Weather challenges for 29er Worlds opener
Published on July 31st, 2017
Long Beach, CA (July 31, 2017) – Day one of the 29er World Championship, hosted by Alamitos Yacht Club, started a bit like A Tale of Two Cities. Although just a mile apart, the Bravo Course, closer to Seal Beach Pier, saw shifty and variable winds resulting in starting line drama; while the Alpha Course to the north enjoyed steady, building breeze; and most starts went off without a hitch.
One hundred thirty-one teams representing 17 countries were split into two groups, and each completed three races. Racing on the Bravo Course was initially postponed due to oscillating, light winds that made it challenging even for the skilled Race Committee to establish the line and marks. With fickle winds, OCS were rampant, leading to black flags.
By the final race of the day, 20 teams had disqualifications due to premature starts. “The fleet was pushing really hard, we were anxious to get racing,” explained Wells Drayton, racing with Lucas Pierce of Santa Barbara.
“What struck me was that the two courses were like two different worlds,” said ABYC’s Commodore Chuck Clay. “The two courses were only a mile apart, but the sailors experienced such different conditions, wind and racing. The kids did really great; my hat’s off to these athletes.”
Two more days of Qualifying will be held August 1 and 2; followed by three days of Finals, to be held Thursday, August 3 through Saturday, August 5. The Final Series will consist of 10 races. Trophies will be awarded to the top team overall, the top youth team, and the top girls team. U.S. entrants are hoping for a hometown advantage that will enable them to best third place, the highest position a U.S. team has ever achieved in this world championship event.
Racing in this 17th annual championship event is scheduled from July 31 to August 5.
Source: 29er Worlds