We were more lucky than good today. We finished 6th and moved into third place. The scores are very tight except for Grael who has a big lead.
Today we had Meltemi wind, (wind off the land), about 22 knots at the start and as light as 14 knots at times during the race. The wind was shifting through about 25 degrees. We had a good start and good speed but never got in phase with the shifts. We trouped around in 12th most of the day and got a nice shift, more by luck than skill, on the last run to pass four boats.
It is very testing out there. To be out of phase…going the wrong way…and not be able to get back into phase is very frustrating and costs you a lot of distance as the shifts are big. It requires a lot of patience…more patience than I have at times…to just hang in there and try to make something of your position. This is the ultimate testing ground of patience.
Ross MacDonnald got hit by Peter Bromby before the start and it tore out Ross’s jib tracks and did some other damage. He sailed the course with just a mainsail and was awarded redress after the race. They averaged his points so far(26 for 5 races) and that gave him 5.2 points for today’s race, so that will keep him in second place.
The race was won by Freddy Loof, the current World Champion and probably the favorite going into the regatta. Freddy has had a very tough time this week and is still in 12th overall after winning today’s race. The French sailed the best of everyone moving from 12th at the first mark to 2nd at the finish. Rohart (FRA) was the 2003 World Champion. Third was Ian Percy (GBR), fourth Neeleman (NED), 5th Grael (BRA), 6th USA, 7th Holm (DEN), 8th Bermudez (ESP).
The big event was the Swiss fouling the Brits at the top of the 2nd windward leg and going from 3rd to 10th after doing their 720. They were very unlucky. As the Swiss approached the windward mark on the starboard layline, they got hit with a 20 degree header. They tried to shoot the mark, lost speed and ended up on port tack in front of Percy, who shouted “protest” loud enough for Marazzi’s mom to hear back in Bern. That took the edge off a potentially spectacular races for the Swiss.