[photos: Robert Hajduk]
At a quarter to 10 am, there was enough wind from the west to give RC some confidence in going out to the race area to begin the scheduled races on time. However once the signal boat was on station, the wind fell from around 8-10 knots down to 4-5 and then just a whisper. The competitors must have been wondering why they were brought out for this.
At 11, it was time to hoist the AP flag to postpone racing until conditions improved, which didn’t look likely to be happening any time soon.
But strangely enough, within a minute or two of the AP flag going up, a new breeze began to filter in from the NE. This was not on any forecasts seen by Race Officer Michał Jodłowski, but it showed enough signs of lasting that a course was set up. For the first time this week, sailors would be racing in a new direction, with upwind legs heading out towards the sea. Not only was this a new direction, but it started to show good strength fairly quickly, filling in to the 12 – 15 knot range, and some higher gusts.
Gold fleet was all set to go, but with a pin end becoming increasingly favored during the start sequence, Race Committee postponed and reset the line and course axis. And in one try, they were on the course and racing in about the best conditions seen so far during the Championship.
The Standard Men’s Silver fleet drew one general recall, but had a clear start under black flag.
And in the Women’s Radial fleet, crowding again on the pin end and anxious sailors getting too much of a jump on the start resulted in a general recall. The women remained aggressive and had 10 sailors disqualified over the next few start attempts. It was not until their fourth try that they managed to get under way and by this point, conditions were exceptional, with 15 – 18 knots blowing across a fetch long enough to start building up some nice waves and good downwind surfing conditions.
When asked how her day on the course went and what the racing was like, Australia’s Elyse Ainsworth replied, “I had a pretty good day. Racing was more a matter of boat speed today rather than trying to pick shifts. It was great out there and quite fun, especially downwind.”
According to Anna Munch from Denmark, “it was about going left and banging the corner. It was pretty clear before the start that the pressure was building on the left side.” She had it right. Race committee spent the afternoon reorienting the course further and further to the left with each subsequent course change. Anna turned her insight and boat speed into a 1st and 2nd on the day. That moved her back into the overall lead for the Championship.
The other sailor who was equally dialed in was Christina Sakallaris (USA) who mirrored the results of Anna Munch with a second and a first and is now just a handful of points outside the top 5. Italy’s Carolina Albano also sailed well (3 and 4) and still remains very much in contention for the title, just behind Anna Munch.
In the Standard Men’s Gold fleet, Ireland’s Liam Glynn finished 3rd in both races today to claim the lead in the Championship, edging out German sailor Philipp Loewe who struggled a little bit this afternoon (finishing 8 and 14).
Henry Marshall (USA) had two more solid finishes (5 and 6) to move into 4th, while Jonatan Vadnai (Hungary) won his second race in this series and finished 7th in the other to climb back into the top five.
So tomorrow will decide the Championship, and in both Standard and Radial classes, the top two sailors are two points apart and then there is a little gap (14 points for the men, 17 for the women) before third place. With only one drop score available, there is quite a bit of pressure on, not just to stay ahead of your next closest competitor, but several other sailors who could come in with a good day in the final two races and take the title with any kind of slip-up from the leaders.
Top 5 Provisional Results after Day 5
1. Anna Munch, Denmark (47)
2. Carolina Albano, Italy (49)
3. Zoe Thomson, Australia (66)
4. Elyse Ainsworth, Australia (67)
5. Dolores Moreira, Uruguay (88)
1. Liam, Glynn, Ireland (49)
2. Philipp Loewe, Germany (51)
3. Jakub Rodziewicz, Poland (65)
4. Henry Marshall, USA (77)
5. Jonatan Vadnai, Hungary (78)