The programme for the series in 2011 looks a full one. The venues and teams will be announced next Monday, 13 December, just prior to the World Yacht Race Forum in Estoril, POR.
The NoR sets out 9 events between February and December with 5 days of racing at each. The 49ers have announced they will be getting in on the act using their newly developed stadium-style racing format in the mornings prior to the Extreme40s racing in the afternoons.
With 10 teams it will be a busy time for the umpires. We plan on having 3 umpire boats following the same ratio used in the Olympic classes Medal Race format. The key difference is that, rather than trying to chase the fast cats around the course, after the first lap the umpire boats will move to cover certain areas of the course, the so called “zone system”.
Still, we’ll need fast RIBs even if it’s just for the first lap!
Well am all done here; its been incredibly busy – early mornings to get the weather and late nights doing the de-briefs and overnight analysis. The team are very pleased. We achieved all the objectives set, and more!
Its been great to work with sailors in a coaching role again, not done that for a while and I was reminded that I actually know quite a bit! Its amazing how much you pick up from watching others racing, and I done a lot of that over the last few years as an umpire and judge.
Leaving some stuff here in Germany; wont be needing my sea boots in Qingdao! I’ve got couple of days sight-seeing in Beijing before flying down to the sailing venue. The Chinese Yachting Association have a full programme planned to keep me busy, but I’ll post blogs as and when I get the chance ………
A light shifty breeze welcomed the first takers for the Medal races here on the Kiel Fjord. The 470 W were first up on the North Course – one of two used for these final, final races. The CHN Team competitors were placed 7th overall going into the Medal race and with a worst possible place of 9th and a best possible place of 3rd they had it all to play for.
It was tough going – lots of place changes with pressure very varied across the course. After a nailbiting penultimate downwind leg 8 of the ten boats reached the downwind gate together! The CHN team sailors sailed their socks off to get to 2nd at the last top mark, which they held to the finish to be placed 4th overall. I very credible result.
The Laser Radial Medal Race was held in more breeze building to 14 knots. The CHN Team competitor had to beat the FRA competitor to win overall but could not be worse than 3rd overall. It was a tough race with many place changes and several multiple boat mark roundings – closely supervised by the umpires of the ISAF International Jury (at least two boat-to-boat penalties were dished out, and at least one Yellow Flag penalty – for an infrigement of RRS 42, Propulsion). Rather than turn the race into a match race between CHN vrs FRA, the CHN Team competitor saile her own race, which paid off until the top third of the last beat when the greater pressure and a shift to the left allowed the FRA competitor to gain the upper hand.
CHN Team held on to a credible 3rd overall and a very pleasing podium result in her first ever Kieler Woche. Well done!
Next stop Qingdao, CHN, home territory …………………………….
The CHN Laser Radial competitor was ‘the one to beat’ today. With four first places and discarding a third place she became the target. Out of the two races held in a shifty southerly breeze she was taken out by a windward boat on the first race, race 6, and taken to ‘the room’ with a last minute lodging of a protest from a competitor who was BFD in race 7 seeking to get redress. She claimed that CHN had forced her to be OCS – little did she know that the redress rule can only be accessed – in boat to boat rules of Part II situations – if there is damage or injury.
So, the result was that CHN was scored DSQ in race 7. What a good lesson to learn for the up coming event in Qingdao – people will not worry about causing others to be disqualified if they have a chance of being reinstated, even if its a ‘fishing trip’. Would have been nice if her coach had known the grounds for redress and we could have saved the jury a lot of time!
The forecast for tomorrow [Saturday] is big, big winds. So we might not get any racing in. The hope is that the frontal trough, and associated strong winds, will past the area of Kiel Fjord over night and provide us with perfect conditions. Let’s hope ………
Force 5 with gusts up to Force 6 gave Qingdao preparation activities a new aspect here in Kieler Woche on Thursday. Still, the three races run on both courses Echo and Foxtrot were beautifully executed by the Race Committee.
The planned evening women’s match racing – due to be held in front of the Kiel Yacht Club in the inner fyord – was cancelled as the wind decreased to less than 5 knots. Its a shame as the event is new this year and being used as a demonstration event in preparation for the new Olympic event for 2012.
The CHN Laser Radial competitor notched up another two bullets, except the organisers aren’t using finishing guns – which rather strange, may be they want to save some money to spend on fireworks! The CHN 470 competitors found the windy conditions rather trying achieving an 11th before getting back on form for the last two races posting two 4ths.
Swisstiming is planning a test today, Friday, of a system intended for use in the Olympic event providing tracking information on the web. They tried it on the Star class on Thursday. Today its the turn of the 470 W class.
If you want to follow the test go to www.kielerwoche.dethen Sailing, Menu and live tracking (appearently!).
Coming in at 090 degrees the stable Easterly air flow provided both courses Echo, Laser Radial, and Foxtrot, 470 M & W, with great conditions for their first two races today here in Kieler Woche. The conditions were so good the Race Officer on Echo thought about running a third race until it was pointed out that the schedule of races did not provide for going ahead of the schedule. Which is rather a shame as tomorrow the expected conditions are less than perfect with the strong winds that hammered the UK yesterday due here tomorrow, we will be lucky to get the three scheduled races in.
Still, only two more races are needed to have a valid opening/qualifying series. We should be able to get those in.
The CHN team posted solid results; Laser Radial with two firsts and the 470 W a third and a fourth, putting them third overall going into Race Day Two.
One controversial point has come up; the organisers are requiring the leading three boats in each event to wear coloured bibs (yellow for first, green for second, and red for third). ISAF Regulation 20 specifically states that there shall be no restrictions on crew clothing. May be the jury will give an opinion?