The first day of racing at ISAF Sailing World Cup Weymouth and Portland sprung a few surprises with an uncommon north eastern breeze testing the fleet. Ranging from 10-15 knots the breeze coupled with glorious British sunshine resulted in some great race action.49er
On the face of the 49er results it would be quick to assume that leaders Lukasz Przybytek and Pawel Kolodzinski (POL) were the stand out performers of the day. However, regattas aren’t won on the first they. It takes a consistent performance across five days of racing to come out on top and the most consistent team of the day were the first placed John Pink and Stu Bithell (GBR).
The pair recorded a 8-3-9 scoreline and were the only team to record three single digit scores. “On the first day of the regatta it’s always nice to start well and we’re thrilled to bits with three top tens. We’re fifth overall which is great and tomorrow brings another challenge because it’s going to be windy and we’ll be pushing on and hopefully get into that top three.
“It’s a great fleet, the top boats in the world are here and no one is really missing. It’s great that everyone is competing in the ISAF Sailing World Cup.”
Bithell won silver in the Men’s 470 at London 2012 and on his home waters he knows what the venue is all about, “You could argue that I know Weymouth fairly well,” he said with a smile. “I’ve lived here for some years now, did the Olympic Games here and is there a home advantage,” he pondered, “yes there probably is but incidentally we don’t always get the wind direction we had today.”
The Polish crew lead on seven points with Pink and Bithell four points off the leaders. Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS) and Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign (GBR) are tied on 8 points in second and third.
Nathan and Goobs start out the week with a new boat they named ‘Honey Badger’ cuz the honey Badger don’t quit… more importantly Nathan was quoted when talking of 16 regatta win streaking Kiwi’s Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, “Somebody needs to start beating these guys, it might as well be us.”
The Kiwi’s had their worst day in recent memory and finished two races in the 20’s. It’s a long week, but all the top teams looking working to catch up may have a chance this week to grab a scap they’ve been chasing.