Qualifiers are over, the real work begins now.
The light, shifty wind brought the flying Persico 69Fs back down to earth, but the unstable conditions allowed for plenty of opportunities for wily opportunists to move up through the fleet, or for others to slip down.
In the first race of the day, a last-second wind shift before the start meant that only the Kingdom Team and Young Azzura were able to make it over the line one time and they quickly built a strong lead. It was far from unassailable however as Team DutchSail- Janssen de Jong broke away from the chasing back to hunt down the leaders. By the end of the second leg, they were on the Italians’ stern. Foiling high and fast in the marginal conditions the Dutch team overhauled both leaders and covered them upwind to secure victory.
Following two races to wrap up the qualification series, the day concluded with one race of the knockout series before the wind died.
All scores reset to zero, but with elimination on the line the nervous fleet jockeyed for position before charging the startline. Kingdom Team, Southern Challenge and One Switzerland were over the line early and Kingdom Team capitalized on their advantage to comfortably lead the fleet around the racecourse, finishing first. The sharp-eyed umpires were waiting for them and handed out a 4 point penalty that sent them tumbling down the rankings.
50.0 NED Team DutchSail-Janssen de Jong
41.5 HKG RHKYC Team Agiplast
40.5 ITA Young Azzura
31.0 EUR Kingdom Team
28.5 USA Southern Challenge
18.0 ESP Youth Brava España
16.5 SUI One Switzerland
15.0 NOR Xela Racing
Knockout Series (after one race)
3.5 ITA Young Azzura
3.0 ESP Youth Brava España
2.0 EUR Kingdom Team
2.0 USA Southern Challenge
1.0 SUI One Switzerland
0.5 NOR Xela Racing
Not racing in race 1 (RHKYC Team Agiplast )
Team DutchSail-Janssen de Jong was the top-ranked team in the qualifying series and go directly to the finals and will not sail in the knockout rounds
“Going into the next rounds of the race, we’re working hard to copy the top teams as they’ve each got something to offer. Everybody’s back on equal points so there are lots of opportunities left”
– Riley Gibbs, Southern Challenge (USA)