International Canoe Worlds 2014
Richmond YC, San Francisco Bay, USA
Race One, Day One
Sailed in a challenging breeze, pushing 20 knots towards the end. At the start Chris Hampe, something of a port tack start specialist, failed to clear the pack and collected both Rob Bell's boat and a hole on the starboard side amidships. Ouch.
Chris Maas built up a huge lead and seemed to have the race sewn up with much place changing, often capsize induced, behind him. However he capsized at the last windward mark, and in an atrocious piece of luck part of his rigging managed to get caught on a snap shackle underwater on windward mark. By the time he managed to untangle from this unlikely problem the whole of the fleet was long gone, and there was little to do but retire.
Mikey Radziejowski inherited the lead and took the race win, with Stephen Gay 2nd and Alistair Warren 3rd.
Race Two, Day Two
This one was even windier, and the safety boat fleet was kept busy, even implementing a temporary park for mooring broken Canoes. Mikey R built a substantial early lead from Chris Maas, who in turn was well ahead of the chasing bunch.
Mikey took the race with Chris 2nd, and Phil Robin from the UK third. Much boat building in the evening.
Race Three, Day Three
The first of two races on the third day of the event. This was very much a light wind race with only 4 or 5 knots at the start. Del Olsen took an early lead, but was overtaken by Robin Wood and Dave Clark as the wind built a little. Robin won from Dave C, with Del hanging on for third.
This got underway soon after race three, but in a bit more breeze, starting in about 10 knots. Things were getting a bit frisky on the line, with a general recall and the I flag broken out for the next, successful, start. The race was very hotly contested, and Chris Maas took a very narrow win from Mikey Radziejowski. Robin Wood tried but failed to lose third place with a last tack capsize...
Race Five, Day Four
The day started with flat calm and a postponement, but when the race eventually started it had reached to 10 to 12 knots again. It built to 18knots during the race. Early on Chris Maas was contesting the lead with Steve Clark and Stephen Gay. Mikey soon joined the leading group, and so did Peter Ullman. By the finish these two had come through to 2nd and 3rd respectively, with Chris maintaining first place.
Race Six, Day Five
Another moderate start to the day with around 8 knots, maybe a bit more at the start sequence. With an incoming tide the waves were not at their most aggressive. Chris M didn't manage the best of starts, but came through rapidly to take a considerable lead, chased by Mikey, but with these two well clear of the rest. Robin Wood took third place to keep somewhat in touch in the series.
By the time of this second race of the day the tide had turned and the sea had kicked up into a very challenging short chop. As a result there was an appreciably reduced fleet with only 24 starters. Amongst the absentees was Robin Wood, having vision problems with salt and sunblock washing into his eyes.
The race went to Mikey, who executed a neat tack under Chris' lee to lead across the line. Peter Ullman took another 3rd place.This left Mikey just a harsbreadsth ahead of Chris in the overall standings.
Race Eight (Day Six)
Much the same conditions as the previous day with the wind, as usual, building through the race. Mikey took a narrow early lead from Chris, with Chris managing to take the lead on one of the reaching legs. Peter Ullman and Hayden Virtue were contesting third place. In the end Chris just won from Mikey, leaving Mikey with the slenderest of leads and another dicard to kick in the next day. Peter took another third place.