After two days of intense racing at the 2014 RS:X Youth Worlds in Clearwater, both fleets have completed a full schedule of 6 light-wind races, and they've earned their lay day!
Very light and shifty winds were forecast for the day, and it was a nice surprise to see a 7 kt side-off breeze fill in early from the North. After a short postponement on shore to make sure the wind was steady, all racers were called to the water for what turned out to be three races in a row for both fleets, around the same tried-and-true trapezoid course used the day before.
"It was much steadier than yesterday," said Ricardo Enrique Perez Gio from Mexico. "It was still very hard, but I enjoyed it more."
The breeze eventually turned to side-on, but the race committee was on top of it and by 3pm, all racers were back to shore licking their wounds, counting their blessings, and looking forward to a great dinner party.
After the jitters of opening day and most likely a word or two from their coaches, racers were much more disciplined on the start line today, with no OCS in the three races of the day in either fleet. "I saw people being extra careful on the start line today," observed Mateo Salles. "We all added five seconds to the countdown!"
Even with conservative starts, the leaders worked hard all the way around the course. "These guys are really good," added Mateo's teammate Federico Vega. "I'm learning a lot on every race."
With one discard in play already, Angel Granda Roque (ESP) and Mattia Camboni (ITA) made major gains in the men's rankings: from 37th to 12th overall for Mattia and from 27th all the way to 5th for Angel. But Toni Bonet (ESP) has increased his lead with very steady racing and a bullet to end the day.
On the women's side, French teammates Berenice Mege and Delphine Jariel showed their talent, with two bullets for Berenice vaulting her from 17th to 5th, and Delphine's steady finishes allowing her to climb from 14th to 7th. Ma Kwan Ching (HKG) still leads the proceedings, but 2013 World Champion Marta Maggetti (ITA) has closed the gap, and Emma Wilson (GBR) is well positioned with the lowest discard among all the girls in the fleet.
The day ended in style, with trolleys picking up hungry sailors at the beach venue for a drive down the shoreline to local favorite restaurant Salt Rock Grill. A great opportunity for all to meet one of the Championships' major sponsors, the Baystar Restaurant Group, and refuel after two long days on the water.
Race organizers are keeping an eye on a tropical depression brewing in the Bay of Campeche. Winds are expected to pick up when racing resumes on Thursday. But not before some much-needed R&R!
Top 3 Men after 6 races:
1. ESP 7 - Toni Bonet Macias - 14 pts
2. FRA 662 - Oel Pouliquen - 28 pts
3. FRA 53 - Clement Bourgeois - 35 pts
Top 3 Women after 6 races:
1. HKG 3 - Ma Kwan Ching - 15 pts
2. ITA 157 - Marta Maggetti - 18 pts
3. GBR 961 - Emma Wilson - 22 pts
Event website: http://www.rsxclass.com/youthworlds2014/