Tricky conditions challenge crews on day one of 49er World Championships
Racing is underway at the 2012 49er World Championship in Zadar, Croatia, with light and unstable conditions mixing up the leader board at the end of the opening day.
Defending World Champions, Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen, find themselves 11th overall after the first three races, with the Australians finishing the day eight points off the lead.
Following a delay while the breeze slowly filled in Outteridge and Jensen finish third in the opening race, before an 11th and then rounding out the day with a fourth.
“Day one was a tricky one for us, with quite an unstable breeze and mostly light winds in the four to seven knots range,” said Outteridge. “We had a good first race placing third and the breeze was very light, less than five knots, we were then sent to shore so that the other group could race.
“We were only held ashore for just over an hour before being sent out to a different course area to do our final races,” he said. “The conditions had changed a little and it was more difficult as the wind was flicking all over the place.
“We couldn't get the first work correct in either of the races in the afternoon and had to fight our way back in both times,” said Outteridge. “We did a great job in the final race to come back from mid teens to finish up fourth.”
The light conditions mixed up the leader board with a number of leading crews finishing back in the pack in one or more races.
“With the light winds here it is giving the newer light teams a good chance to be at the front,” said Outteridge. “I think conditions are meant to become a little more stable and you’ll probably see the usual suspects at the front.
“Looking back it was a pretty good day, it was disappointing to get an 11th when we were in the top two near the top mark and to have to then fight our way back but overall a good day,” said Outteridge.
Fellow Australians Luke Parkinson and Jaspar Warren are 52nd overall in their first 49 World Championship together.
The West Australians finished 23rd in the opening race, 19th in race two and finished the day with their best result, a sixth.
Racing continues in Croatia on Tuesday with the 2012 49er World Champions to be crowned on Saturday 12 May.