Put 54 champion competitors from 10 different countries in a setting as beautiful as Brant Beach Yacht Club in NJ and mix in winds that ranged from 14-18+ knots and you have a near perfect start to this year's International Sunfish Class Association (ISCA) World Championship.
Well, maybe this wasn't the real start to this championship event which actually had its official start last night with each country carrying their flag and marching into the clubhouse to the music of their country's national anthem Each competitor showed great pride in representing their home country with the goal to race to the best of their ability with a chance at a trophy. Us teary-eyed softies felt their pride while wishing each of them to race their best regatta ever.
With many redresses going on due to some broken boat parts - mostly rudders and one hiking strap - this report will show only Preliminary race results. Final Race Results will be posted tomorrow. The most common broken rudder part is being replaced tonight with heavy duty stainless steel bolts on every competitor's rudder so that there will be no broken rudders in Day Two's racing. Today's heavy air did more than test the competitors' abilities; the new boats were tested too, and the kinks are being worked out with a lot of effort thanks to Chris McClellan of SunfishDirect and his helpers who have been amazing throughout the whole boat assignment process.
So the #1 competitor on Day One was Alonso Collantes of Peru with a 1-2-1 who was able to replace his broken rudder between two races and didn't have to ask for redress. Only two points behind Alonso was Clemente Sequel of Chile with a 2-1-3. In 3rd place was Paul-Jon Patin of the USA with a 5-6-2 who also needed a replacement rudder but didn't have to ask for redress. Finishing 4th on Day One was Eugene Schmitt of the USA with a 4-3-5. And in 5th place was Jean Paul Trazegnies of Peru who was the last to cross the start line in Race One but managed to finish 8th in Race One (incredible sailing!) and who also had to file a redress due to a broken part.
At this morning's Skipper's Meeting, tow lines were handed out to each competitor in case the predicted heavy air (25-30+) blows in after the races have started tomorrow. But the Race Committee will watch this carefully and will keep full safety in mind before sending any competitor out there in conditions that could be less than safe. If races do get canceled, Thursday's lay day will be used to sail the make-up races.
Tonight is a BBQ celebration for everyone who had fun out there today and for those friends and family members who are here to cheer them on.