The dilemma of the day was whether to take the port bias line and the left shift of the Oregon shore or the strong current in the deep channel on the right on the Washington side.
Places changed on day two in the RS Aero 5 fleet. After some close tussles Dieter Creitz (USA) took the lead with three wins. Seattle club mate Ryan Zehnder (USA) hung on to 2nd with a 3,5,2 whilst the biggest mover and shaker of the day was Yannick Gloster (USA) with a 2,2,3 jumping up to third. Enjoying a better day today was Caroline Young (USA) from Davis Island, Florida who overtook Robyn Ratcliffe (AUS) of George’s River SC, Sydney to be top female.
The RS Aero 7s today belonged to Dalton Bergan (USA) with three race wins showing excellent positioning and downwind skills through the wavy and gusty Gorge. Noah Rees (GBR), Peter Barton (GBR) and Jay Renahan (USA) fill out the next three places each scoring some good counters. Carl Buchan (USA) likely won the 1st mark contest over three races showing excellent judgement with his starts and layline decision making. The biggest mover a shaker was Andrew Holdsworth (USA) from Seattle and Yorkshire Dales who leap frogged loads of boats to land in the top ten with three results in the top 6.
The RS Aero 9s looked sensational today blast reaching on the reaches across the bottom of the course. Seattle’s Dan Falk (USA) held onto 1st overall but today saw two new race winners in Michael Johnson (USA) and the east coast’s Madhavan Thirumalai (USA) taking a win a piece. Madhavan, Michael and Keith Hammer (USA) all share 2nd equal as the competition intensifies for the podium.
Again the day concluded with after sailing drinks and snacks and a fleet debrief with Jay Renehan providing an insight in watching for the gusts downwind and side stepping as necessary to engage them and then stay in them.
Tomorrow the fleet will race one long distance race with a standard beat and run followed by a downwind 5 reach slalom back and forth across the width of the Gorge. The fleet will then continue on a mega run to Home Valley before a goliath upwind home assisted by the region’s great peak’s snowmelt producing the fast flowing Columbia Gorge River current. The finish will be off the CGRA clubhouse HQ in front of the grandstand and applauding crowds with free beer ashore. Wow!DAY 3
The westerly breeze came in again but this as a time slightly lighter with 12-16kn. Narrow gust lines and some treacherous light patches kept sailors on their toes all day for three more races.
Again the dilemma of the day was whether to take the start line bias, the left shift off the Oregon shore or the strong current in the deep channel on the right on the Washington side. Often the various options all came in very close at the top mark with the differentiator being the finer detail of tagging a good localised shift or layline precision - good speed always helps too!
In the RS Aero 5s Dieter Creitz (USA) sealed the title on the penultimate day with a 2,1,1 from his Seattle club mate, Ryan Zehnder (USA), who sealed 2nd with a 1,2,4. A tight battle is unfolding for the Bronze however between Yannick Gloster (USA) on 28 points and Catherine Young mounting a big comeback now just four points back on 32.
In the RS Aero 7s Noah Rees (GBR) won the day with a 1,2,2 to move into a solid 2nd overall. Dalton Bergan (USA) scored 3,1,3 which was enough to seal the Gold in the large RS Aero 7 fleet. The win in the last race today went to Peter Barton (GBR) who enters the final day in a close match for the Bronze just a point behind Jay Renehan (USA).
The RS Aero 9s enjoyed great close racing again and three more race wins gave the big rig World title to Seattle’s Dan Falk (USA). There is a close battle for the Silver and Bronze unfolding with Michael Johnson (USA) just 1 point up on Keith Hammer (USA) going into the final day’s two races tomorrow.
Again the day concluded with after sailing drinks and snacks and a fleet debrief this time led by Peter Barton who attempted to unravel the dark art of RS Aero sail settings and upwind mode changes when necessary for gusts, lulls and a desired pointing angle across the course. The Jury provided an insightful debrief on their observations and a summary of the yellow flags so far to help sailors understand the limitations of where the fine line of RRS42 is drawn, promoting fun and fair racing.
On Friday the fleet will race the last two races and the forecast predicts a strong breeze coming in early. Everyone is set for a big final day to conclude what will be a fantastically memorable championship series.
Day 5 & Overall
It’s a wrap! The RS Aero Worlds finished today and what a way to end it! The westerly was already in when curtains were drawn and by start time it was piping hard at 20+kn, gusting 30kn, down the race course. That’s what we came for!
Two final races were scheduled to conclude the series and there were plenty of top spots up for grabs. After a short delay getting the committee boat anchor chain to hold in severe gusts we were away. The port bias of the start line-line could not be ignored and then the tide on the right appeared the dominant gain feature. Those willing and able to attempt daring port tack flyers were rewarded!
In the RS Aero 5s Dieter Creitz (USA) sealed the win and also top Youth (U22) accolade with another two 1sts for a clear victory from Seattle club mate Ryan Zehnder (USA) who took 2nd overall. Yannick Gloster (USA) of Santa Barbara and Dublin took 3rdand the final spot on the podium. Caroline Young had been mounting an assertive assualt on the podium in the later stages of regatta settled for 4th and top Female. Roy Van Maanen (IRL) finished 5th and top Master (O55). Jacques Kerrest took top Grand Master (O65) in 6th.
In the RS Aero 7s Dalton Bergan (USA) had already sealed the title and took another race win, but it was all to play for on the rest of the podium. Noah Rees (GBR) had a tough day in the big breeze and dropped to 4th. Jay Renehan (USA) and Peter Barton (GBR) traded places by a point in each race but victory ultimately went to Jay for both the Silver and top Master (O55) after three boats were flattened at the final gybe mark, spoiling Peter’s point differential hopes in the final race. In 5th overall and winning both the first and final races was Carl Buchan who was also 1st Grand Master (O65). Jack Miller gained on the final day with a 5,6 to take 6th overall and 1st Youth (U22).
Again in the RS Aero 9s it was all change on the podium as the big breeze whistled through. Dan Falk (USA) had already sealed the title but Keith Hammer (USA) stepped up to the bronze with a 2,1 from Michael Johnson (USA) in the Bronze who was also top Master (O65).
Never before in an RS Aero Championship have the endeavour prizes been so hard earned with often 30+kn winds and a long distance race too. They are awarded to the competitor who completes all the races and is highest placed after the results sheet is turned upside down. Applauded for finishing every race in some extreme wind and challenging waves were Jeff Dunmall (CAN) in the RS Aero 7s and Catherine Gloster (USA) in the RS Aero 5s.
At the awards ceremony the encased RS Aero Worlds trophies supplied by RS Sailing were awarded together with a fantastic spread of prizes provided by Rooster and Kingfisher Yacht Ropes. The Declan Gloster Memorial Trophy for the annual Columbia Gorge Regatta, this year the RS Aero Worlds, was awarded to the three fleet winners too.
Many thanks went the Race Committee team who had a challenging job this week to balance the start lines and course biases. The International Jury did a fantastic job keeping a watchful eye to help keep our racing fair and fun insightful debriefs on their observations and penalty summaries. Columbia Gorge Racing Association but on a fantastic regatta alongside their regatta committee from the Seattle RS Aero fleet.
Thanks to all the RS Aero Worlds supporters - West Coast Sailing, RS Sailing, Seattle YC Foundation, Prism Kites, Rooster and Kingfisher Ropes.
The awards ceremony concluded an introduction to the Sardinian RS Aero World Championships in 2023 set in the island town of Calasetta near Cagliari. from 24-28th July. The fast growing Italian fleet look forward to welcoming the International RS Aero Class to one of their favourite dream venues with beautiful beaches, affordable accommodation and of course excellent cuisine. Check out the early info, links and pics via the link above.
Thanks to Bob Stawicki and Bill Symes for their excellent photos capturing the action!
Check out Bill Stawicki’s photos here;
(Go to Events->Sailboat Racing->RS Aero Worlds scrolling down the pages to find).
Download password: rsaero22! for the ‘social media’ galleries,
and check out Bill Symes of Columbia Gorge Racing Association’s photos here;
Download password; aero2022
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