Tricky day on the Bay of Marmara
After the scheduled lay day, Wednesday dawned with another hot and hazy day on the Bay of Marmara at the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship in Istanbul. For the second day the fleet of nearly 350 boats were rigged and sitting in the humid Istanbul summer heat as everyone waited for a sea breeze to blow. Eventually by around 15:00 local time, a faint breeze started to form and classes on all three courses were called out. Most classes managed at least one race in winds of 5-9 knots before the land started to cool and the sea breeze shut down again.
Just one race again today for the 470 girls and the Austrian’s Lara Vadlau and Hannah Hanke, sailing in their first regatta as a team, sailed a tactical race to claim second and maintain their lead over the Swiss pair Linda Fahrni and Maja Siegenthalter.
Lara Vadlau described her day: “We had a good start and stayed on the left side of the course but the pressure came from the right so a number of boats passed us. We rounded the first mark in 10th but managed to overtake two boats downwind and another four upwind. We finished second so I’m happy. I have a new crew, Hannah and this is the first time we have sailed together.”
In the boys 420, the Spanish team of Jordi Xammar and Joan Herp have scored their second consecutive bullet and have not finished lower than fourth. After four races they have nine points and a handsome lead over their Portuguese rivals, Jao Villas Boas and Tomas Camelo, who had to count a 16th in the only race of the day.
Xammar explained: “We started in the front and stayed with the fleet, we had good speed rounding the first mark in the lead. We tried to sail an easy race. There were a few gusts downwind and a number of black flags were waived. So that enabled the first three boats to escape from the fleet.”
The 29ers tried to sail two races today but the breeze shut down meaning they ended up crawling round the inner course and have now completed six races. Gael Jaffrezic and Julien Bloyet (FRA), have discarded their worst result, a fifth and carded top three results to end the day with a seven point lead from Alex Maloney and Sam Bullock who have been knocking on the door of the top ranks all week.
A tired looking Alex and Sam shared their days experience: “We had a pretty average start but rounded the first mark in fourth. We found some good lanes. Some boats went right to the corners but we stayed in breeze, but it was difficult. Keeping the kite filled downwind was hard on the last leg.”
Overnight leader in the boys Laser Radial division, Levent Ahiskali (TUR) had a day to forget, getting black flagged on the start line and will have to wait until the fifth race and the discard to climb back up the scoreboard. In the meantime Aleksander Arian from Poland has taken advantage and sailed a solid race to finish seventh and take the overall lead.
A modest Aleksander explained: “Its my first time in Turkey and the wind was very shifty in direction today, its my worst sailing conditions, in Gydnia we have much stronger winds. Anything in the top 10 is good for me in these weather conditions.”
Keerati Bualong of Thailand is only one point adrift in the silver spot and the top five remain quite close.
Despite the tireless efforts of the Race Committee on the Laser Radial course today, sadly the Laser Radial girls were unable to complete a race, so the overnight results remain the same.
The RS:X fleets had to work hard again in the afternoon sun to pump their way round the course for only one race. In the boys division the leaderboard remains unchanged despite the discard coming in to play. Korean Wonwoo Cho came second to hold a four point lead over Spaniard Mateo Sanz.
In the girls RS:X, Ofir Halevy (ISR) had her worst result of the regatta so far but as five races have been sailed she discarded her sixth today. This still leaves her in a comfortable position with two more race days to go. Charalambia Antonatou of Greece remains in second spot but the top five are all close on points.
The SL16 Sirena cats managed two more races and the top two crews have reversed places when the discard came into play. Now the Danish pair Daniel Bjornholt and Nicolaj Bjornholt have taken the lead from the Australians Chase Lurati and Paul Darmanin.
Worthy of mention are the sailors from Bahrain, Al Naar Faisal and Daoud Abdulla, sailing in the SL16 for the first time they were at the back of the fleet for the first two races but suddenly found some magic finishing third in two consecutive races and were thoroughly applauded by their fellow sailors for their achievement. A seventh today proves they are learning fast and could be a force to be reckoned with in the future.
Racing resumes on Thursday and the general forecast is not predicting much more wind but there may be some more cloud cover later in the day.
Full results here