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Mumm 36 Worlds Day One

by Sue Warden-Owen 20 Jun 1999 01:00 BST

Mumm 36 World Championships, 19 - 24 June

Day One Saturday 19th June 1999

Britain's Barlo Plastics lies second behind the Italian 'Moby Lines' after two close races on the opening day of the Mumm 36 World Championships. After a long delay waiting for the wind, the regatta finally got underway in perfect conditions with winds between six and ten knots complimented by unbroken sunshine.

In the opening race, 'Breeze' steered by Terry Hutchinson took an early lead that she extended over the first thee legs, taking a commanding lead going down the final run. With the wind swinging to the right, 'Moby Lines', second at the start of the run, gybed away early, taking marginally better pressure and the benefit of the shift to finally overhaul 'Breeze' just metres from the finish, to win the race by just a quarter of a boat length.

For Adrian Stead and his team aboard Barlo Plastics things were altogether more testing. Coming out of the start, the Swedish 'Rosco' was just far enough forward under her lee bow to cause a problem and with a group of boat above her Barlo Plastics could only manage seventh in the ten boat fleet at the windward mark.

Careful positioning on the run saw one place gained, but the pivotal move of the race came at the end of the leg marked by a leeward gate. According to Helmsman, Tim Powell "the rest of the fleet all chose to go round the wrong mark. We chose to round to port and when we came round we were in a big lift so we weren't going to tack off. Stuart Childerley, Navigator, and Adrian Stead, Tactician, could see more pressure on the right so we just carried on." It was a sound decision and as the time approached to tack for the mark, the wind shifted back to the right, allowing Barlo Plastics to gain three places on the final leg to finish third.

Behind the battle was if anything even closer and had it been a cycling race, the next four boats would all have been awarded the same time as they all crossed the line overlapped and seemingly inseparable.

In the second race, Germany's 'Thomas I Punkt' won the pin end at the start and went hard left along with Barlo Plastics, this time making a better start. Though 'New Yorker' initially joined the British and German boats on the right she was eventually forced to tack away, leaving Stead clear to pick a lane to get back into the middle. With the entire fleet bar 'Thomas I Punkt' playing the shifts up the middle it was inevitable that the fleet would be close at the windward mark.

Barlo Plastics coming in from the left on port tack suffered most, having to dive behind the line of approaching starboard tackers to eventually round the windward mark fifth. It could have been worse and Jorg Diesch aboard 'Elbe III', just behind Barlo Plastics on the approach to the mark, found himself stopped head to wind for several seconds and flat last going down the run.

Taking her opportunity to gybe away early on the run, Barlo Plastics was blessed by better pressure and critically, a big shift to the right. Powell sensed he had an advantage. "We had more pressure and a clear lane so we were able to soak down over the other boats." By the leeward mark, Barlo Plastics had worked her way up to third, close behind 'Thomas I Punkt' and 'Breeze'. Working the pressure out to the right on the beat allowed Barlo Plastics to work her way through to finish second behind 'Thomas I Punkt'. 'Breeze' pushing out to the left dropped back, eventually finishing fourth behind 'Moby Lines'.

With just four points separating the top four boats, Barlo Plastics Helmsman, Tim Powell was pleased with his day's work. "I think we have found some more speed since our last training session, thanks mainly to a recut mainsail. With every race to count it is important to be consistent and we have done that."

Off the water, in a further revision to the schedule, the race committee has bowed to representations from competitors to conclude the regatta as originally scheduled on Thursday 24th June. The racing programme is now as follows:-

19th and 20th June 2x inshore windward leeward races each day
21st June 80 mile coastal race
22nd and 23rd June 2x inshore windward leeward races each day
24th June 1x inshore windward leeward race

Results Day One

 1 Moby Lines      E Cheffi       1,3  4pts
 2 Barlo Plastics  A Stead        3,2  5pts
 3 Breeze 1        T Hutchinson   2,4  6pts
 4 Thomas I Punkt  K Jablinski    6,1  7pts
 5 New Yorker      C Larson       5,6 11pts
 6 Mean Machine    B Beeking      7,5 12pts
 6 Pro Sail 3      A Willim       4,8 12pts
 8 Resco           W Sunesson     9,7 16pts
 9 Elbe III        J Diesch      8,10 18pts 
10 The Next        H Bloemers    10,9 19pts

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