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RS Games 2018 at the WPNSA: RS500 World Championship Day 4

by Jochem Slikboer 25 Aug 2018 15:39 BST 21-25 August 2018
Pim & Lisa heading for the top at the RS500 World Championship ©

The day started with an hour delay due to the expectations of heavy winds. There was also a change to the race committee due to a sudden loss of a relative of the Principal Race Officer Mike Haynes who sadly had to go home.

This wonderful man made an emotional briefing the day before which was straight from the heart, the RS500s were touched and did exactly what the man said: Be positive and passionate about what you do and enjoy it every day!

Mike was successfully followed up by Paul Jackson and after a fast meeting about the limits of the fleet the decision was made to go out and enjoy the fairly forcefully breeze. We sailed in the harbor area and had to wait until the RS200s left the water and the first race was soon started. It was 19 knots and the water was not too wavy to start with which meant the boats were easily away from the line and sped up towards the windward mark. Some boats chose the left of the coarse with the bigger breeze and the other part choose the shallows under the shore for less wavy waters.

After the first boats rounded the windward mark the wind started to build with nice powerful gusts which made some teams shiver with fear whilst others were cheering and enjoying the excellent circumstances. Thanks to the gusts which were surprisingly powerful and every now and then shifting slightly, there were quite some boats tipping over and swimming crews trying to upright their boats.

Eventually the fleet became so stretched that the racing committee decided to Whisky a part of the fleet after the second downwind to even out the waiting after the race. Race 10 was proudly defended by Pim and Lisa van Vught, but the family Cockerill were unstoppable and gained the first place.

Race 11 was started on the very edge of the wind allowances for our fleet but no problems were encountered thanks to everyone taking care of each other. The waves were challenging and the gusts hammered the sails, trying to tip several boats over. The wind succeeded and several teams had to use the wonderful services of the safety teams on the water, we as class thank them for their help!

This race was especially heavy as tiredness came in and took his toll. Also equipment failures came to light causing a mast overboard, a broken kicker and some bruises. The safety teams were there to help out and there were no injuries.

This race could have been the chance for Pim and Lisa to secure the Golden First Prize needing a second place but could only manage fifth so they have to do some hard sailing tomorrow with the last two races of this event to earn it.

Steve and Sarah Cockerill came first and showed that they know the boat very well. Talent and experience are too much to beat for the other crews in this last race.

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