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30 September 2007     Hola from Roses
 
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. 
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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!  
 

Opening Dinner

 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.
 
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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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