#sb20 – Race 1 of the SB20 Worlds got off to a flying start Monday in Hyeres for the SB20 fleet World Championshps in the Mediterranean. After 2 general recalls in wind which started at 22 knots, the 90+ boat fleet soon had to battle with wind that had increased to a steady 32 knots. Mel and Killian Collins got off to a flying start finding the windy and extremely choppy conditions both familiar to them and to their liking. The RCYC crew led off the start from the weather end and tacked immediately for fleet position. They continued to lead the race by eight boat lengths to Russia’s Rodion Luka who eventually tucked them into second place. On the last gybe before the finish, they were caught by a savage gust up to 35 Knots. Unfortunately for the Cork team they had a small twist in the kite which popped with such intensity it just took the rig over the side. A new rig now stands in the boat overnight and Mel looks forward to getting involved again tomorrow. When questioned about the day, Mel wasn’t really sure what to say but the sheer effort of Race 1 and subsequent boat repair were telling in his words.
Otherwise, a strong Irish presence in the top 30 boats shows Ben Duncan and crew on Sharkbait lying 9th and Ronan Downing on Manamana lying 13th. Rob Howe with wife Joanne Sheehy and crew Paul McMahon onboard are 25th. The Irish skippers are extremely happy with their first day results given the conditions. On a day that tested boats and crews to breaking point sheer survival seemed to be the key. The butchers bill for the day was 2 masts, 5 poles and 5 rudders replaced. Plenty to keep the shore crew at Sportsboatworld busy late into the afternoon. In total 3 Irish boats retired to the pits for repairs.
Organisers posted an amendment to indicate that 4 races will be scheduled Tuesday.
Results are here