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Strong winds and heavy current challenge 470 Worlds competitors

470 World Championships - Strong winds and heavy current challenge 470 Worlds competitors
SAN FRANCISCO, CA. USA-(24-8-2005) The start of the second day of racing in the 2005 International 470 Class World Championships was truly something to behold. Typical of the season, a light blanket of fog covered the glassy surface of the bay, as 98 boats and 196 sailors launched from Crissy Field heading towards Alcatraz and the starting line – it was as if a string of diamonds were stretched across the bay. Unfortunately, that serenity was soon broken by a couple of unscheduled freighter arrivals. After already having had a delay due to weather, a second delay was necessary to clear the ship traffic.

Overall, conditions today were similar to yesterday, light wind in the morning replaced by 15-20 kts in the afternoon and HEAVY, HEAVY current. Despite the carnage yesterday, many competitors continued to underestimate the currents of SF bay and the windward mark again proved a challenge to a surprisingly high percentage of the fleet. The key off the start was finding that right line that kept you in the wind but out of the current. In the early s races, the first boats around the first mark held their positions and finished strongly. That said, a number of people were a bit gun-shy after yesterday and ended up so far above the mark you could’ve fit a freighter between (oh wait, that almost happened).

Well, not a freighter, but in addition to the morning’s shipping traffic, a dredge boat did get caught off the start on the leeward mark forcing a few boats to cut behind her and lose significant time and distance. That said, special recognition goes out to the Race Committee who not have dealt with heavy ship traffic and difficult weather conditions over the last few days.

Current world champions Nathan Wilmot and Malcolm Page (AUS) are in the lead after four races while two French teams -- Gildas Philippe/ Nicolas Leberre and Nicolas Charbonnier/ Olivier Bausset sit second and third by only a matter of a few points (preliminary results: protest pending). Marcelien de Koning and Lobke Berkhout of the Nertherlands continue their dominance of the women’s division adding a first and fourth (discarded) to the two firsts they put up yesterday. They now hold a five point lead ahead of Christina Bassadone/ Saskia Clark (GBR).

Source: Event Media

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