By Laurie Fullerton
Hamilton, BERMUDA: Oct. 5, 2012- The Great Sound saw some strategic racing today amongst the 38 strong fleet competing in the Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup with current leader Douglas Elmes of Ireland picking the correct shift consistently and finishing the day in the number one spot.
Elmes who has a total of 16 points after seven races (with one drop) best illustrated that the key to racing well today was all about how the young sailors grappled with frustrating light-air conditions and tried to decide where to pick their shifts and tack up the course.
“In light air, I try to cover and not go too near the corners,” Elmes said, ”I actually prefer light wind and I find it relaxing and it gives me a chance to think. I haven’t thought any farther ahead – towards winning the event – but that would be really nice.”
Second place sailor Tomas di Luciano of Argentina is on the other hand, not a huge fan of light air but his consistent performance over two days of racing meant he was never far behind Elmes and stayed in the game.
“It is much more difficult in my case as I find it very frustrating to sail in light air - especially downwind,” di Luciano said. “I am excited just to be here because for a long time I was not near the top in sailing and with a championship like this it is really amazing.”
Now in its 10th year, the Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup has brought together 16 international sailors to compete against top Bermudian sailors and these international sailors have seen all conditions and all are sailing well.
Principal Race Officer Charles Tatem said, “This was one of those days that frustrates any race committee and challenges all the sailors. But, the quality of these kids is something. They are of a certain caliber and are prepared and handle it well. We feel we didn’t keep them out there longer than we had to, but long enough for them to really get some sailing in.
“These sailors,” Tatem added, “showed a lot of patience and professionalism as they waited for the wind. The traditional way of thinking on a light air day is you play the middle. These kids have sailed enough where the know that the weather is the weather and there is not much you can do about it.”
For Bermudian Ceci Wollmann, her training in the USA and Canada this summer definitely helped as she was able to get off the starting line and ahead of the pack consistently today. Wollman is in sixth place and she said, “I have definitely improved on my starts and I know that sailing here is tough as the winds are so shifty.”
“The key for me.” Ceci added, “has been the start and although I wish we could offer the visiting sailors some more wind, it has been a good event for everyone so far. For me, I am proud that we have sailors here from around the world to show them where we live. I would also love to return to school next week and tell everyone that I did well.”
Racing resumes Saturday on the Great Sound for day three of the Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup.