Giles Scott (GBR) produced the kind of form of the third day of the 2014 ISAF World Championships in Santander that most sailors only dream about. He picked up three more bullets for a perfect score after four races to lead overall from Jonathan Lobert (FRA) and Ed Wright (GBR).
The fleet split remained the same as from the first two days, so the sailors have only been able to race against half the fleet so far. From Thursday, the fleet will be split into gold and silver fleets.
After two days of fitful, unstable, and too light winds, day three in Santander was completely different. An overnight storm has left behind some solid 15-25 knots winds that kept many classes ashore. For the Finns however it was just what they had been waiting for and they revelled in the big winds early on for three action packed, exciting races. There was a long delay however as the race committee couldn’t get the committee boat anchor to hold.
The current once again caught out a few boats, and doing penalty turns in those conditions is not easy, as the photo gallery will show in graphic detail.
Giles Scott (GBR) was never really threatened in any race though Zsombor Berecz (HUN) did steal a large lead on the opposite side to Scott in race 3, a lead that soon evaporated as the race progressed. The European Champion wrapped up three race wins to claim his place at the top of the leaderboard at the end of the opening series.
He said, “Early on it was pretty epic. But it was disappointing that the organisers can’t get a committee boat that can hold station. It was very frustrating to be waiting around for two hours while there was a great wind in place. Especially as the last race turned a bit odd with the wind swinging through 180. The wind just kept going right all during the race.”
“The shift was very gradual, but it wasn’t normal racing. But for me personally it was still a very good day so I am happy about that.”
Second placed Jonathan Lobert (FRA) recovered from a double capsize in the first race of the day to score 2, 4 and trail Scott by six points.
He said, “In the first race I had a double capsize. I had a great start, but it was very shifty and very turbulent so it wasn’t easy. I was top 10 at the first mark so that was OkK. I made a mistake downwind. One big gust came and I was surprised and capsized by the lee. It took me a while to get the boat up and I capsized again at the downwind mark. So I was full of water and it was race over for me."
“Then I tried to be in good shape for the next races. I got a second in the next race so that was good. I was also on the game in the next race. I was third at the downwind mark, and I lost a little bit upwind, but managed to come back to fourth, so pretty happy with that. But now I know that I cannot make any more mistakes.”
Ed Wright (GBR) was unable to sail the opening race after picking a black flag disqualification in Tuesday’s abandoned race but channelled his energies into the remaining two races to pick up two race wins and sit in third overall.
Milan Vujaninovic (CRO) had a good day with a 2, 8, 8 but mulled over his missed chances. “It was a good day for me but could have been a bit better. I made some good decisions on which side to go. I had good speed, especially in the stronger part of the day, which I was happy with, and I was just very patient. That’s where I gained the most. In the first race today I was second. In the other two races I was top three at times, but I think many people could say this, but I am happy with all top ten places so far.”
Andrew Murdoch (NZL) had an up and down day with 5, 12, 25. He said, “I had a reasonable good day. I could have done with a better one in the last race. The wind died out but I didn’t have a particularly good first beat on that one anyway. I was kind of hoping the randomness would help me out in that one but it actually made it worse.”
“A fifth in the first race was good for me and I was just outside the top 10 in the second. But there were lots of places up and down during some of the races. I felt reasonably good speed wise and making some good tactical calls.”
While most boats favoured the left in the first two races, “In the second race the right paid quite a lot. I think that how Zsombor had such a big lead. I was heading into the right with him and decided to pull the pin on that, unfortunately. And some guys who went hard right on the second beat came out well. I stayed on the left and we did OK out of it.”
“But it was good to actually get some racing in. We’ve had some long days on the water. It was another long one today, but at least we got three races in and I think everyone is pretty happy with that.”
Extensive gallery of each day can be found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/finnclassphotos/ and on http://www.facebook.com/pages/Finn-Class/110408332633