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Qualification Series Concludes At ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères

Posted on 23 April 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: ISAF]] Conditions at the fifth and final regatta of the 2013-2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup series could not have been any better on the second day of racing.

“Champagne sailing” and “glamour conditions” were the buzz words of the day used by the 1,111 sailors from 59 nations as an easterly breeze in between 10-12 knots with steady waves ensured a full complement of races across ten Olympic and two Paralympic fleets.

49er

Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign (GBR) continued to display excellent consistency in the 80-boat 49er fleet as the two day qualification stage came to an end with six races in excellent conditions.

Fletcher and Sign took two race wins and a fourth in the blue fleet and lead Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) by three points.

On the day Sign said, “It was pretty glamorous conditions for 49er racing, probably about 11-12 knots and it was exciting, straightforward fun.

“We kept our tactics simple. We had pretty good boat speed today and we were just monitoring what the fleet were doing and not getting into trouble and that paid off for us.”

Twenty five 49ers will take to the gold fleet whilst the remaining racers will be split into silver and bronze fleets. Sign is now looking forward to the action and facing ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca gold medallists Burling and Tuke, “We’re pretty happy with how it’s gone but there’s quite a long series to go with the gold fleet tomorrow. That’s when it all matters.

“We’ve worked out that we haven’t actually sailed against the Kiwis in a qualifying series for the last six events. We know we’ve got the boat speed and it’s not all about the Kiwis and the Aussies, there are quite a lot of boats out there that can get it.”

The Brits took bronze behind Burling and Tuke and Jonas Warrer and Peter Lang (DEN) in Mallorca and whilst it’s still early stages they are well on track as Sign concluded, “From our goals set in the winter we were aiming to try and medal early on in the season and that would give us the step forward so we know what we need to work on through the rest of the summer and then hopefully at Santander get a medal.”

Race wins in the yellow fleet went the way of David Evans and Ed Powys (GBR), who picked up two and Burling and Tuke. Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski (NZL) picked up the fifth race bullet in the blue fleet and are third overall.

49er Results

49erFX

Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth (GBR) leapfrogged ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca gold medallists Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) in the 42-boat 49erFX fleet.

The Britons displayed consistency that was near on impossible to match as they sealed a 2-2-1 from the day. Sitting on 10 points they are three clear of Grael and Kunze as they look to upgrade their Mallorca bronze in the Hyères breeze.

Interestingly the top three spots are all held by the top three Mallorca teams with silver medallists Ida Marie Baad Nielsen and Marie Thusgaard Olsen (DEN) in third overall.

2013 World Champions Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) are hot on their heels in fourth overall.

Having sailed in a single fleet over the opening two days the 42 racers are now divided into gold and silver fleets as proceedings get down to the business end.

49erFX Results

Women’s 470

Anne Haeger and Briana Provancha (USA) held onto their lead in the 51-boat Women’s 470 fleet after two close fought races.

The Americans narrowly missed out taking the opening bullet of the day as China’s Xiaomei Xu and Lizhu Huang swooped through to cross the line first. They maintained their form in the second race and took the gun six seconds ahead of ISAF Rolex World Sailors of the Year Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL).

“So far so good,” said Haeger. “We’ve stuck to our game plan and had conservative starts but found really good speed so we’re happy. It’s been great. This is our second time here. The waves are just so much fun and we’re having a really good time.”

The Kiwis had a steady day taking a third and a second and are just two points behind the Americans. At the early stage of proceedings Haeger and Provancha aren’t too focused on their rivals, “There’s not been a whole ton of boat on boat tactics just yet, it’s still a bit early on in the regatta but we’re very honoured to be so close to a very awesome team and hopefully we can keep it up.”

ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami gold medallists Sophie Weguelin and Eilidh McIntyre (GBR) had a steady day of racing and are third overall.

Race 3 victors Xu and Huang are down in 11th.

Women’s 470 Results

Men’s 470

Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) held on to top spot in the Men’s 470 after picking up their third bullet and a ninth overall.

Heading into the gold fleet racing Belcher and Ryan have good results on the board that put them in a strong position.

Sofian Bouvet and Jeremie Mion (FRA) ended Belcher and Ryan’s win streak at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami. The French pair are a single point behind the Australians whilst Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis (GRE) are three behind the French in bronze medal position.

Onan Barreiros and Juan Curbelo Cabrera (ESP) held second overall coming into the day and looked set to hold onto that position after a strong opening race but things did not go quite as well in the second of the day. Barreiros explained, “For us the first race was very good, we finished in second place and the last race was difficult. Our start was not so good and that’s the problem for us and in the end we finished 17th.”

The pair fell to eighth overall but are happy in only their fifth regatta as a partnership, “The most important thing for us is racing in the gold fleet tomorrow. We’re working hard all the time and we’ve only been sailing together for one year and I’m really happy with how it’s going.”

Men’s 470 Results

Laser Radial

Evi Van Acker (BEL) made it four race wins in a row to head into the final series on four points. Closely following Van Acker by two points is ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca gold medallist Marit Bouwmeester (NED) who has three race wins under her belt.

It was an up and down day for Ireland’s Annalise Murphy as she took the opening bullet in the blue fleet before suffering a scoring penalty in the second of the day as she dropped from the leading positions to 15th overall, “I was over the start line in that last race which is a bit unfortunate but I’m still happy enough,”explained Murphy after racing. “I’m putting everything I’ve done in training into racing in this regatta. I’m happy with how I’ve been racing but just unfortunate I was over a little bit early.”

Murphy came agonisingly close to taking a medal at the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition, losing out in a way four shoot out for the medals. Since then she’s been working hard with the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships this September on her mind, “Santander is the important one with it being a big world championship and the Olympic qualifiers. Hopefully I can stop making mistakes and get it all right there.

“It’s much earlier in this cycle with it being two years before the Olympics. The last cycle it was eight months before and it’s a big difference. It was good for me because if it had been two years out in the last cycle I probably wouldn’t have qualified the country as I was still very young. This time I’m really looking forward to it.”

Murphy is 29 points behind Van Acker but with six races and a Medal Race on the horizon anything can happen.

Belarus’ Tatiana Drozdovskaya had a consistent day on the water posting two second places and is third overall.

Laser Radial Results

Laser

There is very little separating the top seven in the Laser fleet as the qualification series concluded.

Whilst Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) holds the lead he is only nine points clear of Sam Meech (NZL) who is seventh overall.

Race victories on the second day of racing in the split fleets went to Stipanovic, Tom Burton (AUS) and Robert Scheidt (BRA) who are second and third respectively. Julio Alsogaray (ARG) picked up the fourth bullet of the day and is 15th overall.

Rutger van Schaardenburg (NED), Matt Wearn (AUS) and Andy Maloney (NZL) are the remaining competitors in the top seven and with small margins splitting the top racers, gold fleet racing will make for an exciting spectacle.

Laser Results

Finn

Greece’s Ioannis Mitakis retained his lead in the Finn class but stealing the day was Pieter Jan Postma (NED).

The Dutch sailor posted a bullet and a second and is now just a single point behind the Greek racer who recorded a discarded 17th and a fourth place finish.

France’s Thomas Le Breton secured a convincing victory in the final race of the day, defeating Postma by 30 seconds. The Frenchman is fourth overall, two points behind Caleb Paine (USA).

Finn Results

Men’s RS:X

Piotr Myszka (POL) is showing the 91-boat Men’s RS:X fleet how it’s done in Hyères. The Polish windsurfer has five race wins and a discarded second under his belt and as a result, is the leader after six races.

On the face of it Myszka could be seen as the runaway leader but Dorian Van Rijsselberge (NED) is just four points behind the Polish sailor going into gold fleet racing.

Nine fleet races and one Medal Race are scheduled for the remaining four days of competition and with Myszka facing all of the top guys for the first time on Wednesday 23 April he won’t find the going as easy.

France’s Thomas Goyard is third overall but only six points separate him and Nick Dempsey (GBR) in eighth.

Men’s RS:X Results

Women’s RS:X

China’s Jiahui Wu and Poland’s Maja Dziarnowska are tied atop of the 59-boat Women’s RS:X fleet on 15 points apiece.

Very little has separated the Chinese and Polish sailors as they’ve finished ahead of each other on three occasions.

Wu took the first bullet of the day finishing 11 seconds of Dziarnowska whilst the second race victory was convincingly won by Moana Delle (GER) who is fourth overall.

Zofia Klepacka (POL) won the final race of the day and is fifth.

A 6-2-3 score line was enough for Flavia Tartaglini (ITA) to sit in third overall, two points off the leaders.

Women’s RS:X Results

Nacra 17

World #1 racers Ben Saxton and Hannah Diamond (GBR) moved into the lead in the Nacra 17 with a dominant display of racing.

The Britons took two race victories and a fifth to push overnight leaders Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA) into second overall.

Besson and Riou recorded two keepers in a first and a fifth but discard a 19th in the opening race of the day. With those around them counting all of their results in the top ten the ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca gold medallists will have to tread carefully.

Darren Bundock and Nina Curtis (AUS) are one of those teams with their series featuring only results in the top four. They are a point behind the French team in third overall.

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World Class Racing In Hyères’ Sunshine And Breeze

Posted on 21 April 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: ISAF] Racing in the ten Olympic and two Paralympic events could not have been any better as the consistency of a 10-15 easterly breeze ensured excellent racing throughout the day.

The world’s finest sailing talent came to the forefront of their respective fleets with Hyères showcasing what it is all about.

Nacra 17

Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA) won gold at ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca with a day to spare and they brought that same form into the first race day in Hyères.

Opening their account with a second they ramped it up for the day’s two other races by taking convincing victories in both races, “The day was really great, especially for a first day,” commented Besson after racing.“The wind conditions were cool and we got a second and two wins. It was very perfect conditions.

With the discard coming into play after three races the French have a small single point lead over Pippa Wilson and John Gimson (GBR) but lose a second compared to the Britons seventh. Despite looking good at the early stage Besson doesn’t think an early victory will be on the cards, “Oh no,” exclaimed Besson. “With Marie we take it race by race and tomorrow is another race and same again the day after. We’ll keep our head clear and that’s all.”

After three races the points are extremely close with the top six all counting single number scores.

ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne winners and Mallorca bronze medallists Darren Bundock and Nina Curtis (AUS) are one of those teams and whilst they were strong posting a 1-4-4 score line, Curtis found the day a bit of a learning curve, “We had this really steep uneven chop and I’ve never sailed in the cats in those conditions before and it was actually really cool to learn on the run and we actually won the first race.

“We’re pretty happy as all our results are keepers. That’s the idea, on the first day you want to get some keepers on the board and not use your drop up.”

The Nacra 17 is split into two fleets with further race victories going the way of Wilson and Gimson, Ben Saxton and Hannah Diamond (GBR), and Thomas Zajac and Tanja Frank (AUT).

49er

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) hold the lead in the 49er after two bullets and a discarded 16th but displaying superb consistency was Great Britain’s Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign (GBR).

The Brits took the first race win in the Yellow fleet and followed up with two third places and hold second overall. After racing Fletcher let his 1,200+ Twitter followers on @GBR49erTeam know about his and Sign’s day, “Wicked day racing in Hyeres, 1,3,3 with the last race our best after a great first beat to get back into the race #teamwork #longwaytogo.”

And a #longwaytogo it is with 15 more races scheduled over the remaining five days of competition.

Holding third overall after the first day is Diego Botin and Pablo Turrado (ESP) followed by Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS).

49erFX

ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca gold medallists Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) got their week off to a strong start after picking up two race wins and discarding a 14th.

The Brazilians are in familiar company atop of the leader board with many of the leading 49erFX sailors trailing them by a narrow margin.

Ida Marie Baad Nielsen and Marie Thusgaard Olsen (DEN) sit two points behind the Brazilians whilst Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth (GBR), who took the days other race win, occupy third.

2013 World Champions and defending Hyères champions Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) found their form after a disappointing week in Mallorca. Recording a second, a discarded 19th and a third they sit in fourth.

Finn

Greece’s Ioannis Mitakis came out of the traps flying in the Finn and after two races he has a five point lead.

The Greek racer, who won the Finn Europeans in 2012, took a second in the first race and then won a hard fought second as he explained, “Today was a really good day. I managed to stick to my plan from the start. I started both races by going left and the left paid off more.

“In the second race I had a problem with my sail as I decided to make a change last minute but I managed to do what I had planned in my mind and won the race.

“It was a quite close race. I passed the first mark in fourth place and then I found a way to pass those ahead of me. I’m really happy with my consistent day.”

The opening race win went the way of France’s Jonathan Lobert but a 28th in the second of the day sees him down in 13th place.

Milan Vujasinovic (CRO) and Caleb Paine (USA) occupy the remaining podium spots after the opening day of racing.

Men’s 470

Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) took two race wins and discard a seventh to grasp an opening day race lead in the 81-boat Men’s 470 fleet.

Belcher first made an appearance in Hyères in 2001 and with two gold medals behind him he continues to relish the French breeze, “Hyeres is a fantastic event. It’s a regatta we can’t afford to miss on the circuit and we always try to prepare the best we can for the extreme conditions.

“I think the timing is quite critical for us. We warmed up in Palma and we’ve come here in better shape. They run a really good regatta, we’ve got almost 1,200 competitors and we love competing here.”

With two race victories behind them it’s easy to see why the Australians enjoy the French Riviera. In the opening bout they took the bullet by 21 seconds and in the third they edged out Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis (GRE).

The Greeks added a sixth and a fourth to sit in fourth place overall but Mantis was far from happy with his day, “If you don’t have a good start then you’ll start at the back. For us we managed with three bad starts, I don’t know what happened but our results were good.”

Despite their bad starts the Greek sailor explained why they recorded a strong line of results, “We like this kind of wind and we had good speed, that’s why. Finally I’m happy but we have to improve the starts because as the event goes on it will be more difficult.”

Onan Barreiros and Juan Curbelo Cabrera (ESP) are currently second overall followed by Anton Dahlberg and Fredrik Bergstrom (SWE).

Women’s 470

Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL) and Anne Haeger and Briana Provancha (USA) took a race win apiece in the 51-boat Women’s 470 and hold the leading positions.

The Kiwis, who took gold at ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao and Mallorca, continued their good form by taking the opening race win. An eighth place followed and after racing Powrie said, “We kept it pretty simple. We just got out of the blocks well and then chipped away from there. It was a top ten finish so it’s a keeper. We missed a few things on the first beat and we had to crawl back from there. We managed to come away with a decent result so we’re happy with the day.”

The Americans hold top spot having taken a fifth in Race 1 that was followed up with a bullet.

ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami gold medallists Sophie Weguelin and Eilidh McIntyre (GBR) are third overall.

Men’s RS:X

If you blinked whilst watching the Men’s RS:X action you might have missed Poland’s Piotr Myszka as he sealed three consecutive race victories on the opening day of racing.

In the split 91-boat Men’s RS:X Myszka was a class above the rest in the yellow fleet and blew his rivals out of the water to hold an early lead.

Racing in the blue fleet was closer with three sailors taking the bullets. Kiran Badloe (NED), Dorian Van Rijsselberge (NED) and Toni Wilhelm (GER) took a race victory apiece. All three count results in the top six and trail the Polish sailor in second, third and fourth.

Women’s RS:X

New Zealand’s Natalia Kosinska holds the Women’s RS:X lead after three races in Hyères. The Kiwi racer started off slow with a 12th place finish but bounced back with a bullet and a second that handed her the lead after she discarded her opening race result.

Poland’s Maja Dziarnowska was slightly more consistent than her Kiwi competitor with a sixth, a third and a bullet but with the discard in play she is a point behind. China’s Jiahui Wu is third overall.

Laser Radial

Evi Van Acker (BEL) looked to banish her Mallorca demons as she took two race wins and a fifth to lead in Hyères.

The Belgian racer missed out on a podium spot at ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca as she engaged in a battle for silver with Tuula Tenkanen (FIN) in the Medal Race. She finished the Medal Race in 10th and fell to fourth, missing out on a medal.

A strong performance in the Hyères has put her on the right route at the early stage of the event.

Annalise Murphy (IRL) enjoyed the big breeze as she scored a bullet, a discarded 27th and a third to sit second overall. ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne gold medallist Tatiana Drozdovskaya (BLR) is third overall.

Laser

Jean Baptiste Bernaz (FRA) took two race wins in the Laser and is the early leader in the 123-boat fleet. The French racer took two bullets from the day’s opening encounters and came through with a ninth in the third and final race of the opening day.

With two fleets the remaining race victories went the way of Robert Scheidt (BRA), Jesper Stalheim (SWE), Andy Maloney (NZL) and Matt Wearn (AUS).

Racing resumes on Tuesday 22 April at 11:00 local time as the qualification stage for the split fleets comes to a conclusion.

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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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