Photo Credit: FRIED ELLIOTT / friedbits.com
Star Western Hemisphere 2018. On the first sunny day of racing two races happened with a great easterly breeze from 15 to 18 knots. The first race started at 11.05am just as planned with a couple of OCS as the fleet was so eager to get the championship going. Since the beginning Brazilians Lars Grael / Samuel Goncalves with American-German duo Jack Jennings / Frithjof Kleen were in the leading group alongside Italian Luca Modena sailing with the Brazilian flag for his crew Marcello Sansone. On the second bit Finn sailor Jorge Zarif with crew Guilherme De Almeida (BRA) surprisingly joined the leaders and finished third overall. Second spot for Jennings / Kleen and the winners of the first race are Lars Grael with Samuel Goncalves.
Right after 12,30 and the arrival of the last of 37 boats, race number 2 got underway with three OCS. The wind is still blowing from east at 15-18 knots, and once again Lars Grael has a great start and is leading at the first mark rounding, with him American teams Tomas Hornos / Phil Toth and Peter Vessella / Phil Trinter. In the downwind leg Brazilian young skipper Jorge Zarif comes in and is second at the gate, conquer the lead on the second upwind and keeps it until the finish. Grael / Goncalves are second and Paul Cayard with Arthur Lopes are third.
On the cumulative results the leaders are Grael / Goncalves, followed by Zarif / De Almeida with a good margin already on Vessella / Trinter.
Similar weather is forecasted for tomorrow with the start of the first of two races planned at 11am.