Slow start in Santander for Finns – but race wins for Tweddell and Scott

Two days into the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championship and after more than 13 hours afloat the Finn fleet has only one race to show for it. It was a good race though with wins going to Oliver Tweddell (AUS) and Giles Scott (GBR), but then after a long wait the fleet was sent ashore. Three races are now planned for Wednesday.

Yellow fleet was won by Tweddell who led the entire race from Deniss Karpak (EST) and Josip Olujic (CRO). The Blue fleet was stacked with big names but the returning Jonas Høgh-Christensen (DEN), the London 2012 Silver medalist, back after a two year lay-off, led round the top mark from London 2012 bronze medallist Jonathan Lobert (FRA). Scott rounded in tenth and made gains throughout to pass Høgh-Christensen at the last mark to take the race win. The Dane crossed in second with Lobert third.

The fleet then waited afloat for another six hours with no further racing as the wind performed circles around the fleet. There was plenty of wind around, at one point 15-20 came off the last in a very hot blast, but that only lasted 30 minutes before the fleet were left wallowing on the left over swell. By the time they were sent in the fleet had been on the water for more than eight hours.

Tweddell explained his race, “The first race was pretty tricky. I started at the pin and went left and got a nice bit of pressure and a left hand shift which worked out quite well and then basically held my lead from Deniss Karpak all race."

On the race committee, “Luigi (PRO – Peter Reggio) and his race team were actually doing a really good job. They weren’t sending us off for a bad race in dodgy wind. We actually got a second race off but they abandoned it after a couple of minutes as the breezed died and then filled in. So they did a really good job, but the breeze was never stable enough to get a second race in. Unfortunately that’s sailing.”

Høgh-Christensen said, “I had a good start and almost hit the pin end starting boat. But I had a good first beat and hit the shift right and had two fast guys behind me with Giles and Lobert. I managed to keep the Frenchie behind me but Giles was just too quick downwind. The last run was free pumping. The French went high and Giles went low and I had to cover one of them. The French was in second so I covered him and lost Giles.”

“It was a very simple race. I got off at the right end and hit the right shift. My boat speed was Ok, and I was happy with my downwind speed even though I lost Giles, so I’m happy.”

Scott said, “Day two has been very long. We had only the one race which was frustrating. But that race did go quite well and I got Jonas and Lobert at the bottom of the last run, which was nice. It got the championship off to a good start, but I just would have liked some more racing."

“Then we had a long wait, and we were in pretty late in the evening, so hoping for better tomorrow. The wind was a decent strength but just wasn’t consistent. Luigi did his best to try and get us away but it wasn’t right.”

After losing Monday with no wind, and only one race on Tuesday the Finn fleet is now a long way behind schedule. Three races are scheduled for Wednesday to complete the opening series, before the gold and silver fleet splits for the next three days.

Results after 1 race
1 AUS 261 Oliver Tweddell 1
1 GBR 41 Giles Scott 1
3 DEN 2 Jonas Hogh-Christensen 2
3 EST 2 Deniss Karpak 2
5 CRO 1 Josip Olujic 3
5 FRA 112 Jonathan Lobert 3
7 NED 842 Pieter-Jan Postma 4
7 POR 5 Frederico Melo 4
9 CRO 524 Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic 5
9 NOR 1 Anders Pedersen 5

Full results: http://www.sailing.org/events/isafworlds/results-santander2014.php

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