29er World Championships
29er sailors from around the world were gifted an unexpected lay day today, as wind gusted up to 40 knots in Portland Harbour on day 4 of the World Championships. PRO David Campbell-James waited patiently for any chance of a weather window before postponing racing until the following day. This however gave the fleet, which has over 400 sailors, not to mention parents, siblings and dogs from 25 countries time to socialise and recover a little after a windy week of racing so far. Although perhaps there are a few who would have revelled in the more frightening than fresh conditions, all agreed it was too windy for 29er racing.
With the boats securely tied down there was a lot of time to reflect on the up-and-coming Gold fleet races. After a windy opening series in Portland harbour racing continues tomorrow, in Weymouth Bay with much lighter winds forecast which could put the cat amongst the pigeons at the front of the fleet.
Today we talked to Dutch team Zeb Van Dorst and Yannick Van Den Akker currently in 4th and German brothers Anton and Johann Sach, both of whom clearly have their eyes set on a podium finish. With many sibling teams in the fleet, the Sach brothers both pointed out that the family communication and team work is a huge advantage especially in full send mode. Their focus into Gold fleet racing is to lower the risky moves and decision making and try to stay consistently top 10, ‘we all love the speed and fun of the boat, the people in the fleet are really cool and nice so it’s perfect’.
The 29er is proving a fun and very welcoming fleet, with many of the more experienced sailors passing on support to the younger teams, it really is a team sport throughout. With closely fought battles on the race course and incredible skill level amongst these young athletes, there is a wonderful sense of joy and camaraderie in the boat park.