Racing Day Three in Liepaja promised “windy and onshore” which would make for extremely challenging formula conditions, perhaps like the final day of the 2011 Europeans. [more] Two riders went out to test the water in 20 to 22 knots whilst everyone else waited on the beach. It was difficult to keep the start boat on anchor in the big steep swell and the testers reported that upwind was manageable, downwind was very difficult, if not dangerous. By mid afternoon it was decided that racing for the day would not be possible so, fingers crossed for tomorrow!
Day two began with 12 knots cross onshore and good conditions were forecast for the day. It should be possible to complete the qualifying round and start the gold and silver final races, hopefully three each.
After a shuffle between yellow and blue fleets, the yellow fleet were away followed by the blue fleet. Unfortunately problems with the marks meant the race was abandoned but, once the starting line had been re-set, it was successfully re-run. The ladies also finished their race 4 before the rain set in and visibility became poor – racing was on hold. Meanwhile, protest was being heard before Gold and Silver fleets could be confirmed. Sadly, even though the rain cleared the direction of the wind was not stable enough for any more racing.
No change in the men’s top three but Agnieszka Pietrasik (POL 19), winner of race 4 is now in second place as the first discard comes into play.
Offshore winds of 11-14 knots for the start of day one of the racing with the ladies to kick off first, followed by the yellow then the blue fleet. Conditions were somewhat flukey and certainly tested the competitors with some surprising results. Nevertheless 3 good races for all fleets were completed by the day’s end which was rounded off by the opening ceremony at the Rock Cafe.
Arnon Dagan (ISR 1) heads the leaderboard followed by steve Allen (AUS 0) in second and Ross Williams (GBR 83 in third). One more race is required in the qualifying round before splitting into Gold and Silver groups.
Agnieszka Bilska (POL 09) leads the ladies fleet with two wins, Marta Ozola LAT 140 is second with a win for race 2.
107 men and 12 women from 24 countries, 4 continents, registered for the Formula Windsurfing Worlds Championships at Leipaja, Latvia which has hosted top level windsurfing championships for four consecutitve years. It’s a great place and we are looking forward to a great championship.