8th of March, 2013

Playing Catch Up

A long day on the water is expected for the Gaastra 52 World Championship fleet after Thursday’s scheduled races were lost due to the lack of breeze. So the intention is to try and run three races today to try and get the regatta back close to programme.

The breeze is forecast to be from the north to start with veering into the NE and building slightly from 10 to 12kts. As the wind swings into the NE then there starts to be more choppy waves building up which will add a new dimension to the competition.

At the top of the fleet there is no margin for error, Azzurra are poised only one point behind regatta leaders Rán Racing and, in turn, Quantum Racing are just one point astern of the team from the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda.

I think we will see the breeze be more from the right and it will come in a bit stronger which would be nice. That is what we expect. It will still be shifty and difficult for the first few hours. But we just take each race individually, we sail our own race. There is still up to six races to do. We have to allow for six.
Says Andy Hemmings, Rán Racing’s trimmer

Lying in fifth place overall Jim Swartz’s Vesper are looking to follow up their second place in Race 4 with another strong score:

It’s great to be out here with the fleet, we’ve been having great racing, and Jim’s been doing really well considering we’ve not raced since last September in San Francisco. Our boat’s got a more user-friendly keel than the newer boats, so we can hold lanes a little longer and have a little better control in the starts. But it’s not hurting us off the wind, because we’re fast there too. So, in all I think we can do well in these next two days.
Tactician Gavin Brady explains:

After losing out on a potential second place yesterday when the breeze died off, Mark Blees’ crew of Gaastra Pro, the 2007 build former Bríbon, go out looking to try and repeat that result:

This boat has a lot of miles on it, so we’ve been working hard before and after racing every day to keep things together: the winches, the mast, the rigging, the sails, etc. It’s a lot of hard work for us, because we don’t have a separate shore team like some of the others, but the mood on the boat is great, and being up near the front yesterday was a thrill for everyone.
Jan Majer, the boat captain of Gaastra Pro

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52 World Championship