Kingston, Ontario, Canada
On this fourth day of the Championships, the girls fleet had an opportunity to start first and sail the outer course, but that did not change their apparent lack of respect for the starting line. After a general recall under “U” flag, the first boat was over the line 40 seconds prior to the start. Another few came over about 15 seconds before the start, and then several more in the last five seconds. In all, seven offenders were removed from the fleet for being over early under black flag. While the race committee was confirming numbers for display, the wind moved a bit to the right and the start line and course axes had to be reset about 10 degrees to the right. Whether the girls fleet had simply had the most aggressive starters removed, or the remaining sailors really did not want to share the fate of being disqualified, they were much more orderly during the next start sequence and they managed to get away clear.
In the boys gold, no one was looking to have their regatta hopes dashed by being on-course-side at the signal, and they had no problems remaining behind the line, starting clear the first time through their sequence. The boys silver fleet was not quite so concerned and had to be reigned in with a general recall under uniform flag, but they were a bit more cautious once the black flag was displayed on the second start attempt. And so all three fleets were spread nicely across the trapezoid course.
The wind was a bit steadier than on day three – not as many wind shifts to exploit (or suffer), and work for the Race Committee was therefore a bit easier as well. With good wind strength that built up throughout the afternoon up to the mid teens, conditions were very good for an enjoyable day on the water. The girls fleet was able to pick up one additional race today to get back on schedule, and they were able to do so without any more sailors being disqualified for being over the start line early.
When the wind is relatively stable with a good breeze from a fairly consistent direction, and there is a modest consistent current, there isn’t much of a story to tell about conditions. There are individual sailors who received a second yellow flag (which they likely felt was not justified), others who could not get a clear start, and some who came in on port at a busy mark rounding and had to duck half a dozen boats. And then there were those who stayed out of the strongest adverse current, or were able to pick a good spot on the start line with clear air and space below, and avoided traffic at mark roundings. For the most part, the results on the scoring sheet reflect those stories.
In the girls fleet, Swiss sailor Anja von Allman had a superb day, finishing with two thirds and a second. Although she has not yet won a race, she now leads all sailors in the girls division. Her lowest finish so far has been 12th, which is quite an accomplishment in the varied conditions that have been encountered in the past three days of racing. Following her in the standings is Marilena Makri from Cyprus, who moved up one place into second with two more race wins in the second and third races today.
Lara Himmes (Spain) won the opening race, and sits at fourth, one point behind Italian Sara Savelli who had two more top five finishes in the three races completed today.
In the boys gold fleet, sailors seemed to have mixed results in their two races, with some doing reasonably well in the first of two races and not quite so well in the second, while others came back strong in the second race after struggling a bit in the first. Only one sailor in the gold fleet had two top ten finishes, Roko Stipanovic from Croatia, who won the second race of the day after finishing a solid 9th in the first race, moving him from third to second overall. Italian Niccolo Nordero continued his consistency with a 12th place finish (discarded) and a 2nd, and so maintains the overall lead in the gold fleet. Slovenian Gaspar Strahovnik is not far behind in third, and then there is a somewhat crowded field from about 4th to 12th.
There are still four more scheduled races for all fleets, and so there is time and opportunity for some changes in the standings. But that window of opportunity is narrowing. If the leading sailors sail as consistently as they have so far, it is going to be difficult to wrestle the top spot away from them. But there are a handful of sailors who are close enough to the top that there is no opportunity yet for the leaders to relax.
GIRLS DIVISION – TOP FIVE after 8 races
1st Anja von Allmen SUI 32.0
2nd Marilena Makri CYP 40.0
3rd Sara Savelli ITA 45.0
4th Lara Himmes ESP 46.0
5th Nika Manestar CRO 71.0
BOYS DIVISION – TOP FIVE after 8 races
1st Niccolo Nordera ITA 17.0
2nd Roko Stipanovic CRO 24.0
3rd Gasper Strahovnik SLO 39.0
4th Dmitry Golovkin RUS 50.0
5th Derin Baytur [U16] TUR 50.0