Light winds dominate, in complete contrast to the previous day 01/8/07

After no racing on the second day due to strong winds and big waves, the third day of the Laser Radial World and European Championship was a complete contrast. The initial three races (the two Women’s European Championship fleets and the first of the men’s World championship fleets) were abandoned as the winds died.

However, as the clouds cleared the breeze came back and the course was re-set. Each of the women’s fleets started at the second attempt but the first of the men’s fleets continuously pushed the line in spite of the black flag rule being in force. After 16 boats were disqualified for breaking the line during the minute before the start the fleet finally got away on the fourth attempt. The second men’s fleet were far less trouble.

Defending champion Evi Van Acker (BEL) consolidated her overall lead by winning her fleet. Afterwards she said: “I am very pleased. I had a good start and good speed and I led from start to finish.” The women’s top sailors all handled the lighter conditions well except for Croatia’s Gea Barbic, whose 29th place dropped her from 3rd to 15th overall.

It was a different story for the men. Overall joint leader, Douwe Boekens (NED) said before the race, “I was fast in the strong winds of the first day, but it could be a different story if the wind goes light”. His fears were well founded as he finished 15th in his fleet. “I had a disaster,” he said afterwards, but it only dropped him to third overall. Fellow Dutchman Eduardo Vianen, whose 5th place gives him a five-point lead over the chasing pack, takes the overall lead.

The Race Committee attempted to start the second of three races scheduled at 1700 but abandoned their attempt as the spring tide produced a two knot cross course current making it virtually impossible for the boats to make forward progress when beating into the current on starboard tack in the 8 knot wind.

The qualifier series is extended into the 4th day and 3 more races are scheduled. However the building high pressure over the southern North Sea does not give much promise of winds of over 8 knots. Once again the only window for a race could be during slack water time.

Provisional results after 3 races:

Worlds Men:
1. Eduardo Vianen NED 8pts
2. Stephen Cockerill GBR 13pts
3. Douwe Broekens NED 16 pts

Europeans Women:
1. Evi van Acker BEL 4pts
2. Gintare Volungeviciute LTU 9pts
3. Alison Young GBR 9pts