More bizarre conditions

Tim Healy back in first place at the J/24 Worlds

Tuesday August 17th 2010, Author: Chris McLaughlin, Location: Sweden

After a second day of bizarre race conditions in Malmo, the J/24 Worlds fleet is beginning to show some early form pointers.

A morning race spent in constant light rain with less than five knots wind was followed by a late morning 26 -30 knots with steep seas and knock down gusts.

The morning race had wind from 005 degrees and most of the fleet made for the right-hand shore. Those who headed left were rewarded initially with more pressure and a liufting breeze for the 1.2 mile beat to the windward mark. Leading the charge right, local sailor, Anna Gunnarson, with Worlds organiser Marianne Shoke and North Sails San Diego's Chris Snow on board, led from start to finish in their recently rebuilt and redecked 20 year old Westerly.

Picking through the shifts left on the second leg, Mathias Garzman and Stefan Karsunke, both from Germany, were rewarded with 2nd and 3rd places, followed by Casale of Italy and Pereira of Argentine.

The wind then died completely for 20 minutes, before returning with a dark sky and white capped sea from a 260 degree bearing. As the fleet switched sails, the race officer, Peter Reggio reset the course for a memorable race.

A black flag start caught six boats including contender, Tim Healy and Brazilian World Chgampion, Maurio Santa Cruz. The fleet pushed to the shore in steepening seas and poor visibility. Healy led from start to finish, unaware that he had bee disqualified. The fiurst spinnaker run saw J24s clocking speeds of 15.5knots with all crew members in the back of the boat to keep the bows out. Argentine contender, Pereira's spinnaker exploded, as did several others. Sweden's Per Hakan Persson held second, from Karsunke, the USA's Parker and the UKs Ian Southworth.

Overnight Healy's first place was reinstated by the jury, when his bow number was not found to have been recorded on the race committee tape.

Early indications are of a USA , Argentine battle but only ten points separate the next five boats with two races in light airs, rain and 6-10 knots forecast. Discards will commence after race five today.

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