Malaga, September 20-23, 2012. Regatta report by Don Bedford
Marta and Angela Hernandez (Spain) won the Women’s Worlds and the Carmen Diaz Trophy for the top Junior team.
Four days of racing were held in Malaga Spain for the 2012 Women’s World Championship. 21 competitors from 5 countries competed on the Mediterranean Sea with beautiful weather. The only possible thing missing was a steady breeze!
The first day’s competition was postponed for an hour until the breeze began to fill-in a little. Some wind began to fill but we only were measuring four knots as many of the sailors began working on their tans and taking in a swim. We finally abandoned racing for the day at 16:00.
Friday saw even more challenging conditions. We postponed at the dock until 16:00 when we headed for the race course. The Spanish Europe Dinghy Nationals were also being sailed and they started first in about 4 knows. SCIRA rules dictate at least 5 knots to start a race and so we waited. After 3 legs of the Europe race, the wind died away and their race was abandoned. The wind never returned and another day’s racing was called at 18:00.
On Saturday we saw some good breeze on the West race course and the harbor gun sounded at 11:00. With the boats getting a tow out to the course, the Euros were off around 12:00 and the wind was building to about 6 knots. The Snipes had their first start with most crews sitting on the rail and some even hiking. As the wind built to nearly 8 knots we lengthened the course at the first leeward mark for a race that lasted just over an hour with oscillating winds. Marta & Ángela Hernández won the close race.
The second race got underway but the wind was dying a bit. The course was shorted at the leeward mark and the lead changed places several times in very challenging conditions. Local sailors Marina Gallego and Marina Sánchez finished in the lead.
Three races were needed for a Championship trophy and the committee saw just over 5 knots for the start of the last race around 15:30 in the afternoon. The wind had been steadily shifting from about 180 to about 150 but most of the boats where sailing to where there looked like the most breeze. As they approached the leeward mark the easterly breeze was filling from the shore and causing very little wind and a compression in the fleet. As they were sailing up to the windward mark the wind was steadily dying and so the race was shorted at the top mark. Marta & Ángela Hernández found themselves in front again with Marina Gallego and Marina Sánchez a close second. More wind from the south was promised for the final day!
The Sunday harbor gun was sounded at 10:00 and all sailed out to the west course again. The wind was light but filling from the sea so the committee motored farther out under a postponement flag. A noon start sounded with a nice 7-8 knot breeze with the fleet splitting upwind. Marta and Ángela Hernández had superior speed and had a very comfortable lead the whole race with no one ever challenging their position.
The fifth race of the series sounded but the wind had dropped to 5-6 knots. The course was longer than the previous day but the off-shore breeze started pushing in as the fleet approached the last leeward mark. Marta & Ángela Hernández again rounded in the lead but the fleet split and they chose to cover Marina up the last leg. The wind began to fill on the right but then collapsed and the boats on the left lifted with breeze and coasted across the line after a one hour race. It took another 10 minutes for the rest of the fleet to struggle up the last leg. Finally at 14:45 the committee abandoned the races and the series was complete. Marta and Ángela Hernández had won with 4 firsts and a fifth and to win the Women’s Worlds Yamaguchi trophy and were the top juniors to win the Diaz trophy as well!
A warm thanks to the Real Club Mediterráneo and to SCIRA Spain for a wonderful regatta. They put on the best regatta for the conditions presented and did everything they could to make the sailors feel welcome and enjoy themselves.