Day three almost could have been a repeat of day two! Breakfast took place in the same howling winds at our hotel. The forecast was actually a bit stronger for today so on arrival at the beach I rigged 6.3m and 7.0m straight off the bat!
The similarities between the days finished right there and then. By the skippers meeting we were getting 50 degree shifts on the course and variable winds from 5-30 knots – not so conducive for racing! I was out of the round to be finished this morning so I just spent the morning relaxing in the shade watch the rest of the guys panic and test sails from 6.3m up to 8.6m!
We had run the first 9 heats the day before, and so we started the day a little in to the quarter finals. As the winds were tricky, some big names missed out with Steve Allen, Finian Maynard, Jimmy Diaz and Ross Williams to name a few who were knocked out in their quarter finals. Bjorn missed out in his semi-final to make the winner’s final which opened the door for Antoine Albeau to take the final win ahead of Ben Van Der Steen and young Italian Alberto Menegatti. Antoine has crept to a decent lead with Ben over Bjorn who sits in 4th, but over 10 points behind.
Round 4 started with much more consistent winds but incredibly tough heats. The previous race winner, Antoine Albeau had the most ridiculously STACKED heat which doubled as the French National Championships as Pascal Toselli, Pierre Montefon, Cyril Moussilmani and Cedric Bordes actually knocked Antoine out in the first round !! Micah Buzianis, currently in 2nd was the next to go knocked out in a very difficult quarter final – THERE ARE NO EASY HEATS!!
In the semi-finals, I was sitting on the beach (already knocked out from a brutal heat earlier in the round) with Peter Volwater’s girlfriend Alana (also an Aussie!!) just as there was a huge pileup at the first mark. Alana screamed as she realised it was Peter who crashed and was last to get up… seemingly killing his chances of making the winner’s final – or did it?
By some HAND OF GOD, at the next mark, Ertugrul Incigir (TUR-1) crashed in to Alberto Menegatti causing a 4-boat pileup which allowed Volwater – who was 100m behind – to sail around the outside like a king and shove straight in to 4th position and qualify for the final. There were some heated words on the beach from Alberto who looked like he wanted to punch in a few heads!
The winner’s final began and Volwater led start to finish! His first final win this season. Complete HAND OF GOD. Haha.
The wind started to get a little more patchy in the afternoon as we decided to only run the first 8 heats of the next round. I had a huge crash at the first mark in my heat and was last! Not really finding the speed here in this flat-water gusty conditions. Hoping for some lighter winds today!