Ireland: The first day of racing at the 505 Pre-Worlds in Crosshaven, Cork was challenging, and three races of an hour each in shifty conditions with large pressure changes, resulted in big numbers on each teams’ scorecard.
Race 1 started in 12-15 knots, but almost immediately after the gun, the wind dropped to 4-5 knots. This was the story of the day with direction changes of up to 30 degrees and large pressure differences as clouds moved through.
The gate boat for Race 1 was Nathan Batchelor and Sam Pascoe GBR 9240. This role can either be a curse or a benefit. For this team the pathfinder, the role ended with sixth in that race, their worst result of the day. Regardless, they were the one boat to shine, backing up their sixth by winning the Races 2 and 3.
Batchelor and Pascoe have been racing 505’s since 2015, with several top ten places and close finishes at world championship level. Both work at Ovington Boats, a builder of the 505s. Pascoe is a two time International 14 World Champion. As a team, the two were second at the Fireball Worlds. They certainly had good speed today and given the forecast will now take on the mantle of ‘favourites.
The next best placed boat was the Aussie team of Peter Nicholas and Luke Payne. From Western Australia originally, both spend the majority of their time overseas. Nicholas is an honorary Swede and Payne part of the Danish SailGP team. Jumping into the boat for the first time only yesterday, they didn’t look to have any speed advantage, but sailed smart with a 10-4-10 result.
For the American fans, Stuart McNay and Caleb Paine – the Olympians were marked DNC for all three races. They hadn’t provided their sail number to organisers, so will be annoyed, as they would have finished the day second or third. From there it was Morgan Pinckney and Garrett Brown USA 9080 and then Mike Holt and Rob Woelfel.
First female was Malin Broberg sailing with Johan Röök. The Swedish team enjoying their time as gate boat in Race 2, gaining a second. They fifth after the day’s sailing.
Interestingly, as we were watching the third race, a strange anomaly occurred. All the red, white and green spinnakers emerged at the front of the pack, while all the boats with blue spinnakers followed! It was surreal. 30-40 blue, blue and white and blue highlighted spinnakers were bringing up the rear.
Conditions look challenging again for tomorrow; a light and dying nor-wester in the morning, swinging 180 degrees in the afternoon and hopefully freshening. The boats will likely be held ashore until conditions stabilise If that is the case and the wind swings onshore, perhaps we can expect less shifts and more speed. Three more races tomorrow.
Full results: http://www.int505.org/2022-world-championship-cork/