Patience Rewarded at 29er Worlds
Published on July 26th, 2016
Medemblik, Netherlands (July 26, 2016) – After a long second day of waiting and racing at the 29er Worlds 2016, the Australians Tom Crockett and Harry Morton took over the lead. They are two points ahead of the Slovenians Rok Verderber and Klemen Semelbauer, who hold on to their second place overall. The best score in the very light and variable conditions came from the all female team Annabelle Davies and Hayley Clark from Australia. They are now leading the girls.
Today commenced quietly with about 0 knots of wind speed on the Ijsselmeer. All 228 teams representing 29 countries had to keep their nerves and concentration until the AP flag was lowered at 13:30 hours, when the northeastern breeze was stable enough to start racing. After that first race in 4-6 knots the wind dropped again and then shifted to the northwest and picked up a little bit.
Dutchmen Cas van Dongen and Robin Becker knew how to play these challenging circumstances and jumped from the 21st to the fourth position overall with a 6-1-2. Becker: ‘The conditions suited us well, because we are a light team. The breeze was shifty and gusty, so we had our eyes out of the boat. We kept our concentration up by doing some activities on the water. We were playing games with the coach. You have to keep laughing. We were spiced up and I think that was one of our strong points for the final two races of the day.”
Although Tom Crockett and Harry Morton, who have been sailing together for only two months, prefer stronger conditions, as predicted for tomorrow, they did well in today’s light circumstances. They finished second, third and first.
“We didn’t have the best start in race three, but half way up the beat we extended out a bit and led to finish,” said Morton, who won the 2014 Worlds in the 29er with helmsman Kurt Hansen. The Aussies were battling with the Argentinean team of Santiago Duncan Loinaz and Elias Dalli, who scored two bullets and a ninth place today. Morton continues: “In the first race we had a good start and were leading at the top mark, but the Argentineans sailed more consistently and got us in the end. In today’s second race we were a bit up and down, because of the shifts.”
Gwendal Nael and Lillian Mercier from France climbed on the leader board as well. Finishing first, eighth and again first lifted them from the fourth till the third position overall, on equal points with the Slovenians Verderber and Semelbauer. “The first and last race went really well, but the second one was very difficult. We had a bad start and finished eighth, which is our discard.”
But the most impressive comeback comes from the Aussie girls Annabelle Davies and Hayley Clark, who scored two bullets and a second, the best score of the day. Coming from place 77 yesterday, they are now eighteenth overall an first all female team.
According to the weather forecast, the wind will be back tomorrow. The southwestern breeze will build from about 12 to 16 knots, gusting to 25 knots. That provides the fleet with very different conditions and challenges.
Racing is scheduled for July 25-30.
Sailors are just launching now – but check out photos from the morning postponement….
Source: Diana Bogaards, 29er Worlds