Holt / Smit narrowly lead 505 Worlds

Published on March 29th, 2015

Port Elizabeth, South Africa (March 29, 2015) – A wonderful day for Port Elizabeth with the second day’s sailing of the 60th SAP 5O5 World Championships as well as thousands of Ironman Triathletes pounding the streets of Port Elizabeth and swimming in the bay from early this morning. A true testament to the ability of this industrial cities ability to host world class sporting events.

Only one 11-leg race was sailed today on a traditional Olympic course of windward leeward legs combined with a fast soldiers reach.

Sailed in a 150 degree southeast rising from 7 to 12 knot, and settling in at 10 knots for the final two legs, the course had sailors guessing which side would pay as the steady 150 degree wind direction shifted to 125 degrees and back in the rising wind.

The first few days have taken their toll on sailors with a couple of changes due to injuries: Jonatham Ham has been sailing with a broken hand and his crew Patrick McGail tore a muscle in his shoulder during racing yesterday. McGail has been replaced by Michaela Robinson (14) whilst her brother Ryan Robinson (18) has taken the place of Ferdinand Holm who fell against his shroud during Thursday’s racing and broke a rib. Micaela and Ryan are brother sister from Carletonville, South Africa who, in January 2015, defended their Mirror World Champions title sailed in Theewaters, South Africa.

There are now four sibling Robinsons sailing in the Worlds fleet with older brothers Ricky and Brennan sailing to the top of the South African leaderboard.

The German all women team of Nicola Birkner and Angela Stenger were very impressed with their overall 16th placing after yesterday’s two races and hyper confident going out to a light race today. Proving that confidence is part of performing well, Birkner and Stenger sailed an impressive first leg and held 4th place for quite a while until the wind speed started rising.

First to start on the stern of the pathfinder and first around the top mark were Australians Michael Quirk and Luke Payne and that was how it stayed all through the race.

Watching the race on the SAP Analytics makes the sailing a lot easier to understand for sailors and non-sailors alike. Overheard in the Sailors Lounge today was this question; “What are those 90 degree green lines sticking out from each mark?” They define the lay-lines which effectively are the boundaries of the course – so if you sail outside of the boundaries you will have to sail further than anyone else.

As Ricky Robinson pointed out yesterday – sailing is a combination of optimum boat speed and sailing the shortest distance. South African brothers Ricky and Brennan Robinson are dominating the local fleet and for most of the 3rd race were ahead of reigning champion, Mike Holt – only to be overtaken on the last downwind mark. One that downwind leg, Holt and Smit had an average boat speed of 9.42 knots as opposed to the Robinsons who averaged 8.67 knots.

At the finish Quirk and Payne were 63 metres ahead of second placed Ted Conrads and Brian Haines from the USA. With Mike Holt and Carl Smit finishing in 5th place to be the pathfinding boat for tomorrow’s first race, the race is now on with only one point separating overall leaders Holt and Smit from Quirk and Payne.

Nine races are scheduled. Racing concludes on April 3.

Day Two Standings (Top 3 of 36; 3 races)
1. Mike Holt and Carl Smit – USA: 7 ponts
2. Michael Quirk and Luke Payne – AUS: 8 points
3. Sandy Higgens and Paul Marsh – AUS: 12 points

Event websiteFull resultsSAP Analytics

Report by Alan W. Straton

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