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Day Four Report

August 20, 2018

The title for the championship came down to the wire. Only one race was planned for the final day and there was only a three point spread between the Norwegian team, Americans Cronin and Couranz, and the Portuguese-American team of Pires de Lima and Tocke. The Norwegians lead going into today, but with more breeze forecasted, bets were on the American and Portuguese boats who were gunning for one more race in the strong winds. 

 

The race committee postponed onshore due to wind gusting above the 18 knot limit for the Women's Championship. Augie Diaz walked around the fleet making sure that teams had pins in their spreaders and knew how to prevent their masts from inverting. Only a few teams stayed onshore when the postponement flag was lowered.

 

The race committee got the race underway with winds ranging from 15 - 18 knots and an Olympic course. Cronin and Couranz nailed the start and were able to tack and cross most of the fleet on port. Brazilians Duque and Arndt, also had a good start and speed and were immediately ahead of Pires de Lima and Tocke, who started conservatively. The Norwegians struggled to be in the top of the fleet after the start. The Brazilians led the first upwind with a decent gap at the first mark. Cronin and Couranz were second, followed by Pires de Lima and Tocke. 

The leaders started the reach without a pole. Pires de Lima and Tocke skillfully passed the Americans and were on the heels of the Brazilians at the jibe mark. The two boats fought hard during the second reach leaving the Americans behind. 

 

Since the top three teams were launched from the rest of the fleet, Pires de Lima and Tocke's only chance for the win was to pass the Brazilians. The two teams were neck and neck at the second windward mark, with Brazil rounding first. Piers de Lima and Tocke passed the Brazilians to windward and seemingly had the Championship sewn up as they closed in on the downwind finish. Pires de Lima made a fatal mistake and decided to jibe away. The Brazilians seeing they were on an angle straight to the finish continued and separated instantly by ten meters. The Brazilians won the race, giving the title to Cronin and Couranz, who were the most consistent boat of the series.

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