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Ocean Elements 2018

SB20 World Championships 2019 at Hyères - Day 1

by SB20 Class 21 Oct 2019 16:26 BST 20-25 October 2019

Race 1 of Day 1 of the SB20 Worlds Championships opened with a grey day and raining, something the locals refuse to call normal at this time of the year. The unstable wind added disappointment to the fleet, when the Race Officer Natalie Peberel announced at skippers briefing the maximum of four races today.

When the fleet arrived to the starting line by 11:00 the 30 degrees shifts didn't allow to call racing and it took about 40 minutes for the RC to call Race 1. It has started at slow pace with light wind of 5-6 knots from the South.

The starting line for the 65 strong fleet was set with two pin ends and making it hard to all of the boats to fit into the favoured side. After the pre-start right shift most of the boats chose the right hand-side and those who went left were in a less favourable position.

The first boats on that side were Robin Follin on Give me Five, rounding first and leading all the race. Followed by a group of boats sailing quite closely - Russians B-Team of Alexey Lesnikov and Actitime of Arsen Chubarkov followed by Project X of Nils Razmilovic from Singapore and on the second rounding by Ian Ainslie sailing under ITA3099.

Left side was not a good idea, boats who went there tried to go back right, but did't work out for many. On second rounding gybing early after rounding was good and allowed some boats to catch up, but then on the downwind were stuck in too many boats. Really difficult!

Race 1 of Day 1 of the SB20 Worlds Championships opened with a grey day and raining, something the locals refuse to call normal at this time of the year. The unstable wind added disappointment to the fleet, when the Race Officer Natalie Peberel announced at skippers briefing the maximum of four races today.

When the fleet arrived to the starting line by 11:00 the 30 degrees shifts didn't allow to call racing and it took about 40 minutes for the RC to call Race 1. It has started at slow pace with light wind of 5-6 knots from the South.

The starting line for the 65 strong fleet was set with two pin ends and making it hard to all of the boats to fit into the favoured side. After the pre-start right shift most of the boats chose the right hand-side and those who went left were in a less favourable position.

The first boats on that side were Robin Follin on Give me Five, rounding first and leading all the race. Followed by a group of boats sailing quite closely - Russians B-Team of Alexey Lesnikov and Actitime of Arsen Chubarkov followed by Project X of Nils Razmilovic from Singapore and on the second rounding by Ian Ainslie sailing under ITA3099.

Left side was not a good idea, boats who went there tried to go back right, but did'nt work out for many. On second rounding gybing early after rounding was good and allowed soem boats to catch up, but then on the downwind were stuck in too many boats. Really difficult!

"We started with the right pin and with full speed went with no worries. It was a long starboard and good speed, and we just had to control the fleet. We will try to follow in this way!' - shared Robin about the only race today.

"It was a one-side race from the start. If you managed to start good, the whole race was decided on the first upwind," - said Artem Basalkin, tactician on B-team.

After a bit of waiting the RC called Race 2, that started wit ha general recall. On the first upwind almost at the rounding of the first boats November flag was displayed, sending the boats back to the starting line. The wind has stopped completely, and after boats got back to the start the AP over H was displayed which meant the RC was sill hoping for racing today.

However the hopes did not fulfil and after about an hour of waiting ashore the AP over A was displayed meaning no more racing for the day was planned.

Overall for the opening day the strong lead is from Russian and Australian teams, Portuguese boats Dom Pedro & Animal/SailCascais chose the left side and despite that Vasco Serpa managed to finish 15th.

All-female Youth team from Australia - Essence of Athena had a good start and were within top 15 boats on the first rounding. Overall in Top 10 we see a strong Russian and Australian domination with the only UK boat being Breaking Bod of Charles Whelan.

For the coming days we are expecting a storm coming with winds up to 40 knots on Wednesday, so Tuesday's racing is likely to be pushed earlier in the day to try and catch some racing in the morning.

Meanwhile teams enjoy after-sail beers and a chat about the tactics today. More news tomorrow! Overall it was very close sailing today, boats are separated point by point.

Full results after day 1 can be found here.

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