Britons make the best of the conditions in lighter winds and sunshine 30/8/07

Localized gusty winds partnered with patchy breeze on day three of the Man Roland J/24 European Championship in Neustadt, Germany ( see previous story here ) meant that race eight saw a postponement of about 30 minutes. Once the weather had settled, racing began in five to six knots.

Briton Ian Southworth, sailing Inmarsat Hedgehog, led the pack as the wind began to die away up the first beat. Glomb, several places behind after being forced to the right of the course, then made a long, slow starboard tack to the often favoured left, where Germany’s Carsten Henzel in Vitesse, led a group of boats, but in little pressure. As the boats edged toward the first mark, pressure and a localised lift brought Henzel and half the fleet back into the race. Southworth rounded in the late twenties with Glomb now in the top five. The first run witnessed numerous wind shifts triggering place changes with Glomb showing great tactical work to move to third place.

Southworth also picked up places and the next beat saw both sailors working their opportunities. During the next downwind leg, Vitesse opted for an immediate gybe and Glomb, now in second place, moved with the Germans. Southworth did the same, making further gains. Shifts turned the run to close reach gybes and back at regular intervals.

Vitesse defended his lead to the finish, from Glomb and Jan Peter Helmsn in Jeantex – who scored his first top ten finish of the week. Fourth was the Man Roland team in Rotoman. Kok in J-Spot was fifth. Southworth made further gains to finish ninth.
The start of race nine was also delayed. The Race Officer read the difficult conditions well. A black flag start got the fleet underway with just three losses.

Henzel grabbed the favoured left side. Southworth also pushed hard to left and worked the shifting conditions upwind and down to take second place as they approached the weather mark. Taking shifts of up to 30 degrees both boats worked the left, with Southworth finally taking the lead. Further back, Glomb had moved up to third, but Southworth had by then extended his lead, and sailed straight to the finish in first.

Dan Glomb and his Brazilian crew now have a six point lead on Britain’s Ian Southworth, with fellow Briton Gareth Robinson moving up to third place on equal points with MAN Roland’s Rotoman. Southworth commented: “Dan Glomb and his crew are sailing really well and this is great racing. We are glad to have such a great competitor in the fleet.” There are three further races scheduled.