Miami, FL (November 18, 2021) – Eleven teams from three countries today began competing in the 2021 M32 World Championships, completing five races which has Don Wilson’s Convexity team with a two point lead over Joel Ronning’s Catapult.
The day began with Biscayne Bay showing a steady 10-15 knots of breeze blowing down from Bear Cut Bridge in the east and a few glimmers of sun poking through the high cloud cover.
If the two days of pre-worlds racing were any indication of the competition to come, the form guide held Convexity at the top alongside Pieter Taselaar on Bliksem, and Anthony Kotoun on Catapult. Convexity and Bliksem are no strangers to the top of the M32 podium, but Catapult is a dark-horse team. Kotoun has been more often a tactician than a helm.
While Wilson and Kotoun held the top two spots, it was pre-worlds winner Ryan McKillen and his team Surge in third, striking distance from the top of the podium. “You can’t win on the first day, but you can lose it,” said McKillen, “so we’re happy to be in the mix.”
Team Midtown, driven by Larry Phillips, made a statement today by winning race three to find themselves within reach of the podium (and only one point behind Surge.) They sported a brand new Siren-themed livery on their bright orange bows, making them hard to miss on the racecourse.
But, there is still no clear frontrunner at this point in the World Championships – four different teams won races today.
Defending World Champion Convexity struck first by winning the first race. “In that race we got to the reach mark in first and stayed ahead and that’s obviously a great feeling,” said helm Wilson. Catapult, Bliksem, and Midtown all took their own race victories before the day was done.
The sheer size of the fleet made congestion around the race course a tactical challenge and the teams whose drivers and tacticians guided them cleanly through traffic reaped the benefits. “If we could stay clean we were happy,” noted
Andrew Campbell of Midtown.
Pursuit, driven by Bill Ruh, was not so lucky and picked up a couple of penalty points early in race three when, tacking onto port in a tight space, they caught a piece of team Bliksem. On-the-water umpire Remy Donraadt was right there to make a quick judgement on the penalty. Pursuit tactician Rome Kirby now has his work cut out for him to put his team back on the right track over the rest of the weekend. It won’t be easy, but it’s too early to count this team out.
Alongside Donraadt, umpires Craig Mitchell, Brad Dellenbaugh, and Christine Accettalla are governing fair racing so sailors returning to the dock can be free to focus on enjoying the festivities with the rest of the fleet.
Nineteen races are planned for November 18-21.
Source: M32 Class