With 4 Races Complete, Defending Champ Wislar Leads Van Voorhis in tight IOD World Championship

posted Jun 15, 2011, 4:56 AM by Greg Mancusi
The nineteen-team International One Design Fleet completed races three and four of the IOD World Championship off Marblehead Neck in brisk winds and large seas. Two full-length races were sailed, with Charlie Van Voorhis and Martin Rygh earning bullets in the morning and afternoon races respectively.

With five races to go, the regatta is developing into a test of wills between defending Champion Elliott Wislar (Long Island Sound Fleet) and multiple past world champion and recent New England Challenge winner Charlie Van Voorhis (Fisher Island Fleet).

Conditions yesterday were ideal for IOD racing - winds from the NNE at 12-14kts, and 3 foot seas. A wind driven chop overlayed a long ocean swell crossing the course at an angle, making steering challenging for these championship teams.  The uncomprimising conditions demanded excellent boat handling, gear changing, and total concentration from the helmpersons.

In the first race, a 5-leg windward leeward course with a 2.0 NM leg length, Charlie Van Voorhis started well, got on the correct side of the first shift and never looked back.  During the first beat he built a 10-boat length lead and then proceeded to extend his advantage on every susequent leg.  Emerging from the pack during the first downwind leg was EYC's Norm Cressy, followed bydefending champion Elliott Wislar, who took second and third places in the race, respectively. 

If the first race proved the sailing axiom that the rich just get richer, the second race of the day demonstrated how thrilling racing among a championship calibre fleet of teams in evenly matched boats can be.  Over a slightly shorter course (1.8 NM, 5 windward leeward legs) the fleet refused to separate.  All nineteen teams rounded the first weather mark within 180 seconds and when the boats returned to the weather mark, having sailed 1.8NM downind and beat back upwind those same 1.8NM, the fleet was still tightly bunched. It wasn't until the second downwind leg that Martin Rygh of Norway began to control the race.

However, on the final beat the race tighted up again, with Elliott Wislar searching for a way past Rygh. Splitting tacks with Rygh at the top of the course, Wislar found a little bit of an angle, forcing Rygh to tack back quicky and put tight lee bow on Wislar just five boatlengths from the finish. Rygh took race honors, but Wislar crossed the line just 3 seconds behind.

The racing was tight across the rest of the fleet, with almost all boats finishing, many of them overlapped, within 2 minutes of the leaders. The race for 5th place was especially exciting, with four boats approaching the line at the same time. Norway's Espen Aker managed to sneak his boat across the line in front of that group, much to the delight of his crew.

Although Wednesday was a planned spare race day, PRO Ken Adam will take the fleet out for two make-up races today, to put the regatta back on schedule. Conditions today should yield great racing, with 10-14 kt winds under partly sunny skies.  The first warning will not be made before 11:00 a.m.

Regatta results are posted on the International One-Design World Class home page.