBR got a good clear start and held their lead up the first beat. With the wind still light the down wind leg took concentration, but GBR B2 kept calm and took a 1st. Due to the forecast the race officer put on another three races, GBR continued to control the fleet taking four first places.

B3 teams sailed four races, with B3a team under the control of Jonny Cormack. They made a good start with all teams giving each other room. The British team made good work of the light breeze seeing them take two wins. The next two races saw a bit more tight racing with the GBR just being on the wrong side of the shifts but getting a 3rd and a 2nd.

B3b team are under the control of Justin Smith, seeing the team take part in their first worlds. It is safe to say they put their practice to work seeing a solid first race taking 2nd. The team continued to work hard with the wind building slowly. Race three saw them clear in the lead but, in a moment's lapse of concentration, they missed the spreader make and had to go back. But a solid first day with a 2,4,3,1.

Full results after day 1 can be found here.

The winds are due to be light on Wednesday, but the hope is for the sea breeze to build again.

Thank you to all sponsors:

  • Barton Marine for radio which will also be used for future events and train
  • Marine Skills Academy for kit along with Gill
  • Optimum Time for great racing watches
  • Aquapac for kit bags
  • Dubarry for shore shoes
  • Adidas for on the water footwear
  • Bottles and Bags, for water bottles
  • Morrison Foerster for funding the trip
The team are set for training on Monday, follow at www.gbrblindsailing.co.uk
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