Strong northerly winds are buffeting Sandringham Yacht Club and Port Phillip is a sea of white caps on the first day of Medal racing at the ISAF Sailing World Cup – Melbourne.
The postponement signal has just sounded for the invited classes Vipers and 29ers and up the track observation stations are showing close to 30 knots.
Forecasts indicate northerly breezes gusting mid-20s then backing off by midday to 10-15 knots, down to 7-12 by 2pm. The first Medal race, the 49er, is due to start on the Stadium course at midday today, Saturday 13, December 2014.
Coordinating the race management team and multiplicity of on-water tasks for the Melbourne World Cup event, one part of the definitive six part series for Olympic and Paralympic sailing hopefuls, falls to Athanasios Papantaniou or ‘Sulis’ as he’s better known as the ISAF Principal Race Officer and Antonio Gonzalez De La Madrid, ISAF’s technical delegate.
SYC’s PRO Olympic classes Ross Wilson has been involved with the event along with his brother Kevin, PRO Invited classes, since the inaugural regatta in 1994. In 21 years the iconic twins have only missed one Sail Melbourne, that was in 2001 when they took a Sharpie to Port Lincoln for the class national title. The event moved to St Kilda that year while the new SYC clubhouse was under construction.
As long as the weather plays ball, race day six of the ISAF Sailing World Cup – Melbourne and Sail Melbourne will be a mix of medal and final qualifier races with six courses in operation.
The Medal races are scheduled for the 49er, 49erFX, Men’s RS:X, Women’s RS:X, Nacra 17, Men’s and Women’s Kiteboards.
The following classes still have one more day of qualifying races – Men’s 470, Women’s 470, Finn, Laser and Laser Radial.
The Skud 18, 2.4mR and Liberty classes complete their series today.
The Sail Melbourne Invited classes have provided a busy backdrop on Port Phillip to the ISAF Sailing World Cup – Melbourne racing. Thirteen classes have taken to water this week with the first two classes completing their racing yesterday.
The following Invited fleets are due to race today - Laser 4.7, Men’s Laser Radial, Viper, International OK, International 505, International 420, 29ers, Minnow, International Cadet and Optimist.
At 16:30hrs the kiteboarders will be out on the Stadium course thrilling the spectators with a foiling exhibition race.
Two days into their Viper series, the scores for Australian brothers Daniel and Nathan Kerckhof add up to the perfect six wins from six races. France’s Emmanuel Le Chapelier and Nicolas Touchot from Yacht Club Toulon are ranked second with today and tomorrow closing out the competition at Sail Melbourne.
Hampton course is home to the Minnow fleet for their four day series led at the halfway point by Victorian sailor Hamish Bolton over Anna O’Brien and Sofia Burns.
In the three-board Bic Techno class Tasmania’s Angus Calvert handled both the early soft and then the later heavy conditions with aplomb to win seven of the 12 races ahead of the Northern Territory’s John Lynch and Queensland’s Catherine Paice.
The top places in the four-boat 49erFX Open class were taken out by NSW teams. After 13 races, first place overall belonged to Nina Long and Corey Hamilton and in second George Stent and Ben Robinson. In third place was Clare Costanzo and Nathan Edwards.
Racing continues today for the International 505s which are being led by South Australia’s Sandy Higgins.
After three races the International OK class is being led by Victorian Mark Jackson.
If you would like more detailed information on the event please visit the event websitewww.sailingworldcupmelbourne.