The names should be familiar after the finish of the 49er Worlds but only with a change of the skipper's first name – Hayley. As the younger sister of Nathan Outteridge, Hayley borrowed her brother's crew, Iain Jensen, and they are currently leading the 183 boat 29er World championship fleet sailing on Lake Garda.
Epic Lake Garda conditions gave the Race Committee and competitors a chance to stretch out and complete 3 races in the 4 flights. Competition is tough with 2008 29er World Champion Steve Thomas (AUS) with Blair Tuke, borrowed from neighboring New Zealand and also fresh off the 49er Worlds. British sailors Tom Durham and George Hand round out the top3 all separated by 1 point.
Germany has shown up with 34 teams followed by the Britishwith 33, the United States with 18 and host country Italy with 15. This is the largest 29er World Championship ever held and competitors span 20 countries around the world.
Competitors range from adults to young teenagers and many are repeat competitors including Pepe Bettini from Argentina who is eager to win a Worlds after having come very close in 3 prior Championships. American Matt Nobel has also finished 3rd in 2 previous 29er Worlds and currently sits in 7th crewing for US sailor Judge Ryan who finished 4th in the 2008 ISAF Youth Worlds in Denmark.
Representatives from Hong Kong, the Cayman Islands and United Arab Emirates as well as established European, Americas and the everstrong Australians show the broad reach and popularity of the skiff and acceptance worldwide.
Three more races are scheduled for Tuesday.