Sunday, November 30, 2008


With one hour left before the final time limit of the regatta, it looked like the fleet would be stuck with 8 races.  Postponed on shore, the RC finally sent the fleet out around 2pm just for them to drift in the rain & light winds.  Magically around 4 the wind began to fill and settle and the warning gun was off.   After 2 restarts and a final start under a z-flag, race 9 began.  While the majority of the fleet chose to go right in the  5 knot winds, a short group led by 6 Japanese teams, went left and led at the weather mark.  Koji Ida and Hiroumi Yamasuki were first around and extended their lead in the 5 to sometimes 8 knots seen during the race to take the final race win.

The regatta leaders all seemed to sail their 2nd throw-outs, falling back in the pack and unable to climb out during the race.

As the fleet finished the race in off and on-again rain, Bruno Bethlem and Dante Bianchi were able to solidify their stake on the Western Hemisphere & Orient Championship of 2008.  

The prizegiving 
was festive as usual with reports of some sailors making it home at 4am.  Yacht Club Punta del Este did another fantastic job of great racing and great hospitality.

Full results & photos on the regatta website.  Congratulations to all the sailors for a great championships.

Bethlem/Bianchi BRA 17.25
Paradeda/Kieling BRA 22.25
Rodriguez/Rios USA 34
Diaz/Tocke USA 45
Defazio/Finck URU 45
Gagliotti/Wisniewski BRA 55
Haddad/LowBeer BRA 55
Wanderley/Zieteman BRA 56.75
Garcia/Dovat URU 66
Umpierre/Umpierre URU 67

Friday, November 28, 2008

Bethlem/Bianchi Dominate

Changes were in store for today's sailing: to being with races were scheduled over the layday to make up for a possible lighter air and rain that is predicted.  The breeze was on when the sailors woke up - someone reported whitecaps in the hotel swimming pool alongside the pool furniture that also was blown into the water...... But the RC scheduled races for 1 pm and the fleet went out. The RC set up inside Maldonado Bay rather than outside the island off Punta del Este where the prior 6 races have been held.

The sailors were treated to 14-16 knots in flat water.  Puffs rolled through the fleet making challenging conditions.  Race 7 began in 12-14 knots under the Z-flag after an over-anxious start the first round.  At the weather mark, Bethlem/Bianchi led and never looked back; a feat they repeated in race 8 making the racing tighter for the top position.  Defazio/Finck also scored a great day with a 2-2 day to move them up in the standings.  Meanwhile, Paradeda/Kieling struggled with the conditions posting a 12-13 for the day and setting up the final race to be a battle of the Brazilians.

Rodriguez/Rios held strong to solidify their 3rd place with a 3-5, battling back in race 8 from 12th at the 1st mark to finish 5th.

Race 8 held some surprises with a lull at the reach mark causing a crowded wheel and some drastic changes in positions.  Ricardo Fabini/Maria Tato made out going from 14th at the weather mark to 3rd at the bottom triangle to hold this position to the end.

Tomorrow is predicted to have lighter air and a great battle on the water.  Check out the latest video posting of Race 8 on YouTube and also photos on the website as well as the official results.  Standings going into race 9:
Bethlem/Bianchi BRA 
Paradeda/Kieling BRA 
Rodriguez/Rios USA
Haddad/Low Beer BRA
Diaz/Tocke USA
Dafazio/Finck URU

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Paradeda Wins the Day

Alexandre Paradeda and Gabriel King won both races today putting an exclamation mark on the results so far.  Race 5 found them rounding the weather mark and extending their lead first by 40 seconds, then by 1 minute 30 with reaching techniques Xandi is known for. 
It took a while to get today
's first race off -- in fact, the first start was abandoned after about 5 minutes due to a minimum of 3 different winds on the race course.  Current seemed to have an effect also during this start, but auto-tacks and the 3 different winds (from different angles & different velocities) caused the race to be aband
oned.  After a while, the RC got another start off in 12-14 knots with much steadier conditions.  Ernesto Rodriguez/Raul Rios fought for 2nd and retained the spot moving them up in points, but still trailing Bruno Bethlem/Dante Bianchi overall.  Rique Wanderley/Richard Zietemann also had a stellar race with 4th with Augie Diaz/Kathleen Tocke rounding out the top 5.

Race 6 took a while to start due to the RC having a difficult time setting the pin end in a rocky bottom and drifting as well as an mark-set boats engine failure.  Luckily the Jury was able to assist and after resetting the race was ready to go.  By this time the wind had increased to 14-16 with a few higher puffs.  Paradeda/Kieling actually rounded the weather mark in 9th, bu
t by the next weather mark, the race was all theirs again.  Henrique Haddad/Thomas Low Beer of Brazil have been sailing well and gave the leaders a run for their money with Diaz/Tocke close behind.  Rodriguez/Rios had a bad start but battled back the entire race to finish 12th and keep them in the top 3.

The layday has been cancelled and races are scheduled for 1pm tomorrow.  There's a chance of rain this weekend and lighter air, so rather than take chances, the RC is getting ahead.

Full results on the regatta website and videos & photos posted as well.

Top standings:
Paradeda/Keiling BRA
Bethlem/Bianchi BRA
Rodriguez/Rios USA
Diaz/Tocke USA
Haddad/Low Beer BRA

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Perfect Day in Paradise

Racing today was perfect - flat, beautiful water and LOTS OF WIND.  Race 3 begin in a solid 20 knots after a hour delay on water due to shifty winds.  Both races today had Andrea & Alejandro Foglia at the weather mark first.  By the 1st gybe mark, the Umpierre brothers of Uruguay took the lead only to be passed by Paradeda/Kieling on the 2nd reach.  At the finish, Paradeda crossed first followed by Umpierre and Ocariz/Lopez of ARG.

The wind began to increase to 22 knots but the RC was able to get the race off after 1 start.  It was full hiking mode and screaming reaches on the double triangle courses with a few boats upside down. No broken masts, but a few shrouds pulled out and lots of wet, tired sailors.  As someone said, "this race separated the girls from the boys" with Andrea Foglia showing the boys the way around the course from start to finish, extending her lead.   Diego Garcia/Martin Dovat of Uruguay crossed 2nd with Paradeda/Kieling in 3rd taking the days top honors.

Full results on the website: 
Leaders after 4 races:
Paradeda/Kieling BRA
Bethlem/Bianchi BRA
Rodriguez/Rios USA
Defazio/Finck URU
Foglias URU

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

First Day Jitters

The first day of racing at the WH&O proved to be beautiful & fickle.  With all 49 boats on the line, people were anxious, but not too anxious to push a general recall on the first start.   The day began with a beautiful 12 knots of breeze and light green waters.  Stevie Dickinson/Martin Finegas of Bermuda in their black hulled boat nailed the pin end and led the fleet storming the left side of the course.  But it was Yasushi Kondo/Ginga Kubota of Japan who lead the majority of the race with a samba party of 6 Brazilians breathing down their necks.  As the fleet stretched their legs, the racers relaxed and fell into place.  With the left favored most of the race with a few righties here and there, the finish line showed a Brazilian 1-2-3 with Ricky Wanderley/Richard Zietemann, Bruno Bethlem/Dante Bianchi and Alexandre Tinoco/Matheus Goncalves in the top 3 with Kondo/Kubota breaking the dynasty in 4th.  3 more Brazilians were matching finishes with the local host Diego Garcia/Martin Dovat of URU in 8th. 
Race 2 began shortly afterwards with a slight increase in wind velocity.  Dickinson tried for the pin again, but got spit out the back and took the fleets transoms battling back the entire race.  At the first weather mark, double Women's World champion skipper Andrea Foglia with Olympian Laser sailor brother Alejandro crewing rounded first followed by Ernesto Rodrigues/Raul Rios of USA and SCIRA Commodore Pedro Garra/Diego Henon in 3rd.  Garra/Henon passed the group before the gybe mark (Olympic course) and didn't give up the lead......until the end (more on that).  Places switched with Bethlem/Bianchi, Rodriguez/Rios, Augie Diaz/Kathleen Tocke USA trading places throughout the race.  3/4 of the way to the last leeward, mark, the wind shifted dramatically and the RC signaled for a change to the finish.  The finish was now 45 degrees - above the reach mark.  Coming into the finish, Bethlem/Bianchi took Garra/Henon above the layline then bore off to lead them in - while Xandi Paradeda/Vitor Martins BRA snuck in for a 2nd. Rodriguez/Rios crossed in 4th followed by the Foglia siblings and Diaz/Tocke.

Preliminary results have Bethlem/Bianchi of BRA with a 2-1 and Paradeda/Martins with a 6-2.

2 more races are scheduled for tomorrow.


Yacht Club Punta del Este welcomed the competitors in grand style with a opening ceremony with all the pomp and circumstance.  Sponsors were thanked, officials welcomed and the countries flags were raised all to the tune of the military band. In a fitting remembrance, SCIRA Representative asked for a moment of silence of fellow Snipe sailor and Past Commodore Fred Schenck who had passed away the day previously.  
   After the ceremonies everyone gathered at the club for cocktails & food and a chance to greet friends before the competition begins.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Today was a different day for the sailors with the day beginning with calm breezes and warmer temperatures.  The frontal high has moved on the the wind diminished some bringing warmer temperatures on land.
  Measurement has been completed with all boats registered and on the water for the practice race.  Sailing out to the start in 8-11 knots was a far cry from the past 2 days.  With the RC getting it's practice, the competitors pushed the line several times and finally they were off.  If there was any indication from the practice race (is there?) the Uruguyans will be tough to beat in their home waters.  They held the top 5 places with 2-time Women's World skipper Andrea Foglia with brother Alejandro crewing, reaching the weather mark first.  
  After some on-shore debriefs, the teams are getting cleaned up for Opening Ceremonies and the races begin tomorrow!