by Craig Heydon
Strong winds have made for a challenging day for sailors and officials alike at the Delta Lloyd Regatta in Holland.
After an opening day of mainly light conditions crews in Medemblik were greeted with 25 to 30 knot winds on Wednesday, limiting the amount of racing possible.
The first Australian crews did not hit the water until 5pm, after waiting four hours for the breeze to drop, with Australians in action in the 470 and Laser classes.
After dominating the opening day with three wins from three starts Mathew Belcher and Will Ryan had a tougher day two, with an eighth and a six from the day’s two races. The results mean that the pair are currently second overall, two points behind the leading Croatian crew.
“It was a long day today as we were postponed for four hours until the wind finally dropped below 25 knots,” said Belcher. “Once we finally got racing Will and I didn’t have the best of days. In the first race we were over the line early at the start and decided to go back so were left playing catch up for the rest of the race.
“The only issue then was that the races here are only 25 minutes long and you just can’t catch up that distance with such short races,” he said. “The second race wasn’t great either but that’s sailing for you. We felt that we got a sailing lesson from the fleet today and that’s why we love the sport, there’s always something to learn.”
Belcher and Ryan racing in strong winds in Holland. Image copyright Sander van der Borch
Fellow Australians Matthew and Robert Crawford had two top eight results on Wednesday to move into 10th overall, with Angus Galloway and Tim Hannah 12th and Alexander and Patrick Conway one place behind in 13th.
Racing was tight in the Laser class late in the day, with the fleets not returning to shore until after 7pm. A number of Australians were again in the mix with Tom Burton and Matthew Wearn both in the top four after the opening five races.
Burton is currently second overall, one point behind Croatia’s Tonci Stipanovic after finishing second and sixth in the day’s two races.
Wearn is four points further back in fourth after winning the opening race of the day and finishing 10th in race two.
Ashley Brunning has moved into eighth overall after a sixth and a second, with Ryan Palk now 12th. Jared West is currently 20th with Luke Elliott in 40th after recording his best result of the week, a fourth in the final race of the day.
Elise Rechichi and Sarah Cook are eighth overall in the 470 women’s fleet following a pair of ninth place finishes. The 25 knot breeze was the strongest the pair had raced in so far in Europe, after relatively light winds at their first event in Italy.
Sisters Sasha and Jaime Ryan are currently in 11th after finishing eighth in race one and then not finishing race two.
Racing was cancelled for the day for the Nacra 17 fleet due to the strong winds, leaving Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin third, Josh McKnight and Nina Curtis 14th, Pip Pietromonaco and James Wierzbowski 15th and Euan McNicol and Lucinda Whitty 17th.
The Finn class completed three races on Wednesday but Australian Oliver Tweddell did not take to the water due to illness.
Racing continues in Medemblik on Thursday with an early start planned to catch up with the race schedule.
Full results can be found at www.deltalloydregatta.org.
For more information on the Australian Sailing Team visit www.australiansailingteam.com.