Port Elizabeth, 26 March 2015 – Algoa Bay dished up some of it’s famous wind today – the last day of the pre worlds and SA Championships of the 60th SAP 5O5 World Championships.
Only one race was sailed in hard conditions that averaged 18 knots from the West with 1.5 metre swells, a smattering of rain and a number of retirements.
Race Officer Di Hutton-Squire took the fleet out nearly 14 nautical miles from the Port of Port Elizabeth in the direction of Cape Receife and the Bellbouy. Course 1 was the flavour of the day with the first start at 12h00 being abandoned due to confusion of the role of the designated pathfinder. The restart was quickly done at 12h23 and the fleet set off on an hour plus sail with the first finisher – last year’s World Champion, Mike Holt with new crew Carl Smit (USA 9072) – crossing the line at 13h22. Closely following were Ian Pinnel and Johannes Tellen from Great Britain (GBR 9136)in second place.
South African sailors and SA Champions Thomas and Peter Funke finished in 8th place for an aggregate score of 14 points placing them 7th overall behind two boats from the United States, two from Germany, one from Denmark and one from Australia.
After the last race Thomas Funke said; “We had excellent sailing today, lekker breeze and we are getting close to that first. We are happy that everything is holding together and that our boat is quick. Our boat got a 6th overall in a Worlds and first in one race so we are optimistic for the Worlds starting on Saturday.”
Second placed Ian Pinnel said; “The conditions were fairly breezy with good close racing.” Pinnel has sailed 22 Worlds and is looking forward to taking Mike Holt on in the worlds.
Asked how his reception in Port Elizabeth was, first placed Mike Holt said that he and crew Carl Smit were having fun but; “The race management was ecperiencing a few challenges which should be ironed out before the start of the Worlds – but that is why we have a pre worlds!” Asked about the conditions Mike said; “Carl and I were having a great sail out to the course today and we both said that that ride was worth the plane ride just for this sail.”
The feeling from Mike Holt is that the outcome of the Worlds is really between ten strong competitiors with Jan Saugmann and Jakob Karbo being singled out as the light wind favourites and himself as the heavy wind expert – at 68 kilograms Holt needs the 100 kilograms of Smit to keep the boat flat and fast.
South African champs Thomas and Peter Funke have 2 kilograms on Holt and Smit so they will be hoping for a week of stronger winds to make their way up to the top of the fleet.
The Worlds starts on Saturday 28 March with two tug boats who will lead the fleet out of the harbour spraying water cannons to welcome the fleet in traditional fashion.
Top three finishers:
- Mike Holt and Carl Smit – USA
- Ian Pinnel and Johannes Tellen – GBR
- Sandy Higgins and Paul Marsh – AUS
Top three South Africans:
- Peter Funke and Thomas Funke
- James Largier and Richard Hutton-Squire
- Alexander Ham and Warwick Ham
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