It was another day of light winds and tricky conditions here at Napier for Day Three of the Worlds. The race committee kept the fleet ashore during the morning, waiting for the feeble south easterly to be replaced by the expected sea breeze in the afternoon. This duly arrived shortly after noon, and AP came down to send the fleet out to the race area shortly after the scheduled 1pm start time. The cloud cleared and the easterly sea breeze filled in. We finally got into a start sequence just before 2pm, but the fleet were over-eager and the usual general recall followed. This time, even a U flag wasn’t enough to keep everyone in control and the restart also led to a general recall. A half-hour postponement followed, waiting for either the breeze or the fleet to settle down, and finally we got away, under another U flag, with the whole fleet clear.
For the last two days, the right hand side has seemed to be the place to be. Today it seemed to be the left, or perhaps wherever on the course we weren’t. There were plenty of little wind shifts to pick up, and patches of lighter pressure. We think we passed about 50 boats today, but unfortunately they weren’t 50 different boats but the same ten boats five times. Even after a week many of us are still learning just how far past the normal lay line we have to go to be able to get to the top mark in a fleet this big, without having to put in another little hitch to windward, and then another…
Unfortunately, from where we were we didn’t get to see much of what happened among the leading boats, but there was good racing between the Kiwi boats towards the back of the fleet. It was great to see Jenny Price and Alison Howitt jump ahead to take a satisfying 34th place, even if it does mean there will be some ribbing of her esteemed parent ten places behind.
At the front it was a British one-two: Steve Goacher and Tim Harper had another win, followed by Charles Apthorp and Alan Green. Local pair Hayden Percy and Scott Pedersen had another top-five place in Fflorin to give them fifth place overall and a clear lead in the Silver fleet, while Craig Coulam and Adrienne Rekke were just three places behind. Another fine performance from Konrad Weaver and Simon Radford, sailing another Silver boat Femme Fatale, saw them continue to finish in the top 20 in every race.
Results after four races are available here. Tomorrow looks like being another light day with afternoon sea breezes, but the drop we will get after one more race will shake up the results table.