Commentary from; Craig Garmston (AUS), Mark Watts (GB), Adrian Bestwood (AUS) & Josh Wilce (GB).
Shore favoured left hand side of the course, with a patchy 15 knots. Mixed views on whether the cliffs paid or not and no two beats seemed to be the same.
All three races got away at the first attempt – the breeze strengthened throughout the day peaking at 22 knots.
Race 1 – The Flying Circus launched off the line with the pin boats getting the edge. Up the beat the left paid with the Anthill Mob (Tim Harrison/Johnny Ratcliffe) getting the better of the group and taking the win from Bonus (Guy Bancroft/Dave Grace) and The Nude (Richie Reynolds/Lisa Macmillan).
Race 2 was very much left up the beat for the whole race with the winners being those that could pick the shifts up the shore – downward was about picking the pressure lines with some bigger gusts starting to appear in the race. Peaking at 18 - 20 knots. Garda at its best with some big downhills. The fleet stretched out a bit with most finishing within 8 minutes of the winner. Bragging rights went to AUS 375 (Craig Garmston/Paul Newman) from Seavolution (Josh Wilce/Will Hall), followed by Bonus in 3rd. Josh Wilce and Will Hall were second in Race 2 after breaking their tiller in Race 1. A bit fruity downwind with a good defence by the leader who held onto the victory.
Race 3 - The Anthill Mob, after a pit stop to repair the main halyard, led off the pin and stormed off and won the left hand side of the beat defending the shore all the way up tacking and providing loose cover over the remaining fleet. As the breeze built the following pack had several changes of place with the Northern Hemisphere and Antipodeans getting equal bragging rights. At the finish the front half of the fleet chasing hard.
The lead boats predominantly hit the left side and AUS 375 was first to work up the right hand side of the course in the third race.
A small group went right with Marlow (Dan Cowen/Alex Stark) coming in from the right to mix it with the leaders. Down the run, there were split opinions, either hugging the Torbole shore or heading for the cliffs with breeze now gusting over 20 knots at times making for some exciting downwind action and converging boats towards the leeward mark.
On the second lap the whole fleet hit the left hand side of the beat and at the windward mark the lead three had a drag race to the finish. The wind was building throughout the day to 20 plus knots.
Tonight, after the late night of come dressed as your boat evening, with some nifty outfits, tonight will be a little quieter with another 3 full on races scheduled for tomorrow.
Many thanks to our sponsors; Zhik, Contender Sailcloth, WD40, Fantastica Race Team, Trentino Province, Hamburg Sud and Seavolution.
With the rest day fast approaching, it looks like there may be a few tired bodies, but come the lay-day, they'll be off exploring the mountains, restaurants and bars prior to the main event. Who will win is going to be a close call.