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21.04.2012 - by: Chris Yates

REGGIO CALABRIA PWA WORLD CUP

Day 3: AWESOME WEATHER AND THE FIRST HEAT OF 2012 IS COMPLETED.

The promising forecast for today did eventually deliver racing conditions. From the beginning of the day, the wind was just below the threshold of the 7 knots required to allow racing to begin. Sailors and organizers alike were in a buoyant mood about what the day ahead held in store. The marginal conditions saw winds fluctuating between 5-13 knots, which resulted in a largely frustrating day for many of the competitors, as they were constantly stopping and starting. The crowds on the beach however, were rewarded with wall-to-wall sunshine after the changeable weather of yesterday. The Red Bull truck ensured a party atmosphere was ever present, constantly pumping out the tunes.

Women

The decision was made early in the day that heat 1 and 2 of the women’s division, would be run ahead of the men’s fleet. The first attempt to run heat 1 was abandoned in the final minute of the countdown sequence. However, just 15 minutes later, the opening race of the 2012 racing season was underway. Dilara Uralp (JP / NeilPryde) got off to a flying start as she crossed the start line in the lead, however Laura Linares (Challenger Sails) was soon challenging for first place.  Ultimately, it was Linares’ greater straight line speed and consistent gybing in the light winds, which enabled her to claim victory. This was even more impressive considering that Reggio Calabria was the young Italians debut on the PWA world tour. Alice Arutkin (Starboard / North) eventually had to settle for second place, followed by the two Turkish sailors, Cagla Kubat (Starboard / Loft Sails) and Dilara Uralp, who finished in third and fourth place respectively, thus securing their place in the winners final.

The second heat began almost immediately after heat 1 had been completed, however a false start by Maria Andres (Starboard / Gun Sails / Mystic) resulted in a general recall of all the sailors. The heat was promptly restarted, but the wind had already dropped, which forced the heat to be cancelled within a minute of setting off. Despite the women heading back out onto the water at 19:00, it was unfortunately not possible to obtain a result for heat 2.

Men

It was not just the women’s division who endured a frustrating day, as both heat 1 and 2 of the men's slalom suffered the same fate as the women’s second heat. Patrick Diethelm (Patrik / Loft Sails) was temporarily in the lead of heat 1 before, once again, the wind proved too marginal to allow the race to be finished. 

Earlier in the day we managed to get a few words from Ben Van Der Steen (Starboard / Loft Sails / Mystic), who was speaking about how he finds coping with marginal conditions whilst competing. “I find it really difficult playing the waiting game, I’d much rather be able to sail full power all day and get as much racing done as possible.”

The day was eventually drawn to a close shortly after 19:00. Tomorrow will see the skippers meeting being held at 10am, with a first possible start at 10:30. With 3 days of competition remaining, there is still every expectation of action taking place on the water in Italy. Make sure you tune in tomorrow to keep up with all the latest from Reggio Calabria.

On a slightly different note, after reporting about Oliver-Tom Schliemann (Starboard / Point-7), who broke his foot the day before the PWA Reggio Calabria World Cup began, we received an update on his situation. Oliver will undergo an operation next week, but it would appear he has been lucky with the break, and can realistically recover within five to seven weeks. Oliver would also like to send out his thanks to both the Italian doctors and the sailors who helped him.

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