by Rob Burn
Fantastic to see our Kiwi Athletes on the World stage, especially our local Lad, Josef (and his mate). A huge congratulations for the first Kiwi Gold from little Picton.
Great to see our Olympic sailors are settling into their work and we are look forward to some great success from them. The available coverage is not great, we only have internet at the Club but we do get the gist of it from Austrian or German TV.
Apologies for the lateness of this report, the first one was deleted in a crash this morning, much to my frustration and yes, I should know better....
The first day of the Finals series was supposed to be very light winds with some rain. We awoke to a good breeze and there was some real excitement in the boat park as the sailors finally realised they getting some stronger winds.
Both our crews were in the Silver Fleet which had the second start. We were concentrating on our Fleet but couldn't help but watch in awe of the Kavas Brothers, the Greeks, blitz every race by a good margin in the Gold Fleet.
First race, Taylor and Oscar were second around the Top Mark, overtook the lead Spanish boat and flew into a good lead. They held that until being on the wrong side of a big wind shift which allowed the Spanish to catch and pass them just before the finish. Second place wasn't too bad.
Sam Lee and Sam Thomas had a great first beat up to the Top Mark rounding in the top 10 but lost a little ground to finish 16th. They sailed a good race but knew they could do better.
The second race was fast and furious, Taylor and Oscar hit the lead before the first mark and kept extending until the finish...well ahead of the Fleet. The Sam's had a good race as well, finishing 14th despite a capsize and losing a spinnaker pole. They said with a big bunch bearing down on them, there was no way they were going back for it.
There was still plenty of breeze for the third race although it was showing some signs of dropping. I counted Taylor and Oscar coming in at sixth and the Sams further back. The Sam's had an incident with a Hungarian and a Polish boat which didn't do them any favours.
The Fleet had several black flags and OCS so by the time the Sams won their protest, after several hours of waiting for it to be heard, the results had shaken down to them finishing 22nd, Taylor and Oscar third.
The boys are proud to be leading the Silver Fleet by 5 points from the Americans. The Silver Fleet is really tough sailing. Many sailors in it were touted as 'certainties' to be in the Gold Fleet and may have been if they had better wind or whatever ...such are the vagaries of sport
As I finish this the Fleets are coming back in. It is very hot and the wind has dropped off. The Race Committee has decided to hold the sailors on shore with the prospects of lunch and shade until better conditions.
Three races to Go before the Championship is over .....
As always, a big thank you to all our supporters and sponsors, keep those good wishes coming in.