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A few days of practice spent sussing out the venue, Annie and Sue take the No. 1 spot in the women's Hobie 16 division at the ISAF Worlds in Austria.

Playing Games in Austria

Isaf World Sailing Games

We had two days of practice in 0-3 knots and felt good about our boats, teamwork, and the venue in general. Austria's Lake Neusiedl is extremely shallow and the water looks like blue milk. The coach for England's team ran short courses on the multihull course so we had a chance to try the spinnaker and tune our rigs. In the Womens' division there are 19 teams and 22 boats so we are able to keep our boats for the whole regatta (rather than rotate them through round robins). Sue Korzeniewski and I have boat No. 8 and Sandra Tartaglino and Teri McKenna have No. 9. The first day of racing we woke up to strong winds clocked at 15 to 20. It was a great day for Sue and I and we finished with a second and third to wind up as leaders for the day. Sandra and Teri didn't fair as well, but they're still learning how to sail the H16. With so many shifts and gusts it makes it a very difficult mission. That evening, the Opening Ceremonies were held at the venue where the Lasers are racing so we boarded the shuttle bus and several teams rode together and had fun swapping stories for the day. The ceremonies were a bit of a disappointment because they had asked each team to choose a flag bearer, and when the time came they had local children carry them. We stood in the back of a partitioned-off area for VIPs and there was a big stage in front with a band and dancers and the usual speeches-of which we didn't understand. The best part was meeting the rest of the U.S. team and finding out who was sailing what and where they were from. Gary Bodie, our team leader, was late because he was in protest hearings all day, trying to keep Olli and Kelly Jason in the event. Kelly was told after registering and racing for one day in the Hobie Tiger fleet that she could not race anymore because she is female and it's a Men's Class. ISAF changed the discipline after they added the Women's class, but US SAILING was given a verbal OK for her to race. After traveling 16 months, qualifying at the nationals and coming all the way here, they were told to leave. A heartbreaker for them, and we are all disappointed that it was handled the way it was. But they are being good sports and will sightsee while here. OK Back to racing. The second day of racing was light and choppy. Sue and I had to wear yellow bibs to indicate we were leading. It was a curse. In the first race, the team above us was a boatlength OCS, and buried us for a long time. We tacked to get clear and headed the wrong way while the fleet headed for the wind. We finished last. From the penthouse to the outhouse, the next race was better with a seventh. So now we are in the top 5 but there are 12 more races to go. It's far from over and today it looks like flatter water and lighter winds. The men will race the first two, then the women, followed by the men again. At least that's the plan! On the Men's Division we now have one team left with Greg Thomas and Jacques Bernier doing well. Their finishes have been 4-9-2-5 so they should qualify for the gold fleet. Once that happens the points start over. The Women's Class will have 16 races maximum, and I believe we will all race until the end. With eight more days of racing it will be anyone's regatta. For complete results: www.worldsailinggames2006.at -Annie Nelson and Susan Korzeniewski