Iain Percy and Steve Mitchell report on their successful day on the racecourse in Buenos Aires today
The Star World Championship overall results heated up with the completion of race five today in lighter breezes on the River Plate.
A 9-11 knots wind was unstable in direction and rewarded those who picked the shifts well. Bacardi Cup Champion Domingos/Santos (POR) led around the top mark in their favourite conditions, followed by overall leaders Rohart/Rambeau (FRA) and Grael/Ferreira (BRA) who were inseparable all day. We rounded seventh after getting stuck a bit on the right side of the course, and made small gains on the first downwind to round fifth behind the same top three and Bruni/Vigna (ITA) in fourth.
The second beat saw a small increase in wind and we managed to sneak past Rohart and Bruni, while Domingos and Grael continued at the front, the second downwind had the top four splitting from each other, Rohart and Domingos to the right and Grael and us to the left, the result was a four abreast traffic jam at the leeward gate, we rounded second behind Domingos, with Rohart and Grael taking the other mark.
All four boats crossed tacks throughout the final beat with first Grael losing ground, then Domingos relinquished the lead to us very near the finish, Rohart was on a charge and his speed upwind was almost enough to get us, both boats shooting head to wind on the line, with us getting the gun by half a length. We had finally won a race here, our first since the worlds last year, so well overdue.
In the overalls with a discard, Rohart/Rambeau lead with 8pts, Grael/Ferreira are second with 12pts, and there is a threeway tie for third between Loof/Ekstrom (SWE), Presti/Saliou (FRA) and us with 18pts, and sixth is Scheidt/Prada (BRA) with 24pts having had a bad race today getting a Rule 42 Yellow flag penalty. Grael needs at least second tomorrow with Rohart outside the top two to win, Rohart cannot finish lower than second so we may well see a match race developing between these two boats tomorrow. Loof, Presti or us need to win the race with Grael seventh or lower to beat him overall, so a match race will help our causes. But we also have the small matter of trying to beat each other. Should be a fun day!
Results (race 5)
1 GBR 8144 PERCY/MITCHELL
2 FRA 8107 ROHART/RAMBEAU
3 POR 8145 DOMINGOS/SANTOS
4 BRA 8210 GRAEL/FERREIRA
5 ITA 8180 BRUNI/VIGNA
6 FRA 7879 PRESTI/SALIOU
7 SWE 8191 LOOF/EKSTROM
8 NED 8170 HEINER/BREUSEKER
9 USA 7995 SZABO/FATIH
10 ITA 8031 MODENA/LAMBERTENGHI