ISAF Sailing World Cup – RSA Teams Struggle

RSA 49er pic by onEdition

RSA 49er
pic by onEdition

So far the two RSA teams competing in the ISAF Sailing World Cup Weymouth and Portland event are struggling – and certainly not achieving the results they would like.

Graeme Willcox and Andrew Heathcote report as follows:

Day 1 was a tough day with a windy offshore breeze, with a ground swell bending around the headland. This made it tough to keep the boat in the groove upwind and quite exciting downwind with the swell angle coming from under the leeward wing at times.

In race 1 we made an early tack out and as we both hit the handles the trapeze wire broke. Which left us both in the water. Luckily it was just where it attaches to the mast, so reattaching it during the capsize saw us complete the race finishing just outside the time limit.

The second race was again started in a confused sea with some 20 degree switches. This opens many doors for opportunity to climb up the fleet. We got spat out at the start, but managed to climb back into the pack and raced the whole race with the pack and picked up a 36th.

We found our stride on the third start, held our lane and climbed to the top of the pack. Rounding the first mark ahead of the current Olympic medalists at the venue where they won their medals, which is something quite special. It also shows how our hard work over the past couple of years has paid off and we are racing with the top professional teams in the world. Come to think of it, we are the ONLY team sailing in the 49ers who have a day jobs – something foreign to 49er teams who are generally all professional or simply well funded.

Day 2
Yesterday was another lumpy day out on our course. We battled a bit to get clean starts, but managed to wiggle free and with some good upwind speed, get our selves into the leading pack, with some weather mark roundings in the low ‘teens’. We battled a bit with our downwind speed, but with few hours in these conditions, we are getting better and better with each downwind leg. It is quite impressive getting to the weather mark and the leeward gate with most of the 40 boat fleet descending on the mark at break neck speeds, all hoping to get the inside lane and come out cleanly. There were a number of collisions yesterday which saw some damage to boats. With so many top teams here all pushing 100% it’s no wonder this happens.

Today looks lighter, with the wind swinging to the south by the afternoon. It is also predicted to bring showers, so this could mix things up a bit. We will let you know how the day goes.

Results after day 2

49er
Graeme Willcox & Andrew Tarboton
39th overall        (38)    36    28    36    37    38

470 men
Asenathi Jim & Roger Hudson
25th overall        20    28    12    (31)