Day 3 - USA & GBR battle at the top

Post date: Jul 24, 2015 5:41:17 PM

By Mike Haigh

On the third day of the 2015 ISAF Team Racing World Championships at Rutland Water, it was the teams from Great Britain and USA who were fighting it out at the top of the leaderboard.

Some 18 teams from Australia, Bermuda, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Japan and USA, plus an ASAF (Asian Sailing Federation) team comprising Indian, Malaysian and Hong Kong sailors are competing.

After 237 races out of the five day, 504 race event reigning World champions West Kirby Hawks were tying with team Ladies and Gentlemen of the USA, both on 24 wins.

Andy Cornah of the Hawks said: "We had a pretty windy day yesterday and it's lighter today, so it's good to have a variety of conditions. We've been pretty rusty but feel like we are steadily cranking it up. With a bad forecast for Friday it looks like the event may all hinge on tomorrow so a big day of potentially gold league racing and knockouts."

Right behind the top two with 23 wins were current UK national champions the Royal Forth Hoosiers, and on 21 wins BYOB (Bristol Young and Old Boys from Bristol University Alumni). The British teams were slugging it out for the second and third slots with the USA teams Team Shread and Days of Thunder on 23 and 20 wins.

Next down the leaderboard was Ireland on 16 wins very closely followed by Bermuda on 15. It is Bermuda's first time at a Team Racing World Championships and they are living up to the pre-event words of team captain Emily Nagel when she said: "We are eager to show the world that Bermudians can hold their own not only in fleet racing but team racing as well."

Emily added today: "This is a fantastic event. I am really excited to be here with the Bermuda Team, especially as Bermuda has never entered before.

It is great to be back here at Rutland Sailing Club, where I learnt to team race with Oakham School. The sailing conditions are great, the racing very competitive, and we are hoping to make Bermuda proud."

The leading youth (under 19) teams were GBR Y1 on 12 wins and USA Y1 on 10 wins. Magdalen College School, Oxford, Sevenoaks School, Kent and West Kirby Sailing Club on the Wirral make up the three British youth teams.

All the teams will not only be looking to move up in the standings as the regatta continues, but also move ahead of their compatriots for bragging rights.

Event director David Wilkins said: "Tuesday saw some challenging conditions, and gusts of up to 30 knots kept everyone on their toes. But another 100+ races were completed to keep the programme on schedule. The teams relaxed yesterday evening with a tour around Rutland Water, including a visit to the Osprey sanctuary in the evening on the 'Rutland Belle'."

Jon Napier, ISAF technical delegate added: "We've been making great progress through the Championship so far and a big thank you goes to all the volunteers and officials for the long hours they have spent on and off the water. The racing is close and the Championship is still wide open as we move into the Gold and Silver Leagues tomorrow."

Principal sponsors of the event are The Royal Yachting Association, Rondar Raceboats (providing two flights of Firefly dinghies), Allen Brothers (British manufacturer of performance dinghy hardware), Oakley (sunglasses) and Rooster (chandlery).

Other sponsors include: Old Pulteney, Harken, Zhik, Gill Marine, Selden, Barnsdale Hall Hotel, Redwings Lodge, Berridge Taxis, Sevenoaks School, West Kirby Sailing Club, Anglian Water and Rutland Tourism. Additional flights of boats are being loaned by Oakham, Oundle and Uppingham Schools and Rutland Sailing Club.