Thankfully no-one here speaks with a lisp so our attempts at Spanish can be understood by the locals, which is helpful as the main languages are Catalonian, Spanish and French being so close to the French border. Look at the event website for more details of location and event but here is a quick summary.
Amazing place with snowy mountains in background, great wind & waves, clear water, great beach, warmish, very friendly locals, heaps of bars & cafes. 422 Sailors from the four corners of the earth and 16 Kiwi sailors with wives, girlfriends etc in amongst it having a great time. With so many entries the organisers have done a great job and made some changes to sailing format from previous worlds. We are sailing on 2 different courses (Standard & Radial) with 4 different fleets on each course. Below is a list of the Kiwis and their Sail #s, fleets & total size of fleet and their home club and result from the Practice Race yesterday:
Sailor Sail# Fleet Fleet Size Home Club Practice Race
Mark Page 181722 Radial Apprentice Master 38 Manly Sailing Club 1st
Mike Knowsley 187893 Radial Apprentice Master 38 Manly Sailing Club DNF
Mike Pasco 187891 Radial Apprentice Master 38 Manly Sailing Club 3rd
Mike Keeton 182995 Radial Master 46 Wakatere Boating Club 2nd
Sandy Grigg 188808 Radial Great Grand Master 53 Tamaki Yacht Club DNS
Tony Park 186785 Radial Great Grand Master 53 Tamaki Yacht Club 8th
Jim Quinn 176919 Radial Great Grand Master 53 Tamaki Yacht Club DNS
Mark Miller 167101 Radial Great Grand Master 53 Tamaki Yacht Club 5th
Mike Shields 180212 Radial Great Grand Master 53 Napier Sailing Club 2nd
Stephen Phillips 163938 Radial Great Grand Master 53 Muritai Yacht Club 5th
Tom Speed 181966 Radial Great Grand Master 53 Tamaki Yacht Club 3rd
Barry Cutfield 172219 Standard Master 118 Whakatane Sailing Club 4th
Colin Caldwell 181996 Standard Master 118 Pupuke Boating Club DNS
Wayne Ferguson 181878 Standard Master 118 Pupuke Boating Club DNS
Jack Hanson 170535 Standard Grand Master 76 Tamaki Yacht Club DNF
Bob Blakey 175277 Standard Grand Master 76 Tamaki Yacht Club DNF
The Standard Master Fleet has been split into 2 starts culminating with a Gold & Silver Fleet to be decided later in the Regatta. The Luckiest Kiwi so far is Tony Park who thought he had chartered a boat on the internet, and found out he hadn't when he arrived. The Regatta originally ran out of charter boats when entries were capped at 350 sailors. The organisers then scrambled to find enough charter boats for the increased entry to 422 sailors. Somehow Tony managed to turn up on the day and get a boat!
Catering for 800+ at Opening Dinner
Conditions for the first day where similar to the past three days with light winds in the morning building in the afternoon to 15-20 knots with big waves. With large fleets and exciting and testing conditions there are many stories from the Kiwi team.
In the Apprentice Radial Fleet Mark Page smoked the fleet in both races almost finishing almost a leg ahead of 2nd place. Mike Knowsley had a mixed day with a bad start in the first race and hitting the bottom mark in the 2nd but still scored well with a 9th & 8th but feeling he may have been able to do better. Mike Pasco had a nightmare first race capsizing twice but managed to recover to 16th. In 2nd race he finally got going and was the only boat close to Mark Page at the top mark but his brand new Ronstan "rope secured" Mainsheet block snapped off the boat as he approached the top mark for the first time. He managed to nurse the boat home in windy, wavey conditions and maintain 2nd place until the final bottom mark and finished 3rd.
Mike Keeton, who has been recovering from the flu, had a mixed day in the Master Radial Fleet missing out the 1a buoy on the inner course and having to beat back up to it and capsized in the 2nd race. Mike still did well with two 9th
In the Radial Great Grand Master Fleet Tom Speed sailed well in his usual manner in both races and finished 7th & 4th.Tony Park surprised himself and got a 5th & 9th after a swim in the 2nd race. Sandy Grigg to relief of everybody after injuring his leg sailed well with 15th & 10th. Jim Quinn was a little disappointed badly banging his head first race but still getting 14th and in the 2nd race picked some plastic and finished 21st.Mike Shields sailed well in the windy conditions with a 20th and a 8th in the second race.Mark Miller had a consistent day with two 17th and Stephen (Snifter) Phillips is enjoying himself with two DNF.
In the Standard Master Fleet Colin Caldwell sailed well in both races until he got hit with a big wave with his name on it.In both races he got capsized at the same spot by the same wave and ended the day with 29th & 30th.Barry Cutfield sailed well with 19th in the first and 12th in the second.Wayne Ferguson had the most interesting day of this fleet with a great 1st race finishing about 15th but currently recorded as DNF and then had a great race in the 2nd race and was placed 4th on the 2nd beat when he decided to retire (another DNF) after he noticed that all his competitors looked very young and that the colours on their mast weren’t quite right!With so many sailors & fleets & different colours its easy to start with the wrong fleet.
In the Standard Grand Master fleet Jack Hanson who has suddenly got 3 years younger to sail in this division did well against sailors up to 13 year younger than him with a 22nd and 16th.Bob Blakey also sailed well with a 21st and a 23rd and out of a fleet of 77 Jack and Bob ended up duelling on the last leg of each race.Both were not that far from the front.
Overall the Kiwis are reasonably well placed after the first day with Mark Page looking most likely to win a world title for the Team.
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