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Sailors off to a good start

Tuesday September 03, 2013 Written by Published in Other Sports
National sailors Junior Charlie, Taua Elisa and Teau McKenzie get their boats read on day one of racing at the Wallis and Futuna mini games. 13090450 National sailors Junior Charlie, Taua Elisa and Teau McKenzie get their boats read on day one of racing at the Wallis and Futuna mini games. 13090450 PHOTO ANNE TIERNEY

After a bit if trouble with transport we take off for the venue and get our boat prepared for racing.

Discussions with officials gets agreement we can use windicator and our own tillers.

Out to the course for the start of two races for Taua Elisa with very light fluctuating winds, dying away on parts of the course. No chance for familiarization.

Meet up with the rest of the sailors, and friends old and new!

Australia’s two men and women join us for the Oceania Laser Championships 2013 – another series raced in conjunction with the Pacific Mini Games.

Taua Elisa (race one) – After a good start, Elisa eventually found himself marooned on the wrong side which put him in a challenging space and he was unable to recover places which kept him out of the running.

Finished 7th, therefore a “drop”!

His light weather technique was looking very good as he sailed well to catch up the difference, he can look forward to capturing places right up front!

(Race two) Another good start in the middle of the line and a solid first leg, up with the front runners, a temporary unfavorable shift, then gained places again to finish in third place.

Junior Charlie (race three) – A good start from Junior putting him up with the front runners, very strong challenger downwind - gaining the lead twice then losing it- as the front four battled it out.

Charlie really applied himself to take out a good third place. With winds dropping away and changing direction substantially the course was re-laid and the fleet started the fourth laser race of the day.

(Race 4) Charlie got away to a good start. He raced well taking on the leaders again to develop another thrilling downwind battle eventually the Australia developed a good lead and drew out the New Caledonia competitor, with Fiji finishing just ahead of Charlie in fourth place.

With 14 entries (seven countries) and only 12 boats, the men’s fleet has been split using country rankings for the first day, and will be redrawn each racing day from the results to date so that two fleets are evenly split.

New Caledonia and Australia have strong sailors - one in each of today’s men’s groups.

The sun is going to be a factor here as the regatta unfolds with all competitors feeling dehydrated even after plenty of hydration. Our aim is to limit the exposure as much as possible so that plenty of energy is available throughout the whole 9 days of the regatta.

The imperative is to get a handle on the tidal and wind effects of the motus close to the course so as to get maximum benefit from each race.

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