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Craftinsure 2012

International Canoe World Championship at San Francisco - Days 1, 2 & 3

by Steve Clarke 10 Sep 2014 21:13 BST 5-15 September 2014

Day 1 (race 1)

The start of the day greeted the IC fleet with pretty much a dead calm. Was it going to be a gentle breeze - no chance! The 30 boat fleet all left the dock in good time. Launching is interesting at Richmond in that boats have or be slid off back first off the trolley into the water from a pontoon and the seat is then used as a bridge across to the boat. With this taking some time, most felt it necessary to launch well over an hour before race time to get down the start. Wasn't necessary, the wind in the bay outside the breakwater was already building to over 10 knots and increased by the minute. By 1200hrs the wind was just right at around 12-14 knots but was building further as the thermal winds developed. By 1230 at start time it was lively. The fleet got off to a good start and the lead was established by Chris Mass who later capsized by the windward mark and got his halyard wrapped around its anchor - not a great start for the world champion who was forced to retire. With many capsizes positions changed rapidly but at the end the best of the British a fleet were Alistair Warren in 3rd and Robin Wood in 7th followed by Phil Robin and Mark Goodchild in his Nethercott, Colin Brown and then Simon Allen also in a Nethercott.

Rob Bell has now been nicknamed the Monkey murderer after tea boning Chris Hampe on the start line who attempted a daring port tack manoeuvre which went badly wrong. Rob claimed he never saw him and managed to complete the race, Chris managed to limp home with a large modification to his starboard side. The others retired suffering from excess water immersion.

Day 2 (race 2)

Windiest so far with 20 knots maximum on the scale.

A day of mixed fortunes in challenging conditions. First home for the UK was Phil Robin in third place demonstrating that staying upright is fast. Alistair Warren dropped to sixth after a spill, closely followed by Chris Hampe in 7th putting a smile back on the newly repaired Monkey. Mark Goodchild was first home, the Nethercotts in 10th with Simon Allen in 13th. Rob Bell came in 14th after capsizing twice whilst attempting the final triangle.

The "bone yard" was called in to service today, an area downwind of the course for mooring of abandoned boats. Visitors included our own Steve Clarke who retired after multiple capsizes and gear problems along with Ola Barthelson when the rig on Kaito failed.

The scene in the dinghy park for the afternoon and in to the evening resembled a busy repair shop as the fleet prepared to do battle again tomorrow. With two races scheduled this could well be a turning point for the championship.

Day 3 (races 3 & 4)

First race saw the lightest wind so far, the different conditions showed in some different front runners with Colin Brown leading at the first mark. Unfortunately having rigged smaller sails for the day Colin could not hold onto his lead and as the wind steadily built to about 10 knots the race was won by Robin wood followed by the youthful David Clark and Del Olsen.

Race 4 started at the second attempt with the race officer breaking out the around the ends flag to keep the fleet under control. The majority of the fleet hit the port lay line up the first beat and as the wind increased the windward mark rounding became the first passing opportunity with several boats on their sides.Chris Mass won a closely fought race from Mikey Radziejowski. Robin Wood capsized on his final tack but hung on to third ahead of Alistair Warren. Meanwhile at the back of the fleet team Canada continued to make the big entrances this time the boat arrived at the dock on top of one of Richmond Yacht Clubs finest ribs.

For more information and race results, go to www.richmondyc.org or www.regattanetwork.com/event/8306#_home. For more information on the International Canoe Class, go to www.intcanoe.org.

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