Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson head Yngling fleet by 11 points in Cascais 9/7/07

Overall positions stay the same after the third day of racing at the ISAF world championship in Cascais, with Team Shirley Robertson in second place overall and Sarah Ayton’s team in first place. The American Yngling crew are still the British team’s nearest rivals despite not finishing the first race of the day.

The ISAF World Championships have five sailing areas in Cascais Bay, which the 11 different classes are rotated round, allowing fleets to sail in both the inshore waters and further offshore. The courses furthest offshore have seen strong breezes since the beginning of the regatta, with the breeze on Saturday gusting to 35 knots. The Ynglings were sailing on the furthest area, course five, which not only had the strongest breeze but the biggest waves.

The first race started well for Robertson with her leading the fleet by 200 meters for the majority of the race but a huge gust hit the fleet leading to broaching in over the place. Robertson’s went over on its side with the mast in the water while the team dealt with the situation. Unfortunately for the girls, the boat filled with water leaving them heavy and slow and allowing the rest of the fleet to sail past them. With little time left in the race, Shirley, Annie and Lucy fought back from 33rd position to finally cross the line in a respectable tenth position.

Robertson commenting on the race said: “It was carnage out there today with boats getting knocked down all over the course. We were very happy with our pace in the first race, as we pulled out a huge lead but then got hit by the massive squall. By the time we were sorted out and sailing again we were a long way back, but we worked hard as a team and managed to sail ourselves back up to tenth.”

Sarah Ayton’s Team finished third in the first race behind the third British entry in the Yngling Class, helmed by Victoria Rawlinson. Sally Barkow’s American Team, who were on joint points with Team Robertson after day two did not finish the first race in the big breeze.

The second race saw the race committee move the course nearer the shore to the lighter breeze, however, this did not help the fleet as the wind dropped even further by the cliffs. The majority of the fleet sailed off the start to the right hand side of the course, including the two top British teams. The wind died in this area leaving them bobbing and allowing the few on the left-hand side to sail away. Team Robertson eventually finished 20th, with Ayton in 13th.

After a layday yesterday the fleet will be back on the water again today starting at 16:20 local time.

1st Ayton, Webb, Wilson, 2,3,4,2,3,13 – 14 points
2nd Robertson, Lush, Macgregor, 1,2,3,9,10,20 – 25 points
3rd Barkow, Howe, Capozzi, 8,5,1,1,DNF,12 – 27 points