The third day of the ACO Musto Skiff World Championship started with great promise with sun and wind in the dinghy park and four races ahead. As the fleet launched the wind dropped and became unstable in direction and the race officer rolled into a postponement as the fleet that were expecting full speed action bobbed up and down... then to make matters worse the fog started to roll in. Today was not a day to be the race officer who has been dealt some tough cards.
After a short delay the breeze stabalised and the race got underway, unfortunately even though the breeze played ball the fog had other ideas and after the first lap the race officer abandoned as the visibility had dropped to very low levels. This was a particular blow for the boats who were BFD in that race as they are not permitted to participate in the restart.
Eventually the fog cleared enough for the race to be restarted and the fleet got away in a building breeze. The fog was still lurking around but the visibility was just sufficient to complete a two lap race. The placings at the finish were Newman (AUS) then Oswald (SUI) then Stenhouse (GBR).
At the finish the fog rolled in again and the race officer postponed ashore so the fleet returned to WPNSA, and of course at that very moment the fog lifted, the breeze stabilised and the sun came out.
The brief visit ashore allowed competitors to grab some food and drinks and were quickly turned around to start a second race for the day (the fourth of the championship).
The breeze kicked in to 20 - 22 knots; the fleet were called back under general recall on the first start, then they got away at the second time of asking under a black flag.
The breeze was whipping up quite a nasty short chop that gave competitors a real challenging race track.
The sailors were charging around the course and whoops and cheers could be heard as they bounced down the run.
At the finish Stenhouse (GBR) just took the win chased hard home by Oliver (GBR) and Schwerdt (GER).
We have had the most challenging conditions here is Weymouth with strengths and directions of all levels; that mixed in with the heavy fog, large shipping movements and helicopter exercises the race officer David Campbell-James has had some really tough calls to make; he and his team have done a great job getting four races on the board in these difficult circumstances.
Currently Stenhouse (GBR) leads from Schwerdt (GER) and Keen (GBR), Oswald (SUI) is 4th, 5th is Palfreman (GBR) and 6th Newman (AUS).
The forecast looks grim for the next two days with very strong winds forecast. Given the highly variable nature of the wind at present let's hope the forecast is wrong...