Down In It

on board

Down In It

What a difference a day can make.

Day 4 or the SAP Worlds has forced an important change in the overall standings. The last of the two race days, started out different to every other day we have seen here in San Fran. It was warm and there was an easterly blowing. The direct opposite of the normal breeze! This got everyone on the water early, because it was going to be a long and horrible sail to the course area. Eventually the wind swung and filled in, but it never found much strength, sitting at 8-12kn throughout the day.

Race one started after an hour postponement and for Martin and Nelson, it was a bad start. They got squeezed off by ……………..us. What the? We weren’t going great, so that didn’t look good for the boys. The lighter winds kept the fleet together creating some busy mark roundings. With Martin and Nelson buried, a battle loomed up front between Holt/Smit, Findel/Tellen, Bergan/Lanzinger, Adamson/Bourdow and Hamlin/Cayard. The lead swaped throughout the race, most of the gains early on were made to the left, as there seemed to be more pressure on that part of the course, but there were also shifts to be played. In the end it was Bergan/Lanzinger who scored the win from Findel/Tellen and Holt/Smit. Bergn/Lanzinger are a fairly new pairing in the, but Fritz Lanzinger has plenty of experience in the class, having been at the front for many years, including sharing with Howie some of his many second place finishes and Bergen just finished 4th at the Moth Worlds. Importantly for the overall, Holt and Smit now led and needed only one more good result.

Race two had a little more pressure initially, but it came and went throughout the race. Again we saw one boat dominate, leading from start to finish. Malcolm Higgins and Nick (Camel) Johnson finally realised on all that speed they have and the boys had some pretty big smiles on their faces when they hit the beach. Second though were Martin and Nelson, locking in a vital, strong result. Findel and Tellen kept their good form rolling, and Holt and Smit had their worst race. They finished fourth! Their good form throughout the regatta has ensured they haven’t had a single bad race and with two races to go, this opens up some interesting tactical plays.

This regatta is a nine race series, with seven to count if all 9 are sailed. Holt and Smit have guaranteed second. They can’t lose it with the 16 points they have on their current scorecard, (if only 8 are sailed – 1 drop only, they already have the win). To win the regatta, they need to ensure Martin and Nelson add 11 points to their scoreline. Martin and Nelson have two potential drops on their scorecard already, so they can’t afford any mistakes. Holt and Smit have two races to make sure they have one. We are about to witness an epic battle!!!!!
Photo by Christophe Favreau, more here.

– jfunk