Sailing: Razmilovic battles with elements to lead Etchells
Winds gusting to more than 30 knots dominated yesterday's second race of the Etchells World Championships at Howth, where 44 boats have gathered from as far away as Australia, Hong Kong, Canada and the United States.
Ante Razmilovic, from Royal Hong Kong YC, scored the opening race win that was delayed from the morning schedule.
And though the class rules don't permit a race start in winds over 24 knots, shortly after the race two start the sea off Ireland's Eye was described as "survival conditions".
That didn't stop Australian John Bertrand from taking first place in race two of the series and while the front runners were able to clock up more points, others in the fleet described exhilarating sailing conditions and surfing in the north-west wind.
"Winning in the Etchells is all about consistency," said Irish sailor Robert Dix. "You don't have to win races, just maintain good form."
With Razmilovic holding first overall and Bertrand second, 2009 Worlds runner-up, from Melbourne, Damien King holds third overall, with the lead boats all separated by a single point between each. Ireland's Stephen Quinn was best of the local fleet with 13th overall.
The series continues with a single race this afternoon, alternating a two-race day, one-race day until Saturday's final; and giving the crews a well-earned breather after a demanding opener.