The French sailors dominated the third day of the Dart 18 Worlds 2009 in Aruba. Title defender Emmanuel Dodé and Fred Moreau took both bullets and are leading by five points now. Former World Champions Thierry and Christine Wibaux climbed to the third position overall. David Lloyd and Joanna Jones-Pierce (GBR) hang on to their second place. However, the difference between the numbers two till four is only one point. The Pols brothers had a bit more competition in the Aruba Heineken Catamaran Regatta, but won still both races. Today's offshore breeze was more gentle with about 20-25 knots.
The leading Frenchmen did not have a good start in the first race this morning. “We had too much speed and had to bear away before the gun”, explained Dodé. Their German, Dutch and British competitors crossed the line at the committee boat and took an early lead. Dodé: “I think we were fifteenth after 200 meters, but our strategy worked out well. We went to the right as soon as possible, but not all the way to the lay-line. We under-tacked it, because we preferred to play the many shifts -mainly to the left- at the top mark close to the shore.”
The Britons Lloyd/Jones-Pierce lead at the first buoy. Lloyd: “Emmanuel got us on the second beat. He seemed to have more wind round the mark and he was gone.” Dodé comments: “We often made a gibe-set, because there is less breeze at the right side of the downwind course with all the hotels along the beach.” The British couple finished second, followed by Thierry and Christine Wibaux.
Second Race – French party
Although Dodé/Moreau had a better second start, they did not win the first beat. Moreau: “We were covered by Thierry, who was pointing less high, so we decided to dip and pass him in leeward.” Meanwhile the Dutchmen Ruud Goudriaan and Bart Damen were smoking. They won the tacking battle close to the top mark and were first round. Damen with a smile: “That was our goal, so that felt great. Unfortunately, we are slow downwind. The more experienced teams do a much better job.” Especially Thierry and Christine Wibaux – the 2004 Dart 18 World Champions – were on fire downwind. Thierry Wibaux: “We were indeed very fast, but it also paid to go far to the right on the beat. We were a way out of the lay-line, which took us straight to the mark.” Dodé/Moreau lead in the gate, followed by the Wibaux couple. Both French teams didn't give up their positions anymore. The Germans Matthias Huber and Dominik Volke were third over the line.
Aruba Heineken Catamaran Regatta
Today's racing at the Aruba Heineken Catamaran Regatta was more competitive. The action was full on with some dramatic capsizes. Ten out of fifteen teams managed to handle the tough conditions. Xander and Marc Pols took both bullets, but they had to fight for it. Especially in the first race, they felt the pressure of John Moret and Paul Smissaert. But the unfortunate Dutch sailors went upside down again, which allowed the Tornado duo Leo Ambtman and Maarten Kroon to pass them. Moret with a bruised hand: “We are the capsize kings of the week, but we are done with that now. Tomorrow, we will get Xander.”
Dart 18 Worlds 2009 – Top five after three races
FRA – Emmanuel Dodé & Fred Moreau, 3 points
GBR – David Lloyd & Joanna Jones-Pierce, 9 points
FRA – Thierry & Christine Wibaux, 10 points
GER – Matthias Huber & Dominik Volke, 10 points
NED – Ruud Goudriaan & Bart Damen, 14 points
Top three Aruba Heineken Catamaran Regatta after three races:
NED – F18 – Xander & Mark Pols, 3 points
NED – F18 – John Moret & Paul Smissaert, 6 points
NED – Tornado – Leo Ambtman & Maarten Kroon, 22 points
For Wednesday, there are three races scheduled for both fleets.
In addition to the title sponsors Aruba Tourism Authority and Heineken Aruba NV, this year's Aruba Heineken Catamaran Regatta and Dart18 World Championships are also supported by Martinair, GILS Worldwide, Setar, Holiday Inn, Does & Cadushi, Tropical Bottling Company, Coca Cola, AWA, Aruba Aloë, VR Shipping, Aruba Watersports Center, Palm Tours, Pelican Watersports, Seaworld Explorer, Moomba, Zwitserleven, TNG, Patria and AMI Kappers.