Bundock and Howden nose ahead
An accounting error in the first day’s results followed by a consistent second day has pushed Australian Tornado double Olympic silver medallist Darren Bundock and Will Howden into first place in the 159 boat fleet at the Formula 18 World Championship in Erquy, northern France at the end of the qualification stage.
“We had a good day. Pretty light winds – 5-8 knots and we ended up scoring a 3-3-2 and pretty shifty and tricky conditions so we were pleased to be that consistent. So very happy,” commented Will Howden. “Because it was light and shifty it was hard racing and we were lucky we made a lot of place gains after getting caught on the wrong side of a couple of shifts up the first beat but sailed well from there on.”
After day one the results showed Bundock and Howden with a 1, an OCS and a DNF in their three races, but in fact it was a more satisfying 1-1-OCS. “The OCS put quite a lot of pressure on us for the qualifying series, because we’d lost our discard. But now the qualifying series is over and we go into gold and silver fleets we get another discard, so we are all back on level playing fields,” continued Howden.
Bundock and Howden are sailing their new C2 F18 with other examples being sailed by Steve Brewin and Jack Benson, Brewin fresh from his second place at the A-Class World Championship. Brewin and Benson scored two bullets today but lie 13th overall. Other C2s are being campaigned in Erquy by the boat’s Australian designer/builder Greg Goodall and son Brett, who are seventh overall, Carolijn Brouwer and Wouter Samama who are 17th and Greek Olympic Tornado sailor Iordanis Paschalidis and Konstantinos Trigonis.
According to Howden there is a relatively equal mix among the top boats between C2s, Nacras (as sailed by Hugh Styles and Ferninand van West – now in fifth) and Hobie Wildcats. Five points behind Bundock and Howden, in second place is Mitch Booth and Pim Nieuwenhuis sailing a stock Wildcat while France’s Olivier Backes and Arnaud Jarlegan are in a slightly tweaked version of the new Hobie.
“You race around the race track and despite all the boats looking substantially different, the formula works and some designs have their day, but as a rule of thumb they are very even,” says Howden.
Another day with a postponement ashore followed by a light thermal breeze filling in is expected for day three of the F18 World Championship tomorrow as the giant fleet divides into gold and silver fleets.
Full results here