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Medals decided on final day of ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca

Posted on 05 April 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: ISAF] A light morning northerly breeze picked up as the day went on ensuring a full complement of Medal Races across the ten Olympic events were completed.

Men’s 470

The Men’s 470 lead went to and fro all week but Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic (CRO) held their nerve to add a gold medal to their two silvers from the 2013-2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup series.

Fantela and Marenic played second fiddle to Lucas Calabrese and Juan de la Fuente (ARG) at ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao and to Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) at ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne. A disappointing fourth at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami followed before they took their first gold of the series in Mallorca.

Holding a seven point lead going into the Medal Race the Croatians had breathing space as a sixth place sealed the deal. On their victory Fantela said, “In two words, really happy. We worked quite hard this winter, we’ve been to all of the World Cups and we really like that we won. For us this is the hardest race since we started and winning this means a lot to us.”

Fantela added, “Winning here is really special. All week we sailed really good and to end the regatta with such an interesting Medal Race was really fun and we are really happy with our performance.”

An OCS for Lucas Calabrese and Juan de la Fuente saw the Argentineans drop out of the top three. Sweden’s Anton Dahlberg and Fredrik Bergstrom were the benefactors of the Argentineans demise and having won the Medal Race they slipped into second.

ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) finished fifth in the Medal Race and whilst they end tied on 72 points with the Swedes they take bronze by nature of count back.

Women’s 470

Female ISAF Rolex World Sailors of the Year Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL) won the Women’s 470 Medal Race and with it gold as they made it three consecutive 200-point regatta wins in a row.

The Kiwis became World Champions in July 2013, took top spot at ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao and added Mallorca honours to their list.

Aleh explained the day, “It was a pretty stressful Medal Race, it went well for us but it was pretty hard work.

“The French were seven points clear of us and we knew we had to get three points between us to beat them. We stayed really close and came out of the start better, from there we just tried to sail the race, get away and get boats in between and we just managed to get enough boats in.

“It took us a while to fire, we were a bit slow at the beginning but we’ve come right by the end.”

France’s Camille Lecointre and Hélène Defrance had held the lead in the Women’s 470 for the large part of the week but came undone on the final day as a sixth knocked them off gold medal position. They were made to settle for silver whilst bronze went to Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (GBR).


49er

2013 49er World Champions Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) came into the final day with a healthy lead in the 49er. They maintained their consistency to pick up a deserved gold.

With 30 points from three single point races on the cards, anything was possible and even though they came into the final day with a 21 point lead, Burling and Tuke could have been overthrown.

The experienced duo, who also won silver at the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition, were steady all day. After racing Tuke said, “It was really fun. We sailed really well and did what we had to do in the first race after the lead we’d created throughout racing this week. We then managed to get a win and it wasn’t such a great final race but it was a lot of fun.”

Burling echoed his team mate, “We obviously went into the Medal Race with a pretty comfortable margin but we still had a bit of work to do just to finish it off. We managed to do that in the first race and then we had a bit of fun.”

The 2013 49er World Champions are buoyed by their week and head into the remainder of the year full of confidence. Tuke added, “What we’ve got going on is going pretty well and we haven’t been beaten in a while so we’ll just keep doing what we’re doing. We certainly had our work cut out this week but we sailed better and better as it went on.”

There was no change in the remaining podium spots as Jonas Warrer and Peter Lang (DEN) added silver to their ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami gold whilst Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign (GBR) won bronze.

49erFX

Brazil’s Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze maintained control in the 49erFX to take gold on the final day of racing.

With three single point quick fire races on the 49erFX race course anything was possible. The Brazilians raced steady and in three races they recorded a 5-3-7 to finish seven points clear of Ida Marie Baad Nielsen and Marie Thusgaard Olsen (DEN) in silver medal position.

After racing Kunze said, “We are really happy about our week and reached our goal and hope to go to Hyeres and do the same thing there.”

Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth (GBR) picked up bronze.

Finn

Great Britain’s Giles Scott found the going tough in the Finn Medal Race as he came through in eighth. Fortunately for the Brit he had a solid advantage heading into the final day and picked up gold.

“The start was particularly good for me and the first beat,” said Scott. “I managed to get Thomas [Le Breton] where I needed him down the wrong end of the line and got on top of him up the first beat and covered him all the way to put him in last.

“Then I had my first of two yellow flags down the first run which put me a bit on the back foot. I got back in contention down the final run to receive another one so it was a bit touch and go but Thomas ended up finishing just one place in front of me which was enough for the win which was great.”

Scott had been strong all week and from nine races secured four victories. Despite the win he wasn’t 100% happy with his final day, “Massive frustration really, especially after having done what I thought was quite a good job early on in the race, to then make two very silly errors is pretty stupid. I was pretty frustrated towards the end but thankful that I had done enough to come away with the regatta win.”

Le Breton finished eight seconds ahead of Scott which was not enough for him to overthrow the Briton. Le Breton’s compatriot and London 2012 bronze medallist Jonathan Lobert ended up in third.

The Medal Race bullet went to Andrew Wills (GBR) who finished in fourth overall.

Men’s RS:X

Having fought hard for valuable points all week Pierre Le Coq (FRA) picked up a deserved victory in the Men’s RS:X.

Le Coq fended off a final assault from race winner Byron Kokkalanis (GRE) and was chuffed with his week,“The Medal Race was really close and we were fighting a lot with all the other guys. The positions were really close right up until the last downwind so it was a really nice fight. I didn’t have a very good start but I used my speed and came back up so I kept my first place.”

Kokkalanis was devastatingly quick on the final downwind as he used every last ounce of strength he had left. Punching his sail to the sound of jubilant admirers he moved up from fifth to second and was thrilled with how things went on the final day, “It was one of the most intense races I’ve had because yesterday I had two really bad races. I came into the Medal Race disappointed. On the downwind I had to give it all and I managed to catch planing so that pushed me into first place and into second overall.

“I’m really happy after yesterday’s bad day.”

Bronze went the way of France’s Louis Giard who finished the Medal Race in third. ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca acted as the French Men’s RS:X qualifier for the Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta 2014. The two spots available went to Le Coq and Louis Giard (FRA).

Women’s RS:X

Charline Picon (FRA) came into the Women’s RS:X Medal Race with an unassailable 42 point lead. With gold wrapped up the pressure was off the French sailor and she enjoyed the last race of the regatta, coming in third.

Picon was dominant and was visually delighted with her week following racing, “I’m very happy with the whole competition because I was very consistent. My worst race was ninth. We had all conditions here with planing, no wind and pumping and I’m happy with my work in the winter.”

The fight for the remaining podium spots was on with any one of Lilian De Geus (NED), Blanca Manchon (ESP), Bryony Shaw (GBR) and Flavia Tartaglini (ITA) in with a shout of the medals.

De Geus was the leading sailor of the four going into the Medal Race and managed to hold on to second overall. The Dutch sailor said, “It was a nice battle with Blanca and I managed to stay in second place so I am very happy.” Manchon narrowly finished behind De Geus with bronze going her way.

Nacra 17

Billy Besson and Marie Riou went into the Nacra 17 Medal Race with an unassailable 22 point lead and the gold medal sewn up.

With the pressure off the French pair enjoyed the race and came through in second to round up an excellent week as Besson explained, “Today the race was great. We had a lot of points between us and second. Our start was bad but we came back with good racing to finish second.”

On taking another Nacra 17 victory Besson added, “We are very happy to win here because it was a selection for the Olympic test event in Rio. We needed to prove ourselves. Palma was a really good World Cup. I love this place and I’m really happy to win.”

ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami gold medallists Vittorio Bissaro and Silvia Sicouri (ITA) added a World Cup silver to their collection having finished in fifth.

The heat was on for the remaining podium spot. Darren Bundock and Nina Curtis (AUS) did exactly what they needed to do to take bronze and kept the chasing pack at bay. A fourth in the Medal Race meant that they got the job done to walk away with a medal.

Laser

Tom Burton (AUS) led the Laser Medal Race from start to finish as he jumped up the leader board to emphatically claim gold.

The ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne winner ventured into the final day third overall and sailed the Medal Race with intent from the word go. Sailing out in front of the chasing pack with clean wind in his sail, the Australian made amends for losing gold on the final day of the 2013 edition.

Immediately after the race finish a delighted Burton said, “My goal coming here was to win. Two years ago I came third and last year I came second and I wanted to keep stepping it up. I was really disappointed to not win here last year with the points I had and I’m really stoked to win it.

“It’s been a tough week and I haven’t been as consistent as I would have liked to have been but I had a good first day of finals to put me back in the game. All the points were pretty close. I wanted to have a good start. I had a really good first beat and all the guys were around me but it was a really close bunch in the end.”

Jean Baptiste Bernaz (FRA) finished the Medal Race in fourth and ended up just a single point behind Burton. Overnight leader Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) fell to third following a ninth.

Laser Radial

The Netherlands’ Marit Bouwmeester had gold in the bag going into the Laser Radial Medal Race and sailed with ease on the final day.

A second in the Medal Race wrapped up what was a consistent display of Radial racing in Mallorca. “I’m very happy,” said Bouwmeester. “I managed to do well in all sorts of wind conditions and it’s nice to get that confirmation.”

Evi Van Acker (BEL) engaged with Tuula Tenkanen (FIN) as she set her sights on overthrowing the Finnish sailor from silver medal spot.

It didn’t turn out so well for the Belgian as she finished last in the Medal Race and out of the medal spots. Tenkanen had plenty of points to play with and took a ninth. Great Britain’s Chloe Martin took full advantage and picked up her first World Cup medal.

Attention now turns to the final ISAF Sailing World Cup regatta of the 2013-2014 in Hyeres, France from 19-26 April 2014.

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Down to the business end at ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca

Posted on 04 April 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: ISAF] ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca – Trofeo Princesa Sofia got down to the business end of proceedings as the final series concluded with Saturday 5 April’s Medal Races to decide the honours.

Helena Lucas (GBR) took the 2.4mR gold as the Paralympic event concluded racing whilst Nacra 17, Laser Radial and Women’s RS:X gold medals were sealed with a day to spare.

A strong morning breeze, precipitation and cloud cover were present early on in the day but as proceedings progressed the westerly breeze gradually decreased. Warm temperatures and sun meant a few extra smiles in the boat parks in the afternoon with a range of 8-15 knots on Palma Bay.

2.4mR

Helena Lucas (GBR) took gold in the 2.4mR despite losing out to compatriot Megan Pascoe (GBR) in all three races on the final day of Paralympic event sailing as Pascoe was made to settle for silver.

Lucas took an 11th and two thirds as she won by three points, “The first race was a complete nightmare. We were really close to the shore and the wind died – there were some crazy shifts going on and I was just relieved when that race was over,” confessed the 38-year-old.

“It was one of those painful races where whatever I did was wrong.

“It’s been one of those days where it felt like everything was stacked against you a little bit, but it was a solid third in the other two races.

“I knew I just needed to kind of keep in solid and finish inside the top three in both of those races and it would all be fine, but it was definitely a tricky day.”

Norway’s Bjornar Erikstad took the day and won all three of the 2.4mR races finishing ahead of Pascoe who picked up three second places. Erikstad’s final day performance ensured a bronze for the Norwegian.

Nacra 17

2013 World Champions Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA) won gold in the Nacra 17 with a day to spare.

Besson and Riou finished out of the top eight spots for the first time on the penultimate day of racing with a 31st in Race 10. They discarded the result and came back stronger in Race 11 to take the bullet. A seventh in the 12th race of the series sealed the deal ahead of the Medal Race.

ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami gold medallists Vittorio Bissaro and Silvia Sicouri (ITA) came out flying to post a 2-2-3 and move into second overall. Thomas Zajac and Tanja Frank (AUT) moved up into third as overnight podium holders Darren Bundock and Nina Curtis (AUS) and Franck Cammas and Sophie de Turckheim (FRA) slipped out of the medal spots.

Laser Radial

Marit Bouwmeester’s (NED) consistent week of racing paid off as she sealed the deal in the Laser Radial. Bouwmeester only finished out of the top three twice all week and only two seventh place finishes, one of which she discards, scars an excellent score card.

The Dutch sailor tops the leader board on 22 points followed by Finland’s Tuula Tenkanen on 48 points and Evi Van Acker (BEL) on 62 points.

Three races took place on the fifth day of racing with the race victories going to Van Acker, Maria Erdi (HUN) and Marie Barrue (FRA).

Women’s RS:X

Charline Picon (FRA) showed that consistency pays dividends within the Women’s RS:X fleet and holds an unassailable 42 point lead to take gold with a day to spare.

The French racer finished in the top nine in all of the 12 Women’s RS:X races building up to the Medal Race and will take to the race course on the final day without any pressure.

It’s a different case behind the French girl with seven points splitting second to fifth. Lilian De Geus (NED), Blanca Manchon (ESP), Bryony Shaw (GBR) and Flavia Tartaglini (ITA) all have a fighting chance of taking a podium spot which will make for an intriguing Medal Race.

49er

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) extended their lead over Denmark’s Jonas Warrer and Peter Lang to 21 points after three 49er races on the penultimate day. Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign (GBR) leap frogged Niko Delle-Karth and Nikolaus Resch (AUT) into third.

“It was a complete range of conditions and we’re happy to come away with two firsts and a tenth,” said Tuke.“It was a tricky day; there was a lot of left over waves from the storm yesterday. The wind started off quite strong but it was offset of the waves and then it dropped and went left. We had to keep our head out of the boat and try to understand what was going on with the clouds and why it was shifting left.

“We did that quite nicely in the first race and the last race but mucked up in the middle race.

With 30 points on the table on the final day Tuke knows that despite their handsome lead the job is not done,“Three more races tomorrow so there’s a lot left to play for. I think the Danish boys and another couple will still be in the hunt. It will be a good day tomorrow. The Medal Races are great fun and we’re happy to be a part of it.”

Warrer and Lang came into Mallorca with good form and are 14 points clear of third. On the final day they will push the Kiwis for top honours. Warrer said, “We won in Miami and won the North Americans so we came here to be in the top and we feel like we can beat the best. We’re happy with where we are and we’re pushing as hard as we can to catch the New Zealand guys.”

Ahead of racing Austria’s Delle Karth recognised the importance of the fifth day of racing. Before racing commenced Delle-Karth said, “I think today is going to be a crucial day and challenging conditions. We want to attack the front, be safe and make the same as the last few days.”

Unfortunately for the Austrians they were 18th, eighth and 18th and fell to fourth overall as Fletcher and Sign took the initiative.

Unsurprisingly the Brits were happy to move into the podium positions, “All week we’ve been going in with the thought of being able to get close to medalling on the last day and now we can actually achieve that,” said Sign, “Everything we’ve done this week has been leading into that and I think tomorrow will be when the real game starts to happen, it should be fun.”

Three 49er single point races will bring the skiff action to a close on 5 April 2014.

49erFX

Despite holding onto their lead Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) admitted to finding the going tough in three 49erFX races, “Everybody has had bad days, we had ours today,” said Kunze. “Today was a little bit more difficult. The direction of the wind was changing all the time but I’m happy because we’ve had a really nice week of racing. We’ve done what we wanted to do and reach our goals.”

The Brazilians recorded a seventh, a discarded 20th and a final race bullet to go into three final 49erFX races with a four point lead over Ida Marie Baad Nielsen and Marie Thusgaard Olsen (DEN). On the final day Kunze added, “We’ll sail our best and see what happens.”

Nielsen and Olsen put themselves to within touching distance of the Brazilians after three bullets the day prior but were unable to capitalise and take the initiative. They discard a 19th in the opening race of the day and count a 12th and a third. Olsen said, “The racing so far has been really good, we are second overall at the moment and we are happy with that.”

Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth (GBR) are third overall on 77 points.

Men’s 470

Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic (CRO) took hold of the Men’s 470 after displaying superb consistency on the penultimate day.

The Croatians started the day brightly and in the first race they trailed behind in eighth at the first mark. They fought hard to work their way up the pack and on the final run took the lead out of Giulio Desiderato and Andrea Trani’s (ITA) hands to take the bullet by five seconds.

A fourth and an eighth followed as they won the day to head into the Medal Race with a seven point lead over Lucas Calabrese and Juan de la Fuente (ARG). After racing Fantela said, “We will race our own race, try to read the conditions and tune the boat as best as possible to have the best possible speed.

“We have confidence in the Medal Race and we have done a lot of Medal Races since we started. We will see the point’s difference between the rest of the fleet and then we will work out our tactics.”

Calabrese and Juan de la Fuente have some work to do in the Men’s 470 and will venture into the Medal Race fully charged, “We will make a plan and hopefully we can get a medal and do as good as we can,” said Calabrese.

“We have to look at them [Croatians] but try to do our own race because they are a little far away from us. We’ll basically try to have the best race we can and look at what they are doing so we can put some boats in between.”

Women’s 470

France’s Camille Lecointre and Hélène Defrance have a bit of daylight in between themselves and New Zealand’s Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie ahead of the Medal Race.

Both crews are guaranteed medals on the final day but the advantage going into the deciding race belongs to the French pair who are seven points clear.

The French and Kiwi teams had strong days on the water whilst the chasing fleet were unable to match their consistency. Lecointre and Defrance recorded an 8-2-1 scoreline whilst Aleh and Powrie had a slightly better day picking up a 3-1-6.

After racing Powrie said, “We had three races today to catch up from yesterday so we had a pretty good day, single figures so we’re happy with that. Medal Races are always a bit of fun so we’ll see how we get on.”

Aleh added, “It was a pretty tricky day, we had wind, no wind, lots of wind, nothing, big waves and it got at bit crazy at times but it was good fun. We had two good races but the last one we stuffed up a little bit but not too bad, three decent races.”

Both crews will battle for gold on the final day of racing.

Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (GBR) slipped into third after an up and down day. They brought themselves into contention for gold by taking the first bullet of the day but a 16th and a 19th in the ensuing races meant they fell off the tail of the leaders. Nonetheless they are on track for bronze and are four points clear of Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Luiza Barbachan (BRA).

Laser

Robert Scheidt (BRA) dropped dramatically from first to ninth in the Laser as he felt the full effect of a starting penalty. Whilst he discards the BFD from Race 9 he counts a 24th in Race 8 and a 39th from Race 10.

With Scheidt taking a sudden fall Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) has taken the lead as he bids to record his third ISAF Sailing World Cup medal of the 2013-2014 series.

Stipanovic won gold at ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao and Miami and has a one point lead over Jean Baptiste Bernaz (FRA). Tom Burton (AUS) is third on 73 points.

Cyprus’ Pavlos Kontides pulled to within medal contention after winning all of the day’s races. The Cypriot comfortably won the first race of the day but was pushed in the following two. He finished two seconds ahead of Bruno Fontes (BRA) in the second of the day and in the final race of the day he pipped Stipanovic by a second.

Kontides moves up to fifth on 84 points and gives himself a fighting chance of a podium finish. Nicholas Heiner (NED) is fourth on 77 points.

Men’s RS:X

There’s very little separating the top five in the Men’s RS:X following two races on the fifth day of racing.

France’s Pierre le Coq took the lead back from Byron Kokkalanis (GRE) as the Greek racers day didn’t go entirely to plan. The ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami victor finished out of the top five for the first time in the 11 race series. Kokkalanis remained consistent in the opening race and posted a fourth but a 26th and a 24th followed resulting in him dropping to fifth overall.

Le Coq on the other hand battled hard for a fifth, a third and a discarded 29th. He leads on 43 points. Toni Wilhelm (GER) is second on 46 points and Julien Bontemps (FRA) is in third on 47 points.

Le Coq, Bontemps and Louis Giard (FRA), in fourth on 50 points, are fighting it out for one of two spots for the Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta 2014, a Rio 2016 test event and it’s all to play for on the final day.

Finn racers faced a frustrating day on the water and were left waiting around for consistent breeze. Unfortunately they were unable to get racing away.

Racing concludes on Saturday 5 April with eight double point Medal Races whilst the 49er and 49erFX will sail three single points’ races.

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Riding the rodeo bull at ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca

Posted on 04 April 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: ISAF] Southerly breeze whipping up wild winds and five metre swells pushed the nine fleets that got out racing to the max.

Fleets in the 2.4mR, 49er, 49erFX, Finn, Laser, Laser Radial, Nacra 17 and Men’s and Women’s RS:X got out racing with only the 470 fleets unable to hit the race course.

Nacra 17

France’s Billy Besson described the racing like riding a rodeo bull as he and Marie Riou held on to the lead in the Nacra 17.

Besson and Riou finished fourth from the single Nacra 17 race and open up a 21 point gap at the top of the pack. After racing Besson said, “Keeping ourselves safe was our priority. It’s really difficult in the big breeze and it was like riding a rodeo bull because you just want to keep on the boat.

“The wind was really strong so throughout the race we concentrated on keeping the boat secure. We capsized but we came back and afterwards we said ‘okay, let’s be very careful’ because we had a lot of boats capsize.”

Franck Cammas and Sophie de Turckheim (FRA) retain second on 40 points with Darren Bundock and Nina Curtis (AUS) a point behind.

Bundock and Curtis won gold at ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne and are happy they’ve been tested in a range of conditions against the crème of the Nacra 17 crop. “Everyone who is campaigning for the Rio 2016 Olympics is here so it’s a good chance to check in where you are in your campaign,” said Bundock. “For us we’ve only just started, this is our third regatta and we’re pleased to be in third spot after such a short time in the class.”

Curtis added, “The fleet is changing all the time, techniques, people going fast in different conditions so we’re trying to get the best bits from the other teams. It’s good because all the teams are lining up together in all these different conditions.”

The day’s race win went to Vittorio Bissaro and Silvia Sicouri (ITA) who are fourth overall.

Swiss Nacra 17 sailors Nathalie Brugger and Matias Bühler take a nosedive. Palma, 3 April 2014. Photo copyright Nico Martinez

Laser

The Laser fleet headed out onto the race course for an 11:00 start expecting to be pushed to their limits.

Ahead of racing Cyprus’ Pavlos Kontides explained the scenario, “There are some crazy conditions out there compared to what we have back home. If you want to call yourself one of the best in the world then you have to be able to sail in all kinds of conditions.”

Kontides’ training partner Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) echoed the Cypriot as they took to the water with 25 knots of breeze on the cards, “Today will be very hard and we are all really looking forward to pushing ourselves.”

And push themselves is what exactly what they did with three races completed in an increasing breeze.

Robert Scheidt (BRA) was able to hold onto his lead as he explained after racing, “Today was kind of rough. I had a third, a fourth and in the last race I didn’t do so well. I capsized two times as the breeze picked up too much and it was tough to handle. It got really windy and was on the limit.

“I’m still in the hunt and tomorrow is going to be a big day.”

Scheidt finished 24th in the final race of the day and discards the result. He has an eight point lead over Tom Burton (AUS) who enjoyed his best day on the water. “It was pretty good for me today,” said Burton after racing. “I got a six, two and three and it was definitely testing conditions, the races were pretty long and it was really windy.

“I haven’t been going the best but I’m trying to be consistent and today was probably my best day consistency wise.”

Germany’s Philipp Buhl also sailed well in the big breeze and is now third overall.

The day’s race wins went to Kontides, Andy Maloney (NZL) and Nick Thompson (GBR).

Laser Radial

Double bullets from Evi Van Acker (BEL) moved her into third overall in the Laser Radial but long-time rival Marit Bouwmeester (NED) still holds the lead.

Bouwmeester has only finished out of the top three once and in a range of conditions has demonstrated her versatility. On her week so far Bouwmeester said, “We started off with light wind conditions and I was having a good regatta, I was not so sharp today but hopefully I can change that through the next few days.

“It has been a lot of fun racing, there are a lot of good girls here, it’s good competition.”

Van Acker added a sixth to her double bullets to move up nicely whilst Tuula Tenkanen (FIN) separates the Belgian and Dutch sailor in second.

World #1 Mathilde de Kerangat (FRA) took the final race win of the day.

Men’s RS:X

Byron Kokkalanis (GRE) overtook Pierre le Coq (FRA) in the Men’s RS:X following another steady day of racing.

From eight Men’s RS:X races Kokkalanis has delivered top five results in all and is two points clear of le Coq. Kokkalanis said, “Today’s racing was really fun with planing conditions. It was really hard core conditions with a lot of waves and strong wind, it was fun. I’m really stable and doing really good.”

The French battle for one of two Rio test event spots continues to ramp up and le Coq, in second, leads the way. Julien Bontemps (FRA) moved up to third following a second, a discarded OCS and a final race bullet. Bontemps dislodged Louis Giard (FRA) who falls to sixth.

On being the leading French racer le Coq said, “It is a really important event. There are three French guys at the top so there is a big fight.

“Today the wind was really strong so we have to be really reactive. I had 2 good races and one in 12th. For now I’m pretty happy with the week and hope I will continue like that.”

Nimrod Mashich (ISR) and Thomas Goyard (FRA) took the days other race wins.

Women’s RS:X

Charline Picon (FRA) has opened up a 15 point lead in the 56 strong Women’s RS:X fleet as she revelled in the big breeze.

The French racer opened up her day in fine form taking a bullet and backed it up with a second. An eighth in the final race gives Picon a healthy lead going into the penultimate day.

Overnight leader Peina Chen (CHN) dropped to second and World #1 Bryony Shaw (GBR) is in third.

49erFX

Ida Marie Baad Nielsen and Marie Thusgaard Olsen (DEN) relished the breezy conditions and won all three 49erFX races on the fourth day of racing.

The Danes were truly dominant but Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) continue to lead after yet another consistent day of racing. The Brazilians picked up a 5-2-5 score line and a 15th in Race 5 is their only finish outside of the top five.

Grael and Kunze lead on 22 points followed by the Danes on 25 points. Great Britain’s Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth are third on 52 points.

49er

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) and Jonas Warrer and Peter Lang (DEN) shared the race victories in the 49er and occupy the leading spots.

The Kiwis came fifth in the opening race and won the second by just two seconds over Benjamin Bildstein and David Hussl (AUT). The Danes had an equally close race finish in the first of the day and overcame Nico Delle – Karth and Nikolaus Resch (AUT) by six points.

Burling and Tuke have a healthy 18 point lead over the Danes at the top of the leader board.

Despite not finishing the final race of the day Great Britain’s David Evans and Ed Powys remain on the podium with two days to spare. An eighth in the opening race was enough for them to go into the penultimate day with a two point advantage over Diego Botín and Pablo Turrado (ESP) in fourth.

Finn

Giles Scott (GBR) solidified top spot in the Finn after he won both of the day’s races.

Scott was dominant in the strong breeze and is eight points clear of the week’s early leader Thomas Le Breton (FRA). Jonathan Lobert (FRA) trails his compatriot by 12 points in third.

2.4mR

It was another excellent day for Helena Lucas (GBR) in the 16-boat 2.4mR as she recorded her fifth race victory.

Megan Pascoe (GBR) brought Lucas’ winning run to an end in the fifth race as she came through to defeat her compatriot and take her first bullet of the week. However in the second Lucas was back on track and at the top of the pack.

Heading into the final day of 2.4mR racing Lucas leads by five points and if she continues to display marvellous consistency then the gold will be hers.

Due to increasingly strong winds no 470 racing was possible. The Women’s 470 will pick up Race 7 on 4 April whilst the Men’s 470 will start their eighth.

Racing resumes on 4 April 2014 as the Medal Race places are decided all of the Olympic events.

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Swiss nosedive

Posted on 03 April 2014 by Valencia Sailing

Photo sequence by Nico Martinez of the spectacular nosedive by Swiss Nacra 17 sailors Nathalie Brugger and Matias Bühler on the fourth day of Trofeo Princesa Sofia:

Nathalie Brugger and Matias Bühler nose dive. Palma de Mallorca, 3 April 2014. Photo copyright Nico Martinez

Nathalie Brugger and Matias Bühler nose dive. Palma de Mallorca, 3 April 2014. Photo copyright Nico Martinez

Nathalie Brugger and Matias Bühler nose dive. Palma de Mallorca, 3 April 2014. Photo copyright Nico Martinez

Nathalie Brugger and Matias Bühler nose dive. Palma de Mallorca, 3 April 2014. Photo copyright Nico Martinez

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Tale Of Two Halves Across Palma Bay At ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca

Posted on 02 April 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: ISAF] South east winds reaching 20 knots and regular three metre swells on the race courses closest to Club Nautico s’Arenal were a strong contrast to the light fickle breeze on the race courses by C.M. San Antonio de la Playa on the other side of the bay.

Racing got underway in the Men’s and Women’s 470, 49er, 49erFX, Finn and Nacra 17 with the 2.4mR, Laser, Laser Radial and RS:X’s unable to race due to light winds.

With strong breeze present for the six classes that raced it made for an exciting and intense day of racing.

49er

2013 49er World Champions Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) came to the forefront on the first day of gold fleet racing and moved into the lead. The Kiwis had a slow start to the day finishing 15th but bounced back with double bullets to go seven points clear of David Evans and Ed Powys (GBR).

“This is my first time here [Mallorca] so it’s quite a change and we’re quite enjoying it,” commented Tuke after racing. “It’s been good fun racing in the first day of the gold fleet. “It’s great competition here and it draws a lot of the top 49er guys and we’ve had some great racing over the last three days.”

Burling and Tuke have been balancing several projects and recently signed on with Emirates Team New Zealand for America’s Cup and Extreme Sailing Series adventures but Tuke has relished going back to the team’s 49er roots, “We haven’t raced in a big fleet since the World Champs so we’ve just got to keep ticking over. We’ve got a lot on our plate now with different things so we have to keep our hand in the 49er. We love it, it’s great fun and you don’t get much more fun than that today.”

Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign (GBR) took the day’s opening race win and sit down in fourth. However it’s compatriots Evans and Powys that are the leading British duo out of the six that made the gold fleet and Powys was content with his day, “We sat out there for a little while waiting for the wind and when it came, it came in quickly. We had some big gusts out there. Some people got flattened by a few but we managed to nurse it round with some middle of the road results and a good one at the end which is good. We needed it.”

ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami victors Jonas Warrer and Peter Lang (DEN) are third overall but are tied on 59 points with Fletcher and Sign and Diego Botin and Pablo Turrado (ESP).

49erFX

Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) continue to epitomise consistency in the 49erFX having taken a bullet and a second from two 49erFX races.

After racing Grael said, “We had a very good day. It was tricky conditions with shifty winds coming from the shore. It was very difficult to sail but we managed it quite well in the end.”

Grael and Kunze are 12 points clear at the top of the leader board and ahead of the fourth day Grael won’t be changing her approach to racing, “It will be the same as every other day. We’ll just try to sail our race, do what we should and not worry about anything else.”

The Brazilians controlled the opening race and took victory 17 seconds ahead of Germany’s Tina Lutz and Susann Beucke (GER) who finished ahead of 2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca winners Ida Marie Baad Nielsen and Marie Thusgaard Olsen (DEN).

Jena Hansen and Katja Salskov-Iversen (DEN) took the second race bullet followed by the Brazilians. Denmark’s Baad Nielsen and Thusgaard Olsen came through in third and move up to second overall.

Great Britain’s Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth occupy the final podium spot.

Finn

Perfection often brings great rewards and after a perfect double bullet day Giles Scott (GBR) moved into the Finn lead.

“Today was a turn for the better for me,” said Scott. “I got two firsts which was clearly very good for me. It was needed because the Frenchman Thomas [Le Breton] has been sailing really well for the previous couple days and he had put a bit of a gap on the fleet and that’s closed right up now so I’m happy.”

Thomas Le Breton (FRA) had the lead coming into the third day of racing but was unable to bring his light wind form into the strong breeze. A 12th and an eighth sees him drop to second overall but is just a point behind the leader Scott.

Deniss Karpark (EST) retains third overall on 31 points and recognised the strength of Scott in the two races,“It was tough racing today with strong winds and gusts. I was not so strong and Giles was very fast today. He showed us a good performance and we need to improve.”

Men’s 470

After a shaky start Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) have moved to the top of the Men’s 470 after a steady day on the water.

The Australians finished ninth and second and lead by a narrow margin. Just two points separate the Australians and Croatia’s Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic, Japan’s Tetsuya Matsunaga and Yuugo Yoshida and Argentina’s Lucas Calabrese and Juan de la Fuente.

On being back at the top of the leader board Belcher said, “It’s great, we’re obviously very happy but for us it’s not so much about the result, it’s more about the performance. We’re feeling comfortable with how we’re going. We had a difficult first day which has seen us battle out with everyone. We’re looking forward to the final races and the Medal Race.”

The Australians picked up a UFD on the opening day which they’ve discarded meaning they’ll have to tread carefully for the remainder of the week, “When you have a UFD it makes the rest of the regatta quite difficult. Any mistakes and we can be quite heavily penalised.

“We’re just focusing on each race as it comes and try and minimise any of those mistakes. It’s hard with the conditions being so variable but it’s the same for everyone and you try and do the best that you can, be tolerant, be patient and hopefully be there at the end.”

Fantela and Marenic won the day with a bullet and a third whilst the day’s other race victory went to Matthias Schmid and Florian Reichsteaedter (AUT) who are down in 23rd.

Women’s 470

Great Britain’s Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark came out strong on the third day to move to second overall,“We had a really good day with two first places,” explained Mills after racing, “it’s a contrast to other days which were a bit up and down but it’s been good racing.

“We’ve had a full on winter with training and this is our first big regatta back and it’s really nice to be up against the fleet seeing how everyone’s getting on and seeing how we’re getting on.”

France’s Camille Lecointre and Hélène Defrance recorded a second and a fifth to retain their lead and will approach the final few days aiming for gold, “We didn’t expect to do so well,” said Lecointre, “we’ll play for first place now.”

2013 female ISAF Rolex World Sailors of the Year Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL) are third overall having notched up a fourth and a second.

Nacra 17

Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA) were dominant in the gold fleet taking two race wins and a second to open up a healthy lead.

The current World Champions won the opening race of the day, finishing over a minute ahead of the chasing pack. In the second race Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders (NZL) had the better of Besson and Riou but the French pair were on their a-game in the final race of the day ensuring a good lead going into the fourth day.

Overnight leaders Franck Cammas and Sophie de Turckheim (FRA) slipped to second overall with ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne winners Darren Bundock and Nina Curtis (AUS) in third overall.

Racing resumes at 11:00 on Thursday 3 April 2014 with the Medal Races on Saturday 5 April bringing the regatta to a close.

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45 Trofeo Princesa Sofía – Day 2

Posted on 02 April 2014 by Valencia Sailing

45 Trofeo Princesa Sofía – Day 2

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Racing heats up ahead of final series in Mallorca

Posted on 01 April 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Trofeo Princesa Sofia] For the 1,130 sailors from 55 nations the second day of racing meant do or die as the places for the final series of racing were decided. Racing got off to a late start in the afternoon with a light morning breeze ensuring Palma Bay resembled a shiny pane of glass. When the first race got underway after 14:00 local time a moderate 5 knot breeze that picked up to 10 knots saw the light wind specialists continue their strong early form. Racing in the one Paralympic and ten Olympic events concluded at 19:30.

Nacra 17

Franck Cammas and Sophie de Turckheim (FRA) held on to their lead in the Nacra 17 with a steady race day.
After five races the French pair have a two point lead over compatriots Billy Besson and Marie Riou and Great Britain’s Ben Saxton and Hannah Diamond who are tied on 11 points.

On his day Cammas said, “We weren’t sailing as well as yesterday in terms of speed but in the end we finished sixth and second so not so bad. It was very tricky because there were lots of shifts and we waited a long time for enough wind to race. In the end it was two good races on the trapeze.”

With stronger breeze forecast for the remainder of the week Cammas and de Turckheim made the most of their favoured conditions early on and with gold fleet racing starting on Wednesday things will only get tougher, “We are for sure very happy to lead. We are better in the light wind and I think tomorrow and the next days will be different so I think it’s good to take more points now. The game will be completely different with the breeze coming in from the west later this week.

“What is interesting in this class is that the level of many sailors is very high and the fight is always interesting and exciting for us. We will see in the different conditions how Billy Besson and [Darren] Bundock get on because they know the Nacra very well and we have to improve in these conditions. We trained a lot in the winter and hopefully we’ve improved because last year we were very bad.”

The French team has a wonderful pool of multihull talent to choose from. Despite only four Santander 2014 ISAF Worlds spots available and one Rio 2016 Olympic Games position Cammas sees the strength and relationships within the team as a valuable asset, “We need everybody together to keep improving. It’s very comfortable to have the best Nacra 17 sailors around us when we train and I hope we continue like that as long as possible before the Olympic Games.”

Yellow fleet race wins were taken by Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders (NZL) and Besson and Riou. ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami victors Vittorio Bissaro and Silvia Sicouri (ITA) and compatriots Federica Salvà and Francesco Bianchi picked up the blue fleet bullets.

Laser Radial

One race in the split 96-boat Laser Radial fleet sees Marit Bouwmeester (NED) head into gold fleet racing two points clear of Great Britain’s Chloe Martin. Bouwmeester finished second in the yellow fleet whilst Martin took a third in the blue fleet as the top two spots remain unchanged.

“It was a nice day even though it was quite a long day on the water because we got a good race in and now we can do gold fleet racing,” said Bouwmeester. “There are so many girls here and the racing is really good. It should be a fun three days in the gold fleet which will be nice.”

Despite setting the early pace Bouwmeester isn’t getting carried away, “I’m just trying to sail as best as I can, learn as much as I can and then if I win I would like that but if not then there has to be more work done.”

The day’s race wins went to Daphne van der Vaart (NED) in the blue fleet and Anne Marie Rindom (DEN) in the yellow fleet.

Laser

There is very little separating the leading Laser racers with ten points splitting the top 12 positions. Robert Scheidt (BRA) and Emil Cedergardh (SWE) are at the front of the pack, tied on 14 points and overnight leader Ashley Brunning (AUS) is a point off.

With the top Laser sailors making the gold fleet Brunning is looking forward to getting stuck in, “The final series is where you make or break. With six races it’s going to be much more interesting because the points will go up and down a lot. It’s one of those things where you’ve got to perform. You set a precedent in the qualifying series but the final series is where it gets going.”

Men’s RS:X

French sailors occupy three spots in the top seven of the Men’s RS:X with the event acting as their qualification regatta for the Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta 2014, a Rio 2016 Test Event.

Pierre Le Coq, first overall and Louis Giard, sitting in third, are the leading French sailors with ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami victor Byron Kokkalanis sandwiched in between the two.

“They all look in great shape and they are doing very good,” commented Kokkalanis on the French racers. “They have a strong team and their performance is very impressive. It was pretty good day for me with a third place and a second. I managed to stay in the top three and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Kokkalanis was impressive in Miami and has brought that form into Mallorca as he gears up for a big year, “I’m feeling very good. I did some good training with my team mates. We’re not fully on it yet, we still have a long way to go to the Worlds in Santander in September.”

Le Coq and Kokkalanis are tied on ten points with the Frenchman leading overall by nature of count back. Giard is a point behind with overnight leader Chunzhuang Liu (CHN) dropping to third.

Women’s RS:X

China’s Peina Chen has the advantage in the Women’s RS:X fleet and is a point clear of France’s Charline Picon. In three Women’s RS:X races in the day Chen and Picon took a race win apiece to put a short margin in between themselves and World #1 Bryony Shaw (GBR) in third.
The day’s other race win went to Moana Della (GER) who is seventh overall.

49erFX

Despite discarding a 15th Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) extended their 49erFX lead to five points after five races in the 50-boat fleet.
The World #1 duo came out strong on the second day of racing to pick up their third consecutive second place finish. However a 15th in the proceeding race blighted what’s been a steady start from the Brazilians.

They lead ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami gold medallists Sarah Steyaert and Julie Bossard (FRA) who picked up a bullet and a seventh. Denmark’s Ida Marie Baad Nielsen and Marie Thusgaard Olsen and Singapore’s Griselda King and Sara Li Ching Tan have been the most consistent racers after two days of racing. Neither team count a score outside the top nine places which could prove invaluable towards the latter stages of the week. The Danes are fifth on 16 points and the Singaporeans tenth on 19 points.

49er

Three points separate the top four in the 49er fleet after a further three races in the blue and yellow fleets.

Diego Botin and Pablo Turrado (ESP) were unable to match their opening days score line yet held onto their lead following a race win, a discarded 23rd and a 12th. The French duo are tied with World #1 Stevie Morrison and Chris Grube (GBR) with David Evans and Ed Powys (GBR) just a point behind.

2013 World Champions Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) were a model of consistency on the second day as they notched up three consecutive second place finishes. They move from the middle of the pack to fourth overall.

After six races in the qualification series the sailors’ minds will now turn to the final series on the third day of racing in Mallorca.

Finn

Thomas Le Breton (FRA) continued his good form in the Finn to open up a nine point gap over Tapio Nirkko (FIN) at the top of the leader board.
The French sailor took two bullets from three Finn races, dominating proceedings. A sixth on the opening race of the day is the only score outside the top two the Frenchman holds as the fleet head into the final series.

Nirkko took the day’s opening race win but was unable to match Le Breton’s consistency. Estonia’s Deniss Karpak is tied on 14 points with Nirkko in third.

Men’s 470

Finland’s Joonas and Niklas Lindgren sneaked into the lead in the Men’s 470 as the overnight leading trio had mixed days on the water.
Sofian Bouvet and Jeremie Mion (FRA), Lucas Calabrese and Juan de la Fuente (ARG) and Anton Dahlberg and Fredrik Bergstrom (SWE) all entered the second day tied on four points apiece. All three teams counted scores outside the top ten allowing the Finnish duo to slide through into the lead as they slipped back.

Luke Patience and Elliot Willis (GBR) are just one point behind the Lindgren’s and do not count any scores outside the top six, a valuable asset to hold going into the final series.

Women’s 470

Camille Lecointre and Helene Defrance (FRA) held on to their Women’s 470 lead with a discarded 21st and a third.
Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Luiza Barbachan (BRA) picked up an eighth and a fourth to move into second. A fourth and a fifth from 2013 female ISAF Rolex World Sailors of the Year Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL) pushes them up to third.

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Bouvet and Mion End Belcher Streak At ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami

Posted on 02 February 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami] Medals were decided in ten Olympic events on Biscayne Bay under sunny skies and enough wind for good racing. This year’s regatta offered a little bit of everything, including success from former champions, major upsets, and a glimpse into the future of Olympic level one-design sailing.

Uncooperative wind this week limited the number of series races for most of the events. This created even more significance for the Medal Races, as many sailors and their crews were in contention Saturday. The Medal Race series included the top ten ranked sailors in each fleet competing in one race with double points applied. The 49er and 49erFX conduct a series of three short races worth single points each.

Men’s 470

The story of the day, quite possibly came from the Men’s 470 event.

The defending champions Stu McNay and Dave Hughes (USA) had a slight lead over Sofian Bouvet and Jeremie Mion (FRA) by one point at the start of the day in the Men’s 470 event. The regatta favorites World #1 Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) were 14 points back of the leaders.

Saturday belonged to the French team Bouvet and Mion who notched their first ISAF World Cup victory. A fourth place finish was good enough to secure the gold medal, as fleet leaders McNay and Hughes dropped back to ninth in the medal race.

Meanwhile, Belcher and Ryan placed second, which moved them up for a silver medal. McNay and Hughes earned bronze medal honors.

The second place finish for Belcher snaps his 18 regatta win streak, and 10th with Ryan.

Belcher had this to say about this week’s experience and the end of their win streak, “Getting in six races as opposed to 10 was challenging, but the French had a great regatta, and so did the Americans. The fleet quality here is phenomenal. We’ve got most of the top 15 in the world here.

“We’ve learned a lot about our competitors and how they race in these conditions. It certainly motivated the fleet to try and turn those results, but for us it’s all about Rio. And these conditions will be similar to Rio.”

On his gold medal Bouvet commented, “We are very happy because it was the objective to win the regatta and be better than Mat and Will. We try to do our best in every important regatta. Here was very important for us because it’s the start of 2014 and we wanted to let everybody know how good we are.”

Winning the Medal Race was Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis (GRE). The Greek team finished eight points ahead of Belcher and Ryan, and 12 points ahead of World #3 Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic (CRO).

Bouvet and Mion end Belcher’s run

Nacra 17

Vittorio Bissaro and Silvia Sicouri (ITA) secured gold in emphatic fashion in the Nacra 17, winning the Medal Race by 16 seconds over compatriots Federica Salva and Francesco Bianchi.

The Italians were untouchable in the Medal Race, leading from start to finish and were delighted after racing,“We are very happy we won here in Miami,” said Sicouri. “It’s the first time for us we’ve won a World Cup. We couldn’t have asked for more.”

Heading into the day the Italians were locked on 36-points with training partners Thomas Zajac and Tanja Frank (AUT) so it was a winner takes all scenario. A strong start mixed with good upwind speed meant they had a solid advantage at the first mark. From there the chasing pack could not touch them and they raced away to take the win.

Sicouri added, “It was a good race, we had a good start and that’s what allowed us to get ahead of the Austrians, our direct competitors. From there we raced our race, just had fun and it worked.”

The Austrians came through in seventh in the Medal Race which was enough to secure silver.

A fight for bronze played out at the back of the fleet. Ben Saxton and Hannah Diamond (GBR) trailed Iker Martinez and Tara Pacheco (ESP) by two points heading into the Medal Race with it all to play for.

The Brits came from behind to pass the Spaniards at the midway point, finishing in ninth and securing bronze.

Men’s RS:X

A Medal Race bullet ensured Byron Kokkalanis (GRE) took gold in style in the Men’s RS:X.

Italy’s Mattia Camboni came out with youthful exuberance in the Medal Race to power ahead early on but Kokkalanis fought back.

Trailing the young Italian by 19 seconds at the first mark Kokkalanis pushed hard to make up the difference as he explained, “It turned out to be really good in the second half of the upwind. I didn’t have a good start but I tried to cover and I worked well with the shifts and got up to second position at the top.

“I’m very excited to win this race. The World Cup is one of the most important races. I’m really happy, what more can I say.”

Camboni was rewarded for his bright start and took second in the Medal Race, finishing seventh overall whilst the battle for the remaining podium spots played out behind him.

With the points close anything was possible. Nimrod Mashich (ISR) was able to secure silver, finishing in sixth but Brazil’s Ricardo Santos dropped out of bronze having dropped to last in the Medal Race.

Japan’s Makoto Tomizawa replaced him in third having finished in fifth.

Women’s RS:X

World #1 Bryony Shaw (GBR) once again proved her all-round credentials in the Women’s RS:X by taking her first gold of 2014.

Shaw had a bumper 2013, picking up medals in seven of nine regattas and is happy how 2014 has commenced, “It’s a great way to start the year,” said Shaw immediately after racing. “I’ve led from the beginning of the week and wanted to just make a good race.”

Shaw came through in third in an eventful Medal Race as she described, “I thought I’d put myself in a really good position above the pack. One Italian, Flavia [Tartaglini], who I was defending against was on my hip the whole way to windward and the other Italian [Laura Linares] tacked away to the right side. I kind of lost track of her and when she came back into the picture she had a really nice lever and led us all from the left hand side.

“From then on it was about trying to keep a lane. It was so tight but there was a tight little fumble at the windward mark so I slipped through to third. There was quite a lot of current and I got stuck on the wrong side of the track so had to fight back so I didn’t make it easy for myself.”

Charline Picon (FRA) got caught up at the first mark, holding several of the fleet up. Laura Linares (ITA) was the benefactor of the tangle as she sailed away and opened up a lead in excess of one minute.

As Shaw came through in third picking up gold, Linares’ race victory promoted her up to second, demoting compatriot Flavia Tartaglini (ITA) to third.

470 Women

World #3 Sophie Weguelin and Eilidh McIntyre (GBR) continued their triumphant ways on Saturday by coming from behind to win the medal race and seal the gold medal in the small but talented Women’s 470.

They won six of seven races this week to win by a 12 point margin over former 470 World Championship silver medalists Camille Lecointre and Hélène Defrance (FRA). Lecointre and Defrance placed third today to earn silver. Lara Vadlau and Jolanta Ogar (AUT) took the bronze.

The Britons made a late surge on the final downwind for the decisive win after a slow start to begin the race. They started the day with an eight point advantage.

McIntyre was ecstatic about the team’s performance this week, “We had an awful start and had to battle our way through. The people we didn’t want to be winning were winning, so it was a pretty full-on race. But we pulled through and managed to win it, so it’s all good.

“It’s just nice to know that we’ve got good pace, which is always helpful, and it’s nice to know that we’re able to handle ourselves in tight situations.”

Laser Radial

Paige Railey (USA) successfully defended her ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami title from last year with another stellar performance this week. Railey was the most consistent sailor from start to finish with a fleet series scoring line of 2-1-2-(12)-2-4. She had an 11 point lead over 2012 Olympic silver medalist Marit Bouwmeester (NED) heading into Saturday.

Bouwmeester comfortably won the medal race and Railey was second. They were first and second, respectively around each mark.

Despite a ninth place result in Saturday’s race, Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) captured the bronze.

“I had some goals for how I wanted to sail the medal race and where I wanted to finish,”
 said Railey. “I wasn’t thinking about the – ‘what if’ – if I do this, I could lose the event. It was more about what I was going to work towards so I can keep progressing for Rio, and what we will face there.”

Laser

World #2 Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) continued his winning ways and held on to his three point lead from Friday. He placed fifth Saturday, which was enough to win by four points over medal race winner and 2013 World Champion Robert Scheidt (BRA). Stipanovic, the 2013 European Champion, posted steady results throughout the week (2-(5)-1-1-2) leading up to today’s medal race.

Scheidt and Brazilian teammate Bruno Fontes placed one and two in the medal race. Nick Thompson (GBR) was third in the medal race, securing the bronze for the Briton.

“I was able to stay so consistent this week because I was confident in my light air technique,” said Stipanovic. “I was able to use that by getting off the line well. Coming here, I had no expectations because I didn’t do much training after the worlds. I was able to keep a clear mind throughout the event. After this, I will head back to Croatia and train there until the Palma [World Cup].”

Finn

The 2011 World Champion Giles Scott (GBR) made a successful come from behind victory on Saturday to take home the gold medal. Scott finished nine seconds behind Luke Lawrence (USA) for second place. Overnight leader Oliver Tweddell (AUS) slipped up with an eighth place finish Saturday after leading by nine points.

Tweddell earns another silver medal after finishing second at ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne. Jorge João Zarif (BRA) garnered bronze medal honours.

Scott had this say about his big day, “It was a very difficult race and I played it very conservatively. Oli(ver) was a bit more high-risk. I managed to dial him down when I was coming down on the port layline on the downwind. That held him up another couple of boat lengths which confirmed it for me.”

49erFX

Sarah Steyaert and Julie Bossard (FRA) sailed consistently across three 49erFX theatre style, single point races to win gold.

The French pair had a handsome lead over Giulia Conti and Francesca Clapcich (ITA) in advance of the final but with three races on the agenda, anything was possible.

Steyaert and Bossard had room to sail conservatively and came through with an 8-2-5 score line that ensured that they finished 14 points ahead of Conti and Clapcich.

Standout performers of the day were Frances Peters and Nicola Groves who recorded 2-5-1. The result pushed the Britons up into third, overtaking Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) who dropped to fourth.

49er

Jonas Warrer and Peter Lang (DEN) came out on top in a testing final day of 49er racing. With three ten minute races in an enclosed theatre anything was possible with a number of score lines possible.

Consistency has been sparse in the 49er fleet throughout the week, reflecting in the high score lines from 12 races and on the final day Warrer and Lang were able to put together steady races to pick up gold.

A 6-4-3 score line put the Danes on 67 points with USA’s Brad Funk and Trevor Burd two points behind on 69 points.

Stevie Morrison and Chris Grube (GBR) rounded off the podium on 70 points.

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