American Youth to the fore.
As promised, Northern Ireland offered glorious sunshine, waves and a steady 16-18 knots on Day 3 of the 2014 F18 World Championships at Ballyholme Yacht Club. With only 1 minor course change all day, the Committee Boat was able to run another 4 races to get caught up on schedule.
We’re not sure if Florida offers similar conditions to Bangor but the USA Youth team of Taylor Reiss and Matthew Whitehead excelled today with 5,2,2,1 and moved into first place overall with a small lead over Gunnar Larsen and Ferdinand van West. The French crews also showed their pedigree through the day filling the top 4 places in Race 6. Gurvan Bontemps and Benjamin Amiot have menacingly appeared on the leader board with 1,3,3,3 today.
After looking forward to today’s action, title contenders Glenn Ashby and Brett Goodall unfortunately hit a floating object (suspected plank of wood) at full speed on the first race of the day and damaged their port hull. With only 6 races to go but their boat fixed (it helps that the crew is the boat builder), it will take a superhuman effort to get back to a respectable score.
Meanwhile at the other end of the fleet there was lots of action – local crew Richard Swanston and Matt McNicholl pitchpoled in front of the finish line (ala Devon Loch), Gislain Melanie fell out of the boat crossing the finish line and Chris Brooks had to convince his new crew member “English” Dave Anderson to let go of the bow as he was dragged up the beat. Thankfully Dave missed the Dolphin striker between the hulls and was picked up behind by the Safety Boat.
There are two days of racing left but the wind looks to drop a little tomorrow. We will see whether the young Americans can keep their form.
1. Taylor Reiss and Matthew Whitehead
2. Gunnar Larsen and Ferdinand van West
3. Grumman Bontemps and Benjamin Amiot
4. Morgan La Graviere and Armaud Jarlegan
5. Patrick Demesmaeker and Klass Victor
Full results: 2014.f18worlds.com