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Hi Guys, here is an update from the Africans in Maputo
First and foremost the team is in great spirits. The kids are having loads of fun. Team management have been efficient and Claire is doing a first class job as coach.
Conditions have been challenging, with strong wind, steep, short chop and tidal flows to deal with. The resilience and enthusiasm of our sailors has amazed me. They are all fired up each morning and come off the water beaming each day.
Tide is definitely a factor. On day 1 in race 1 the out going tide was against the wind, hence all the black flags. During race 2 tide was slack and in race 3 tide was with the wind making the weather mark rounding sports. Yesterday the wind swung around from NE to S and wind was with tide in the race. It will be similar today.
The bay is shallow. Max depth on the race course around 5m and some boats reported hitting sand banks with their boards in the beat on day 1. Chop is short and sharp. Hard work upwind with proactive body movement needed. Downwind awesome surfing but always a risk of burying the nose in the wave in front. This has happened quite frequently with the light sailors in strong wind.
Matt Ashwell has been outstanding, securing four firsts in the four races completed so far. He is fast, strategically and tactically astute. Ingrid Holm has sailed a solid regatta so far, and is handily placed to compete for first girl. The Mozambican sailor Denise Parruque is having a great regatta and once she gets to discard her black flag from the first race will comfortably lead the girls, with Ingrid in second. However one more mistake from Denise and Ingrid is waiting to pounce.
Sean Kavanagh and Jude Stanley are placed just outside the top 10. Both light sailors, are doing remarkably well. With lighter winds forecast for the last two days of individual racing, they should be top 10 contenders.Karl Hofmeyer is similarly well placed, assuming he gets to discard his black flag in race 1 and mysterious DNF (he crossed the line 8th) from yesterday.
Rohan Childley, Oscar Duys, Lena Holm and Chiara Fruet will all be looking to break into the top 20 when individual racing resumes tomorrow.
Today is team racing. The wind is still in the South, but has moderated overnight, with around 16 knots expected. SA have two teams entered, the heavy weights: Matt, Karl, Chiara, Ingrid and Oscar and the Light weights: Jude, Rohan, Lena and Sean. After an entertaining team racing seminar by the legendary Chris Atkins last night, the teams are fired up and raring to go.
Michael and Heidi Kavanagh