The Nestea PWA Hungarian World Cup Day 3
After a superb evening of Hungarian hospitality in Budapest, many competitors seemed a little more bleary-eyed than usual at this mornings skippers meeting. Once again, glassy waters and lifeless flags seemed to herald another day of waiting.
At 10 o'clock, the postponement flag was raised and sailors went back into the now familiar holding pattern. The relaxed familiarity on the grassy shores of Lake Balaton was soon to be shattered however as, at about 11.45, a solid force 4 northerly breeze suddenly blew through the competition site bringing with it a frenzy of activity as competitors frantically prepared for what looked like a great days racing.
A simple upwind / downwind course was quickly set ready for a 12.30 start as sailors shot off the beach ready to race in anger for the first time in Hungary. As the green flag went up, the fleet pulled across the line like a school of mackerel avoiding a shark. Unfortunately there was one man slightly ahead of the rest and Wojtek Brzozowski (Starboard, Neil Pryde) was called over early, putting him in last place for race number one.
As the sailors reached the windward mark, the wind started to become extremely inconsistent before eventually dropping, leaving Race Director Klaus Michel no choice but to abandon the race. After 3 subsequent attempts to restart the race, the fleet was sent back to the beach for much needed food and refreshment in the blazing sun.
Throughout the remainder of the day, the wind continued to run through the same cycle, picking up and dropping repeatedly until finally at 6 o'clock competition was finally called off for the day.
As the sun sets, the Nestea continues to flow and competitors are now preparing for what looks from the forecast to be the big day. All eyes will be on Club Aliga tomorrow morning where competitors will (hopefully) finally do battle on the placid waters of Lake Balaton.
(For the sailor's eye view from Devon Boulon's perspective at www.devonboulon.com)