Classic Conditions Return for 29er Worlds
Published on August 3rd, 2017
Long Beach, CA (August 3, 2017) – Despite a half-hour postponement before the boats launched this morning, the wind kicked in on this first day of Final Series races and the competitors dug in to set the tone for world-class sailing at Zhik 29er World Championship Regatta.
Although international competitors continued to dominate the top 10, thanks to the return of typical Long Beach wind and consistently good races, the US team of Alie Toppa and Jacob Rosenberg leap into a three-way tie for third place with 8/7/1 finishes for the day.
Last week, the team placed second at the US National Championship. “No more funky conditions,” Toppa said thankfully. Rosenberg, 19, who started sailing at host venue Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, said thanks to normal Long Beach conditions, racing today was just simpler. “We could just concentrate on speed, and where to tack and jibe,” said the Stanford student.
With the Qualifying Series order carrying over as the first race position (but not discardable), the fleet completed three more races today. Finishing with a 3-2-4, Benji Daniel/Alex Burger (RSA) are sticking with their winning game plan and letting it be known that they did not come from half way around the world not to give it their best. Benjamin Jaffrezic and Leo Chauvel (FRA) moved up four places to move into second place.
Duncan Loiaz/Elias Dalli (ARG), winners of the Qualifying Series, lost their grip on first place and slipped to sixth position.
Vying for the top female team, Annabelle Davies/Madison Woodward (AUS) dropped a few places to 18th while the team of Tania Bonilla/Nuria Miro (ESP) remain close in 21st place.
The Finals Series continues August 4 and 5. One hundred and twenty nine teams from 17 nations have participated in the six-day World Championship event hosted by Alamitos Bay Yacht Club.
It’s all about the start
Race PRO Mark Townsend reported that the building wind brought in an afternoon shift change which saw racers who had excelled in lighter air fall back, and those more experienced with breezier conditions move to the front of the line. Race one started with a casual 7-9 knots, building to 12-14 knots for the second, and 16 knots for the third with gusts to 20.
According to Torontonian William Bonin, who sails with his brother Sam (CAN), dealing with the choppy water has been a challenge. The great number of boats and ocean conditions have created more chop, than they are used to. To compensate, they’ve been working on sailing the bow down lower than usual. Toronto Harbor can be windy, but they rarely get any waves. “It’s challenging, not have sailed in these types of conditions,” Bonin said. “But experience also makes a big difference; having a lot of regattas under your belt.”
That experience helped them into the Gold Fleet. Despite the chop, their emphasis is on start. “It’s so hard to come back if you’re rolled off the line. Boats in front have better wind,” he said.
Racing in this 17th annual championship event has been scheduled from July 31 to August 5.
Source: 29er Worlds