Four New Zealand crews are among the top 10 after the first day of the new 2018 World Cup season in Gamagori, Japan, but the day was cut short for most due to a lack of wind.
Steady rain also fell on the first day and the forecast for the rest of the week is for continuing rain and light winds, which will provide tricky conditions when major gains and losses can happen in the space of minutes.
Isaac McHardie and William McKeznie dealt with the conditions the best in the 49eer fleet and won the only race of the day, finishing seven seconds ahead of world championship silver medallists James Peters and Fynn Sterritt of Great Britain.
"There were a lot of puffs and holes but we linked it all together to win," McHardie said. "It was a game of snakes and ladders. You could gain just as easily as you could lose. You had to bank what you could and hope for the best."
Logan Dunning Beck and Oscar Gunn (sixth) and Josh Porebski and Trent Rippey (10th) are handily placed in the 20-boat fleet.
The Laser is the most competitive fleet with 50 boats, including the Olympic champion Tom Burton (Australia), world champion Pavlos Kontides (Cyprus) and European champion Nick Thompson (Great Britain). Olympic bronze medallist Sam Meech is the best placed of the Kiwis, sitting in sixth after a fourth and 13th in the two races.
Thompson's day illustrated what could happen at Gamagori, when he followed up a second placing in the first race with a 42nd in the other race to sit 18th overall.
"The wind was really shifty and quite up and down," Meech said. "At times you were sitting in your boat praying for some breeze. Luckily for me, I had two OK races so I'm happy with how I sailed today.
"We actually did three races today but the first was abandoned after we got most of the way around the track. It just glassed off and there was no wind so, unfortunately, they had to call that one.
"Everyone thought that was it for the day but, as we started to tow in, the wind filled in and so we ended up going back out onto the course and got two reasonable races. The forecast is looking like more of the same for the rest of the week so it looks like we are going to be rained on every day. But it could be worse."
It was a disappointing day for the other two Kiwi Laser sailors in the fleet, with Tom Saunders in 26th and Andrew McKenzie 28th.
The men's 470 combination of Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox started well with a second but followed it up with a 22nd to sit in 11th overall and Susannah Pyatt was 14th in the only race possible in the women's Laser Radial.
Results and standings after day one of the World Cup regatta in Gamagori, Japan, yesterday:
Laser (50 boats)
1st: Lorenzo Brando Chiavarini (GBR) 3 8 - 11 points
2nd: Pavlos Kontides (CYP) 7 4 - 11 pts
3rd: Francesco Marrai (ITA) 5 6 - 11 pts
6th: Sam Meech (NZL) 4 13 - 17 pts
26th: Tom Saunders (NZL) 13 39 - 52 pts
28th: Andrew McKenzie (NZL) 23 32 - 55 pts
Laser Radial (35 boats)
1st: Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) 1 - 1 pt
2nd: Monika Mikkola (FIN) 2 - 2 pts
3rd: Erika Reineke (USA) 3 - 3 pts
13th: Susannah Pyatt (NZL) 14 - 14 pts
49er (20 boats)
1st: Isaac McHardie / William McKenzie (NZL) 1 - 1 pts
2nd: James Peters / Fynn Sterritt (GBR) 2 - 2 pts
3rd: Judge Ryan / David Liebenberg (USA) 3 - 3 pts
6th: Logan Dunning Beck / Oscar Gunn (NZL) 6 - 6 pts
10th: Josh Porebski / Trent Rippey (NZL) 10 - 10 pts
Men's 470 (24 boats)
1st: Mathew Belcher / William Ryan (AUS) 3 2 - 5 pts
2nd: Tetsuya Isozaki / Akira Takayanagi (JPN) 1 7 - 8 pts
3rd: Ryo Imamura / Jumpei Hokazono (JPN) 8 3 - 11 pts
11th: Paul Snow-Hansen / Dan Willcox (NZL) 2 22 - 24 pts