There were some great results from the four boat Irish SB20 team in Cascais, Portugal yesterday and another good day in prospect today could see an Irish team finish in the top third of the SB20 World Championships.
Royal Cork Yacht Club entry, The Bear (skippered by Stefan Hyde with Graeme Grant Tara Flood, Clara Hynes) took a ninth in race two (race eight of the series).
The National Yacht Club's Bango (James Gorman, Rory Fitzpatrick, Neil O'Toole and Laura Jackson) climbed six places up to 35th. Royal Irish Yacht Venuesworld (Ger Dempsey, Chris, Blair Stanaway and Maeve Judge) had a great first race yesterday (16th) but dropped back a few places to 40th, one ahead of The Bear in 41st. The masters team on Wahoo climbed up to 46th (Colin Galavan, Chris Arrowsmith and David).
Again, as the results today showed, there is plenty of scope for movement up the leaderboard and a really good day today could propel any of the teams up into the top 25/30. Full results here
Yesterday was a day of changes, which saw three more challenging races completed. First, the weather proved just how quickly conditions can vary at this Atlantic venue. There was sun but very little breeze as the 75-boat international fleet left the dock, which saw the competitors being towed to the race course by various RIBs, Jury and coach boats – no small undertaking with an entry of this size.
But by the time an outer course was set the breeze had filled in to 15 knots, which built to 20 over the course of Race 1. There were three general recalls before the first start of the day, and seventh of the series, could get underway, with at least 12 boats falling foul of the Black Flag and called OCS, which kept the Jury busy late into the evening.
Race 2 began in similar breeze, but the right-hand side paid handsomely. The challenge with such a busy startline was to get away cleanly and make ground to the right - Simon Hume on Skewered (GBR3716), whose previous results had all been in the second half of the fleet, impressed as they absolutely nailed the start, tacked right and stayed on the right side of the fleet all race to secure a top 10 finish.
By 1715 the breeze was dying off, leaving a patchy and difficult racecourse for Race 3. The race was shortened at the end of the second beat as the breeze was fading away. It then faded completely on the sail in, requiring the RIBs to be called into action once again to tow the fleet back in. It was a very tired fleet that hit the dock at gone 1900hrs, and the welcome courtesy beers and food laid on at the Clube Naval de Cascais were very appreciated.
The boat of the day was unquestionably Massimo Fullone’s Mercy Bocu (ITA3637), who took a win, an 11th, and another win on a particularly tough day for consistency. The second race was won by Rodion Luka on TREM Engineering (UKR3042).
Many competitive teams today scored one strong result – and one 77-point penalty, including José Paulo Ramada on Dom Pedro Hotels/Generali (POR3105), who took a second before being Black Flagged in the last, and the experienced Nika crew (RUS3709), who picked up both a 3rd and 77-pointer today.
Significantly, Hugo Rocha’s New Territories team also carries a DNC after not racing the final race of the day due to gear failure. This has seen a change at the top of the scoreboard, with Gabriel Skoczek’s France Jeune SB20 (FRA3653) now the overall leader on 39 points, just one point ahead of New Territories. Rodion Luka is third overall, with 49 points.
The 2016 World Championships are proving to be a very tough competition with a great many good boats and a very demanding racecourse – this title fight looks set to go to the wire. The Nations Cup battle between France, Portugal and Russia is equally intriguing, and six nations are represented in the top 10.
For those looking further ahead, the Royal Yacht Squadron from Cowes, UK, made a presentation tonight about the 2017 World Championships, which was very well received.
Three more races are planned for tomorrow, before competition concludes on Saturday, September 3.