Hong Kong (November 3, 2015) – The forecasts got it spot on for today’s Etchells World Championship racing, with a solid 15kts at 075° showing no signs of flaking out during the day’s action.
Principal Race Officer Kevin Wilson had no hesitation in starting on schedule, having set a 2.0nm beat and a 0.32nm long start line between himself and brother Ross on the pin end. Hong Kong stalwarts Diva Deux and Easy Tiger were the guilty parties in pushing the fleet over the line early, resulting in a general recall. Wilson wasted no time in using the U flag for the subsequent start, with the recently repaired Reprobate earning a UFD score and an early lunch for her efforts.
Once underway, the fleet stayed predominantly left for the first beat, with Asia Pacific Champion, Mark Thornburrow (HKG), leading all the way to the windward mark. Asked for his secret, Thornburrow recommended “start well and go fast” and once clear ahead, “let everyone in the boat do their job and keep the blinkers on!” Racer X 2 never looked likely to face a challenge from the rest of the fleet, finishing over 90 seconds ahead of Marvin Beckmann (USA), with Skip Dieball (USA), Frank van Kempen (HKG) and Steve Benjamin (USA) filling out the top five places.
The PRO’s intention was to try and squeeze two races in to today’s programme to compensate for losing a race on Monday to light and shifty winds and after re-setting the pin end, the start sequence for Race 3 got underway. Once again the fleet pushed hard and earned a general recall on the first time of asking. Once again, the U flag was unfurled and this time boats AUS1292 and Bermudan entry Tiberon caught Wilson’s eye and were scored UFD.
In contrast to the previous race, the top spots were fiercely contested, and the winner was not apparent until Argyle Campbell (USA) nosed across the line a hair’s breadth ahead of Jeremy Thorp (GBR). Thorp was pragmatic, saying “the most enjoyable part was coming up to the top mark for the second time with Argyll – we were nip and tuck and we just managed to get ahead … at the finish, they came in and just took it.”
Campbell reported that the American boat “had a great start and just sailed clean, no-one was ever on our wind the whole time. He (Thorp) was ahead of us but we managed to stay a little clear and catch him downwind – we were a little faster downwind and I think that’s what made the difference.”
The PRO has proposed another two races tomorrow, with the forecast promising similar conditions to today.
The 2015 Etchells World Championship plan for nine races over six days on November 2-7.