Hyeres – Following yesterday’s Mistral wind conditions, the COYCH Race Committee brought the start of racing on day two of the Audi SB20 World Championships 2013 forward by one hour to take advantage of the lesser wind conditions in the early morning.
The 90 boat fleet left the marina and made their way to the race course. Again, the competitive, pushy nature of SB20 sailors meant the fleet were recalled twice before the first race of day two was underway. Nine competitors were caught on the black flag start of the second race, including Roger Hudson’s (RSA) Race Ahead crew and Jean-Baptiste Bernaz (FRA) who sails with his father Laurent and Xavier Leclair of Marçon Yachting. The Race Committee set the course further to the right hand side of Baie de Iles d’Or (Golden Island Bay) where the wind conditions were slightly less than the course position of the previous day. The left hand side of the course looked like the favourite for the first start.
While many of the fleet over stood the layline, Craig Burlton (GBR) arrived at the windward mark in first position, with Joe Llewellyn (GBR) hot on his heels. Burlton and Llewellyn enjoy competitive racing in their home waters and have bought their rivalry to the World Championships. Burlton extended his lead and by the leeward mark of the first lap, taking control of the race; he went on to win in style. Llewellyn returned ashore to discover to his disappointment that he too had be black flagged on the first race of the day.
Vladimir Prosikhin (RUS) sails his maiden SB20 World Championships in Team Nika. Prosikhin joined the SB20 class to increase his time spent at the helm, in training for his RC44 campaign. Coached in the RC44 by Rodion Luka (UKR) he will be smiling tonight knowing that he finished sixth in the first race today; while Luka finished eighth.
Just one boat was caught over the line in the second race today; Italian entry Alghero sailed by Pietro Fois was forced to sit out the second race while the fleet departed to the top of the race course in increasing pressure.
Mary Vicky helmed by Niccolò Bianchi (ITA) popped out at the windward mark in first place, Burlton was in hot pursuit in second place. Despite his exclusion from the first race of day two, Roger Hudson was back in the picture, rounding in third position, just ahead of Edward Russo (FRA), President of the SB20 Class. Rounding positions after the first windward leg were maintained to the end of the race, delivering the first bullet of the Championships to the Italian fleet. Other notable finishing positions include Piscine Desjoyaux sailed by Jean-Baptiste Bernaz in eleventh position and Phil Plumbtree (GBR) in PP Projects in thirteenth.
After claiming to feel “the boat slow” at the windward mark, Charlie Whelan’s (GBR) Here Comes Bod suffered a dismasting on the second leeward leg of the race due to failure of a spreader bracket. A huge disappointment for the crew as the start of the third race was in sequence, they were recovered from the race course.
With increasing pressure, the race committee started the third race of the day but were forced to shorten the course and finish the fleet on their second rounding of the windward mark. A good decision as the Mistral had returned in full force and attrition of the fleet had begun. Joe Llewellyn took the bullet, Jean-Baptiste Bernaz second, Craig Burlton third and Vladimir Prosikhin fourth.
“That was a glamour day,” grinned Burlton as he came ashore. “We still can’t get ourselves off the start line, but we’re pretty good at picking our way to the front of the fleet.” Adding a 1,2,3 to the score sheet today, Burlton claimed a, “Good day at the office.” And rightly so as he now lies first overall with only eight points while the second placed boat, helmed by Nicolo Bianchi, has racked up 33 points.
Full results can be viewed here.