On Monday 1st August, the 29er World Championship opened under the spanish sun in the clear waters of the Club Nàutic El Balís, Sant Andreu de Llavaneres. 242 crews from 26 countries went into battle over three race courses, with the Hungarian crew, Soma Kis-Szölgyémi and Sámuel Juhász winning the day, with the powerful Italian fleet chasing closely in their wake.
Two races were held with winds from the south-southwest between 7 and 10 knots before falling to five knots, meaning a third race could not be started by all. In the first race, the current and the intensity of the wind caused 22 boats to start prematurely and therefore scored DSQ by Race Committee.
The fleet is divided into six fleets, and the leaders Soma Kis-Szölgyémi and Sámuel Juhász picked up a consitent first and a second in the Green group placing them at the top of the table. The Italian crews formed by Alex Demurtas/Giovanni Santi, Zeno Valerio Marchesini/Carlo Vittoli and Mosè Billemo/Pietro Berti follow by just one point, as do the Dutch Yanne Broers and Rick Dieperink. All of these teams scored a first and a third in their respective groups.
The best Spanish crew after the first day was the Canarians Yoel Hernández and Álvaro Alonso winning the first race of the day in the Purple Group and sixth in the second, placing them ninth overall just four points behind the leaders.
The current world champions, the Valencian brothers Mateo and Simón Codoñer are sitting in twenty-second position, eight points behind the podium positions, but it is early days with so many fleets and races still to be sailed in the qualifying and final series, it looks to be a very closely contested fight to be crowned 29er World Champions 2022.
For today, Tuesday 2nd, four races are planned in each of the groups although the forecast looks to be very light winds so the sailors will be ready for a long day of nervous waiting and enjoying the local hospitality.
Editor’s Note: Day 2 update – Overnight, 3 further races were completed and the Spanish team of Peña and Ortega have moved into the lead. The Middle Harbour team of Tyler Dransfield and Jamie Stodart are the lead Australian boat in 19th with a first in race Q3. There are 18 Aussie boats in the fleet of 245, with some great coaches and parents supporting them. Good luck to them all over the next few days.
How to follow
29er Worlds website
29er Worlds results