First day of Pre-worlds regatta for the ACO Musto Performance Skiff World Championships started today in classic Garda Ora winds with sunshine and 15-18 knot southerly winds.
The fleet launched in light winds under instruction of the race team on the anticipation of the arrival of the famous thermal Garda winds and as the fleet worked its way towards the start line the breeze gradually built to a steady 15 – 18 knots with greater wind pressure to be found towards the cliffs.
The fleet got away cleanly on the first start with those with good starts quickly choosing to head towards the right hand side cliffs to pick up the stronger pressure.
First round the windward mark was Dave Poston (GBR) who gybe set and set off in a ball of spray towards the cliffs. The following bunch headed by Richie Robertson (AUS) headed right with a straight set. The fleet split into two and those towards the cliffs hooked into big breeze but they had gone too far to find it and overstood the leeward gate. Those who had sailed towards the right had pulled through and at the end of the first lap Robertson lead from Poston and Thor Schoenhoff (AUS) in third.
On the second lap the leaders headed right on the beat then worked the left on the run this time with calling the gybe point being critical running into the finish Thor Schoenhoff (AUS) managed to squeeze through for the win from Richie Robertson(AUS) and Dave Poston (AUS).
In the second race the breeze had moderated slightly to perhaps 12- 14 knots. Again the fleet got off cleanly first time and the leaders headed right on the first beat; on the first run again the fleet split opinions; the course was probably too far from the cliffs for you to really hook into the big breeze under the cliffs so the winning strategy was to work the pressure; call good laylines and to avoid the windsurfers.
At the end of the first lap Richie Robertson (AUS) lead from Bruce Keen (GBR) and Dan Trotter (GBR). The second lap saw these three lead the fleet to the right upwind then down the centre of the run to hold these positions to the finish.
by Rick Perkins