Sunday was pretty much as the forecast predicted. With 16-20 knots SW, fairly large waves and a decent amount of tide.
After a short delay (for an unknown reason) the fleet launched and headed out to the start line. Once at the race course it was immediately apparent that this was going to be a very attritional day! 15 boat-lengths a minute of tide with the wind, along with 1.5m breaking waves were going to make things very hard, especially for the lighter sailors.
As was to be expected, knowing where the line was using a transit was going to be critical. In the first start only one sailor (Miel Versraete) fully achieved this with the majority of the fleet crossing fifteen seconds or more late!
This beat then turned into a feat of endurance, beating against the tide. It took the leaders 31 minutes to reach mark 1! Arran rounded 3rd and Milo 4th. By the finish Milo had overtaken Arran, who had slipped to 5th.
The second flight was much the same at the start. But the first beat was very different. a 20 degree right shift meant that anyone who had gone to the left off the line to avoid the tide suffered hugely as they had to come back across on port on a header making little or no progress towards the mark!
Jamie Calder, through a combination of spotting this shift, good technique, and an exceptional work-rate led at the windward mark by some 4minutes 50 seconds, and easily managed to hold this to the finish. Second around the windward was Max Clapp, followed by Gwendel from Germany. Despite getting caught out by the shift their work-rate had allowed them to lead the rest of the fleet. These two swapped positions but both posted another good result.
Martin misjudged the tide at the start but recovered well throughout the race to pull himself up to 6th.
After the finish of the race the RC wisely decided to send the fleet back to the shore. The prospect of the waves significantly increasing in size as the tide began to turn would have been seriously tough for the majority of the fleet!
All in all, a day were tough work really did pay off... NO PAIN, NO GAIN!
Oh and a sailor (not the same one as the tally) forgot to bring a watch on the water! Coach had a spare though so no real problems.... lucky boy!
An update to add to Ravi's notes, from Robbie Burns, who is still out there with the Flanders team.
"an up and down day for all the sailors. They all sailed well, but some struggled with judging the layl-ines in the strong tide. Strategy was difficult with the wind gently shifting right all day, followed by a massive right shift in the third race, as per the forecast. Both the fact that the tide suggested a strategy of going left, and that you could only lee-bow the tide on port in a left shift made for some very tough decisions and numerous catch 22 situations."
Racing continues into Tuesday and Wednesday with similar light to moderate conditions forecast.