With freshly split fleets, the Volvo Laser SB3 World Championship fleet took to the water at lunchtime for races 4, 5 and 6 of the Championship. The wind arrived from the south, as per schedule.
The fleet racing on Course Alpha split course sides on the first beat of the day. Those who picked the right hand side benefitted, Nick Phillip’s Chaotic (GBR) rounded the windward mark first and set off to dice with the windsurfers at the leeward gate. Carsten Kemmling (GER) sailing Else showed great pace today. As the fleet roared downwind for the 2nd time creating a wall of spray as the wind built, their faces said it all. With grins from ear to ear, these were perfect conditions for Laser SB3 sailing! Nick Philips capitalised on his great early lead to win the first race.
Course Bravo enjoyed stronger wind from the start of the day, and by the beginning of the second race, the wind had built to a consistent 18 knots. As soon as the fleet crossed the line, the race was on to hit the cliffs and start short tacking up the shoreline. As the fleet rounded the windward mark for the first time, there was much less separation of the fleet, than seen on Course Alpha.
Ian Ainslie (RSA) onboard Team Proximo sailed a perfect second race today. Ainslie started at the Committee Boat end of the line and quickly picked his way to the front of the fleet, where he stayed for the rest of the race. By the end of the second downwind leg of the race, Ainslie had extended his lead to a full leg; as he rounded the final leeward mark of the course and dropped his kite, the final boat was rounding the spreader mark at the top of the course. Impressive sailing after a difficult day yesterday, Team Proximo are back in contention for the Championships.
Course Alpha struggled with their starts today, due to the consistently shifting wind. Roberta Righetti finally raised a black flag on the final race of the day, following the fifth general recall in 2 races. “It was extremely difficult for the fleet with the shifting wind, with 1 minute and then 30 seconds to go before the start they were well behind the line and with just moments to go they were all taken over with a wind shift. That is why I continued to start the race with flag papa.
By the time the final race on Course Alpha was started the fleet from Course Bravo were already ashore enjoying some of the fantastic Torbole hospitality. Italian LaserPerformance dealer, Peitro Negri (ITA) and his crew onboard Stenghele won the final race of the day, the first win of the Championship for the host nation!
With the qualifying races of the Volvo Laser SB3 World Championships completed, the finals races begin tomorrow. Going into the finals, Craig Burlton (GBR) still leads the fleet, by 1 point. Jerry Hill (GBR) and Luka Rodion (RUS) both finish 6 races with 14 points, following 1 discard. They are split on count back with Hill in the lead. The pressure is on at the top of the gold fleet. It will take mental strength as well as sailing skill to win this event.
Full results here