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Sail Sydney buzz moves to a new level

by David Sygall 16 Dec 2017 06:47 GMT 11-14 December 2017
2017 Sail Sydney © Robin Evans

Woollahra Sailing Club will be a hive of activity today as scores of competitors prepare to head out on to Sydney Harbour for the second day of the Invited Classes section of Sail Sydney.

Hundreds of sailors of all ages will make use of expected fine conditions and, hopefully, winds to match, after the Olympic Classes part of the event ended on Thursday.

"We started racing today in some nice breeze, but then the breeze abated," Principal Race Officer, Kevin Wilson said of Friday's opening.

"So, on the 29er and Nacra 15 course they got the required three races in before the wind dropped.

"Out on the Charlie course, with the 4.7s and the Pacers, they were a little further to the west on the harbour and the breeze abated there a lot earlier and they were only able to get two races in. The second race had to be shortened because of the abating breeze."

Asked about the forecast for Saturday, Wilson said: "I normally don't look too far forward with the forecast, but it's suggesting some up pressure and down pressure tomorrow. It'll be a very interesting day. The models are all a little variable, from north-east to south, so we'll come down to the club and look at what we can get in the morning. Most racing is scheduled for a midday start, but I'm just considering whether I need to bring the 4.7s a little earlier to ensure we can get four races in for them.

"The good thing about the youth classes is that they're all out there learning and having fun. Some are competing against their mates, but they all seem to be enjoying themselves very much."

Among those enjoying the water and the competition are 29er Youth World Championship hopefuls John Cooley and Flynn Twomey.

"We started off winning the first race, then we got a second and I think we got a top seven in that last one," Cooley said. "In some of those tricky conditions, we're happy."

Ryan Littlechild, the leader in the Laser 4.7, recently switched from the 420.

"A lot of the techniques are very different, so it's hard to get used to," he said.

"I just try to come into everyday like it's my first and make sure I don't get distracted."

Nacra 15 sailors Jake Liddell and Emma Jones are hoping for smooth sailing today.

"It was really fun," Jones said. "But it was a bit tricky at the start on our way out because there were a few waves that we're not really used to. Then the wind died out and it wasn't a problem."

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