The Red Bull Tide Ride is a combination of traditional race format followed by elimination style racing over short windward/leeward courses, which makes for exciting racing and an ideal opportunity for spectators to view a display of the most exciting high performance racing ever seen in British waters.
Light winds were the order of the day for the five races sailed in Hayling Bay with staying the right side of the start line proving difficult for some top names. Paul Brotherton and Mark Asquith (GBR) took the first race in the strong international fleet from Quentin and Lonel Blondiau (BEL) with Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes (GBR) in third.
Marcin Oajkowski and Krysztof Kierkowski of Poland recovered from an OCS in the first race to take the second race ahead of Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks (GBR) with Brotherton and Asquith finishing fifth.
Race 3 saw Brotherton and Asquith back at the front with the Polish pair taking second and Morrison and Rhodes adding another third place finish. Draper and Hiscocks were among those caught OCS.
Race four and Oajkowski and Kierkowski added their second win with Brotherton and Asquith dropping to sixth as the French team of Edric D'Hoodge and Cedric Chateau took second and the Blondiaus were third. This put Brotherton and Asquith in the overall lead ahead of Morrison and Rhodes with just one race left.
In the final race it was the top German pair of Marcus Baur and Max Groy who took the the gun ahead of the Dutch team of Pieter Lantenmens and Pim Nienwenhuis. Oajkowski and Kierkowski finished in a safe fourth place to be able to discard their OCS and comfortably beat Brotherton and Asquith, who had their worst race of the day, a twelfth place. Draper and Hiscocks took third.
The young Polish pair were very happy with their win on their second visit to Britain this year and although they claimed to be fast in all conditions, admitted that the light winds had been to their liking. They have never raced in a Tide Ride style event and are looking forward to the close contact style racing starting Saturday.
The second weekend for the 49er Gold Series takes place at the Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy with three days of quality, regular format, 49er racing to decide the event winners. Meanwhile the many international teams from the 49er fleet will join with the B14, RS 800 and International 14 fleets in the fleet round robin races Saturday, the first day of the Red Bull Tide Ride event. The final elimination stages of the event will take place on Sunday. Racing starts at 1030hrs on each day.
See page two for full results