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A sunny opening day for The Hague Offshore Worlds 2018

The action is already getting hot in Class C in today’s practice race. Photo: Sander von der Borch

Under bright sunny skies and a gentle 10 knots of wind, many entries of the 86-boat fleet from 15 nations made it out to the race areas today to test the waters of the North Sea in preparation for tomorrow’s opening round of races in The Hague Offshore Sailing Worlds 2018. The conditions were perfect to test not only the racers and their inshore racing skills, but the race committee team members led by Peter Anink on their skills of handling a highly-competitive fleet.

Paolo Massarini was out on the course area today for Class C, which this week will have the largest group of boats on the starting lines: 49 entries.

“The starts were very tight, and we had numerous General Recall signals before we started using other tools to keep them in control,” he said. “This will be a very challenging week for the sailors and the committee in this class.”

“About two knots of current at a 45-degree angle to the start line made it interesting,” said Thomas Nilsson, who is sailing this week with the Jon Sverre Hoiden’s Sinergia 40 Sons of Hurricane from Norway. They are competing this week among the 27 entries in Class B, which is sharing a course area with the nine entries racing in Class A. “Because we have two systems used in the scoring it's a little hard to know where you are relative to your competitors, but you just have to sail your best and I think as we race we will get used to it.”

Yet for tomorrow’s start of racing for the championship there will not be short windward-leeward course races like today, but a single start for one of two required long distance races in the event format. And with a light wind in the forecast once again, its unlikely the race course will bring the sailors more than 25 miles out from shore, according to Anink. The exact details on the course will be discussed tomorrow at 0830 AM in the Skipper’s Briefing for a start planned at 11:00 AM.

Regardless of the light wind forecast, the strong turnout and excellent organization by the event staff prompted ORC and IRC officials in the Opening Ceremony to be very upbeat about the historic significance of this World Championship event.

Bruno Finzi, Chairman ORC, said “ORC was founded almost 50 years ago as a service to the sailors, and for the past 20 years we have helped organize World Championships. We have been working towards a unified system, and are pleased to have this championship represent a good start towards this goal.”

“Along with our partners in IRC UNCL, we too are pleased with the efforts made to having this combined World Championship event,” said Michael Boyd, past Commodore RORC “There were many that have worked hard for this, and we thank them all.”

Tomorrow’s offshore race can be followed live with the use of trackers placed on all boats in the fleet via this link: https://offshoresailingworlds2018.com/tracker. Standings in each class will be calculated based on the measured speed over the previous tracking interval of 15 minutes, and this used to estimate a finish time and thus an estimate of placing in both ORC and IRC scoring. This will not be exact of course, as the wind and current conditions will change throughout the race, but it does give a sense of how well the teams are doing during the race. Live race updates will also be made available on Twitter via #OSWorlds2018.

A complete list of the media channels following the racing is here:

Web – www.offshoresailingworlds.com/news
Tracker – www.offshoresailingworlds2018.com/tracker
Facebook and facebook live coverage - www.facebook.com/OSworlds2018
Twitter news – twitter.com/osworlds2018
Instagram updates – osworlds2018
YouTube footage – osworlds2018

Pictures from the Opening Day by Sanders von der Borch:

Royal Ocean Racing Club

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Royal Ocean Racing Club
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London
SW1A 1NN
UK

 +44 (0) 20 7493 2248
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Royal Ocean Racing Club
(Racing Enquiries)

82 High Street
Cowes
Isle of Wight
PO31 7AJ
UK

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 http://www.rorc.org
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The Parade
Cowes
Isle of Wight
PO31 7QU
UK

 +44 (0) 1983 293581
 +44 (0) 20 7493 5252
 http://www.rorc.org
RORC Rating Office
(Seahorse Rating Ltd)

Seahorse Building, Bath Road
Lymington, Hampshire
SO41 3SE
UK

 +44 (0) 1590 677030
 +44 (0) 1590 679478
 http://www.rorcrating.com

Royal Ocean Racing Club - since 1925

The RORC was founded in 1925 to encourage long distance yacht racing and the design, building and navigation of sailing vessels in which speed and seaworthiness are combined. Today the club encourages ocean, long distance and other forms of yacht racing and yachting activity.