The World Championships have got underway in the Yngling class, at Lake Lucerne, Brunnen, Switzerland. The lake is surrounded by a picturesque back drop of mountains that make for shifty and tricky sailing conditions for the competitors.
The fleet is split into two separate disciplines - an open fleet and also a separate women's fleet, which has 46 boats entered. The event is significant as the top five finishing nations in the women's fleet will secure places at the 2004 Olympic Games. Those nations who miss out this time will have another chance at the 2003 ISAF Sailing World Championships in Cadiz, Spain, where six more nations will qualify, and the last three places will be decided in 2004. The host nation, Greece, will automatically have an entry in the event. It will then be the decision of each nation as to which crew represents them at the 2004 Olympics.
After a postponement on shore waiting for the wind to show its face, it finally appeared and boats left the shore at 12.30 pm. Two races were sailed in shifty conditions, which saw many race leaders throughout each of the races.
Both races saw different race winners, but the tricky conditions made for a high scoring first day.
RYA team GBR sailors got off to a steady start. Lizzie Edwards, sailing with her sister Caroline and Sarah Allen, had the best day of the Brits, scoring a seventeenth and a 23rd. Olympic Gold Medallist Shirley Robertson, sailing with Inga Leask and Sarah Ayton improved as the day went on, scoring a 25th in the first race of the day and an eighteenth in the second race of the day. Fellow team GBR sailor Nicole Johnson, sailing with Jane Norris and Jo Line, struggled in the light conditions, scoring a 35th and a 27th place.
Racing continues through until Friday, with a lay day on Wednesday, although the feeling is that racing will continue right through as the forecast looks set to go light towards the end of the week and the race committee want to make sure that they fit in the ten race series.