by Mark Watts
After the light show the night before and the enforced lockin at the local winebar (whilst waiting for the rain to stop) the fleet were optimistic of sunshine and the legendary Ora for Day 1.
The abbreviated version of the day from roving reporter Leaky
"Race report from behind the scenes (& behind reinforced concrete survival bunker)…..
Yeah. They all went out and used-up all the sensible air…..then, “IT” came. 😬. Quick, RUN FOR THE HILLS!
NO! NOT THE HILLS! Just RUN!………"
The full report..
After holding ashore to ensure we weren't being sent out into a dangerous thunderstorms the fleet headed out into a solid Northerly but the big holes in the breeze were a warming of things to come.
Off the line the fleet split looking for pressure with none of the favourites agreeing. In the end it was Russ Gibbs/Lucy Loughton GBR762 "ASBO" that rang the bell out left to lead round from GBR799 "Seavolution" Mark Barnes/Simon Reynolds
The first run saw a number of teams distracted by the scenery and heading for the cliffs only for the wind to shut down. The big winners "Wonky Donkey" GBR797 Mark Watts/Matt Johnson pulling through to 2nd.
The next beat and run saw plenty of snakes and ladders with ASBO holding on with a lot of place changes behind. The final beat became very patchy with a pack of boats all arriving at the windward mark together and some big losers and gainers.
The last run was super light, at the finish ASBO were pipped to first by Seavolution, recovering from their earlier sightseeing trip to the cliff. GBR 796 "Harken" Nick Craig/Toby Lewis picking some good shifts for third to make it a GBR 123. Behind were a lot of photo finishes in extremely close finishes.
Special mention to GBR 756 Paul Roberts/Guy Raynes "Erectile Distinction" for sticking it out for 2 laps despite their obvious problems…..
The looming thunderstorm meant the next race was for the beach before an opening ceremony accompanied by torrential rain and massive hailstones.
Fingers crossed Day 2 reverts to classic Garda conditions, as the sun sets in beautiful sunshine it looks promising. And if the early socials and close racing are an indicator an epic few days to come.