Day Two of racing at the Optimist African Championships 2016
Conditions were lighter than day one with a steady 5 to 8 knots from the SW. The sea state flattened off with the conditions very different from the previous day. The fleet was a lot less spread out after the start. The fleet split in two groups, one on the left and one on the right.
The weather mark rounding saw Matt in 2nd and Chiara 4th. Both worked very hard on the downwind. Finishing positions ANG, TAN, ANG, with Matt finishing 4th and Chiara 6th.
Race 5. The bridge used the U flag from the on set. After the first general went straight to the black flag. The sailors that followed the shifts up the middle came out ahead with the left group gaining towards the end.
Race 6 saw the breeze dropping with the shift to the right to follow the rain squall that formed over the city. Very difficult varying conditions saw the first boat finish 3 minutes ahead of the next boat. More than 15 boats were out of the time limit.
Team racing was held in the harbour along the waterfront in the downtown CBD. Great for spectators the racing was within 50m of the shore.
South Africa’s first match was against Algeria 1. The conditions were super light and patchy. Algeria are very aggressive sailors and our team did well to hold them off for two legs but the Algerians got through at the end.
Match 2 was against the Seychelles and RSA dominated from the onset.
Our 3rd match was against Angola team 2 and our sailors struggled in the messy conditions and Angola dominated to the end.
The final match between Algeria and Angola was a spectacle with the sailors fighting for every metre. Algeria made gains but Angola pulled back at the end. Angola were ecstatic with their victory.
Race 7 was postponed as the race committee waited for the breeze to turn from the north back to its prevailing SW, which it did on cue. Our sailors were once again motivated to tackle the lumpy sea in the lighter air after a relaxing outing on the lay-day.
Everyone was more aggressive on the start and our sailors upped their game with everyone else as the regatta progresses. The fleet wasn’t split in gold and silver because there was only one fleet.
The fleet favoured the left of the course as the breeze continued clocking. Chiara had the best weather mark rounding of the South Africans followed by Matt and then Tristan and Keagan. The wind was still light in the long down wind and gradually built on the second upwind. Chiara finished 5th and Matt 19th.
By the start of the second race the wind had settled from the SW and was building. Matt found his form again with a top 10 rounding finishing 7th. Chiara got caught in a bunch and had to fight her way to 15th. Tristan and Keagan are struggling around 25th, where there never seems to be any clear air just a lot of boats on opposite tacks. Duncan is in the mid 30’s, Helen and Alex alternating around 40th.
At the end of today Matt is 2nd, Chiara 13th, Tristan 28th, Keagan 32nd, Duncan 36th, Helen 43rd and Alex 44th.
Overall Results here
Manager – Team RSA