After the opening day of the 2017 Para World Sailing Championships was blessed with gorgeous sunshine and a 7-9 knot breeze, albeit shifty, Thursday was a massive contrast.
The day had a bit of everything. There were grey skies, heavy showers and no breeze in the morning. Moving into the afternoon, a sudden sunny spell was coupled with a heavy breeze, gusting up to 25 knots. The breeze declined as the afternoon played out before dropping off completely and bringing another rain shower to put an end to the day.
Only the Open 2.4 Norlin OD, One Person Keelboat, managed to sail, and they completed one race in variable 5-16 knot southerly breeze.
The race victory went the way of Bjørnar Erikstad from Norway who moves up into sixth overall. He was followed by Damien Seguin, Athens 2004 and Rio 2016 Paralympic gold medallist. Seguin subsequently moves into first overall, overtaking Daniel Bina (CZE) who discards his 13th.
An ever-changing breeze really tested the 2.4 Norlin OD competitors in their single race and the breeze was as variable as it comes.
Erikstad managed to get a clean start in the middle of the line with space around him. Those starting at the pin end of the line found themselves in a bit of a cluster allowing the Norwegian some space.
With clean air in his sails Erikstad was able to control the pack in the middle of the race course on the first upwind leg. His superior speed over his rivals ensured he rounded ahead of the chasing fleet.
Erikstad had Seguin in his shadow in the first part and middle section of the race but towards the finish Erikstad began to stretch and he crossed the finish line 23 seconds ahead.
Australia’s Matt Bugg and Germany’s Heiko Kroger followed through in third and fourth respectively.
Kroger occupies the final podium spot after three races with Bugg just two points off.
The 2.4 Norlin OD fleet were unable to get a further race in as the Men’s and Women’s Hansa 303 fleets were sent out on to the water to attempt to squeeze in a race.
However, the wind had completely disappeared by the time they reached the racing area and they were sent in for the evening.
Racing will commence racing at 12:00 local time on Friday 23 June and three races are scheduled for all three fleets as they attempt to catch up on a day lost.
By Daniel Smith – World Sailing
PARA WORLD SAILING CHAMPIONSHIPS
The 2017 Para World Sailing Championships take place in Kiel, Germany from 19-25 June 2017, held alongside Kieler Woche (Kiel Week) sailing festival. The first World Championship after the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, a number of Paralympic Champions and former World Champions will be racing across the Open 2.4 Norlin OD, Men’s Hansa 303 and the Women’s Hansa 303. Sailors in all three classes will race under minimum disability criteria.
ABOUT WORLD SAILING
World Sailing is the world governing body for the sport of sailing, officially recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). Founded in 1907, World Sailing’s vision is for a world in which millions more people fall in love with sailing; inspired by the unique relationship between sport, technology and the forces of nature; we all work to protect the waters of the world.
World Sailing is made up of 145 Member National Authorities, the national governing bodies for sailing around the world and 114 World Sailing Class Associations.