LandCorp 2011 Mirror Worlds - Day 1

The Philippines Balladares and Chavez


Finally the 2011 Worlds began in a strong breeze of 18-22 knots with gusts up to 30 knots presenting challenges for the entire fleet. 

Race 1 was a great start, with the fleet not wanting to repeat the Black Flag Affair of the Australian Championships.  The Philippino pair of Balladares and Chavez got away boat end with great speed.  The new Australian Champions, Paul and Austin Taylor, threw immediately to port from their boat end start and were one of only 17 boats to go right as the rest of the fleet settled into charging out left to the first shift.

By the top mark, Balladares and Chavez were around first followed by 2009 Australian Champs, Lachlan and Finn Gilbert with the Taylors third.  Many of the boats in the fleet, including some of the front runners, elected to sail the reach without their kites settling for a conservative approach. 

Paul and Austin Taylor

By the time the fleet got to the gate it was close between the Taylors and Balladares and Chavez with the local boat going left and the Philippinos going right and followed by most of the fleet.  It seems that left was the call and the Taylors had streaked to a 10 boat length lead by the top mark.  They were never headed with Balladares and Chavez and Team GBR's Millie Newman and Jessica Rust in third. 

Race 2 was another clean start with Ireland's 2007 Mirror World Champion Ross Kearney streaming off the middle of the line.  Kearney was really working hard and had his boat powering over the big chop.  Newman and Rust, however, made the top mark first with Kearney in close pursuit.  Cleaner kite work resulted in the Irish boat getting the fly and away on the reach.  The Taylors who seemed to be shadowed by the Committee Boat and appeared to be left in the starting blocks  but recovered to be 15th around the top mark.  But by the time they had done the outer loop they had plowed through the front runners and into third position. 

Kearney and Odell had a great tussle with the young British girls who had nudged in front as they went through the gate onto the final reach.  The final beat had the Irish and Brits playing cat and mouse and poor tack on the finish line saw Kearney and Odell squeeze through by the smallest of margins.  The Taylors came from 15 boat lengths at the start of the final beat to nearly pinch the race only a boatlength away in a blanket finish. 

Team GBR's Millie Newman Jessica Rust

The final race of the day resulted in the Philippinos again smoking off the start line with blistering speed.  An individual recall spooked a few boats with the Taylor and Kearney returning to restart, although they were not over.  Balladares and Chavez worked hard up the beat and eventually got the bullet with the Taylors second and triple Fireball World Champion in third. 

Great action all day on the race track

The day was very much a story of survival with capsizes aplenty, bent masts, broken rudder blades, and broken booms.  The lunch break was a break opportunity to repair boats and bruised egos.

The leader board shows:

  1. Paul and Austin Taylor 6
  2. Ridgely Balladares and Rommel Chavez 7
  3. Millie Newman and Jessica Rust

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