With a forecast for variable winds, a familiar windward/leeward course was laid with the intention of running 2 “back to back” races followed by a break ashore then 2 further races “back to back”. Perhaps this was a little optimistic.
Shortly before noon, wind readings showed 8-10 knots, AP was lowered and competitors busied themselves to get to the start line as the breeze gently increased . . . [more]but then the wind shifted direction, dropped to 5 knots, sailors were sent back to the beach and AP was raised once again.
A couple of long hours later, the wind direction settled, averaging 9 maybe 10 knots, and sailors were once again called to the start line. First the masters were away with a good clean start, followed by the youths, also with a clear start. Championship race 4 was completed just as the wind dropped and all were sent ashore.
Miguel Martinho (POR-5) was the first master over the finish line, beating Latvian Janis Preiss into second place, and Vassilis Solidakis (GRE-19) crossed the line in third place.
AP came down an hour later and sailors took to the water, only to find the wind dropping yet again and the only wake being produced by the support boats – very frustrating for competitors and race crew alike. But it wasn’t long until there was enough breeze, the youths started race five and then the masters were also away. Although the race was completed it was abandoned after some deliberation because the wind had dropped during the final stages of the race.
And so, after four counting races, on the overall scoreboard today’s result and first discard coming into play mean there is no change in the ranking order of the top 3 (Preiss, Martinho, Solidakis) but the chasing pack have narrowed the points gaps. Peter Eliens (NED-538) drops his DNC and shoots up into 4th place, knocking first Grandmaster Marco Begalli (ITA-415) into 5th overall.
Meanwhile in the youth fleet, we have almost the same scenario except that there is no change anywhere in the ranking order. Brazilian Leonardo Venturini took the bullet in front of Estonian Karl-Erik Saarm and Swiss Jan Orsatti crossed in third place. At the top of the leaderboard Karl-Erik is just two points ahead of Leonardo who, in turn, is four points clear of Jan.
In both fleets there is all to play for. Competition continues until Saturday 5th July – pray for wind!!
Event Website: surfingitalygallipoli.com
Course of the day – 02