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Crews sail Gozo race in shifting wind conditions

IIG Bank Gozo race boats navigating their way during competition.

IIG Bank Gozo race boats navigating their way during competition.

A confused swell and a dying easterly breeze welcomed the 15 yachts for the annual weekend racing series in Gozo organised earlier this month by the Royal Malta Yacht Club and sponsored by IIG Bank.

It was to be a fetch to the North Comino Channel and a short kite sprint to the finish characterised by menacing current. Depending on which side of the channel one chose, was to be a deciding factor in the final outcome, as Otravez was to find out.

Tonton, Moondance and XPlane dominated their respective classes.

Day Two greeted the fleet with both ends of the spectrum – long, shifty and sometimes windless conditions in the first race and a breezy short second leg.

The race committee wisely opted not to have problems with drifting marks, using the Fessej Rock as windward mark.

Racing was very close with Otravez, playing its joker to overcome Friday’s disappointment. They came back stronger to dominate their class while JLance and Sailaway, and XPlane and About Time shared the spoils in their respective races.

Day Three, with Class I and the Cruiser division all but decided, it was all up for grabs in racer Class II.

A stiff WSW breeze with prospects of looming black clouds greeted the crews for the fourth and final passage race home.

The 20-knot breeze eventually eased off, but provided a spectacular start in the North Comino Channel and a fast reach through the South Channel, and a procession with kites up to the finish.

Comanche Raider II took line honours but it was not enough to knock Otravez off the podium in Class I.

XPlane won the race and its class in the Cruisers, while Sailaway sailed away with Class II.

IIG BANK RACE RESULTS

Racer Class I

1. Otravez, 2. Comanche Raider II, 3. Elusive 2.

Racer Class II

1. Sailaway, 2. Moondance, 3. J-Lance.

Cruiser Class

1. XPlane, 2. About Time, 3. Kon Tiki.

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