Mills and Clark

Santander winds provide tough test on day three

Written by RYA | 14 September 2014

Light winds and thunderstorms shake up the schedule on day three of Worlds racing

Light and shifting winds coupled with thunderstorms upset the schedule on the third day of the ISAF Sailing World Championships in Santander on Sunday (14 September), as the 470 classes began their first day of World Championship racing.

The 470 Women and RS:X Women’s fleets did manage to complete their planned two races each, but the Laser, Laser Radial and 470 Men’s classes fell behind with just one race possible in the testing conditions.

Defending champion Nick Dempsey took the initiative in his two races on the RS:X men’s windsurfing course, picking up a race win and a fourth to boost him into overall second – the position also occupied by Bryony Shaw in the women’s windsurfing event after their five races.

For Olympic silver medallists Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark, they can be happy with their opening day of the 470 Worlds, picking up scores of 11,2 on what they described as a ‘tricky day’.

“Generally it was quite high scoring across both fleets.  It was four to six knots maximum and quite a lot of tide pushing us downwind so it made the beats really, really long,” Mills explained.

“There was also some sort of tide line on the right hand side which was adding more complications and then the wind was shifting 20 degrees and quite unpredictable.

“It was making for some interesting racing for sure.  If you got off the start line and got on the first shift you did alright but unfortunately it took us a race to figure that out!”

“We’re racing in two fleets here for qualification so these first two days are really important to stay clean and get selection for the gold fleet racing,” Clark added.  “That’s when the regatta really starts.  

“We’re pleased we’ve come off the water with two counters which is more than good enough for this stage of the regatta.”

Luke Patience and Elliot Willis endured a frustrating first day in the 470 men’s division, with race course issues, abandonments and general recalls on the restarts before finally finishing 12th in their only race of the day. 

“They abandoned the first race, which wasn’t really a surprise as they’d let the windward marks float down tide and downwind,” Willis explained.

“We quickly settled in to the next race.  It was a pretty tricky startline because it was so biased to the pin end, and we just got caught in the melee coming off the startline but fought well back into it.”

“It was a frustrating day because they were such poor races,” Patience added. 

“But that being said, you’ve still got to do what you need to do and it was an OK race [for us].  Something that we can count but by no means have we fired out of the blocks.”

“There are positives from today.  We were just on fire speed-wise – we had jets on us, and that’s really encouraging,” the Helenburgh sailor explained.

“It was tricky out there but we were a fast boat around the course.  I thought we were smart and we were aware of what was going on around us and the race that we did get we probably just put a bit too much risk on the first start and that risk showed itself.  It tripped us up a little bit.”

In the first day of gold fleet racing for the Laser class, Nick Thompson and Lorenzo Chiavarini both enjoyed good outings in their sole race with Thompson up to sixth overall with a sixth from Sunday’s race, while the under 21 World and European Champion Chiavarini finished fifth on the water today to see him into eighth overall.

Chloe Martin also advanced to eighth overall after the only race for the Laser Radial gold fleet.

Both Laser and Laser Radial gold fleets are scheduled for a lay day on Monday (15 September) while racing continues across all other classes and sees the addition of the Finn, Nacra 17, 49er and 49erFX classes to the World Championship racing programme for the first time.  

Racing in Santander sees a staggered schedule across the ten classes:
12-18 September: Laser and Laser Radial
13-19 September: RS:X Men and RS:X Women
14-20 September: 470 Men and 470 Women
15-21 September: 49er, 49erFX, Finn and Nacra 17

For a full list of British competitors and all the latest from the ISAF Sailing World Championships, stay with us at, on Facebook or on Twitter @BritishSailing!  

Click here for the British Sailing Team’s video channel from the Santander Worlds.


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