Half-way through the regatta and the scores are very close at the top of the leaderboards
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The third day of the Trofeo Princesa Sofia MAPFRE was not the easiest one. Opposite winds and unsettled conditions made life difficult for sailors and race committees. Some classes managed to complete their first race in the North-Easterly and waited for the wind to turn into a sea breeze to continue with remaining races. While RS:X were sent back to shore during the change, the Finns waited over three hours on the water before they could start racing in the new wind.
The fifth race of the Star had to be cancelled when the change occurred, delaying racing. In other classes like the Laser radial and the 470 women, the changed occurred during the first race. As a result some sailors didn’t make it to the finish line within the time limit. Last night the jury room was busy with requests for redress.
With five races completed at least in each class, all sailors can now discard their worse race result which will become handy for the leaders who have for most collected a bad race in the last two days’s shifty conditions. Scores are very tight at the top, half way through the regatta.
In the Laser, the top three are within two points with Olympic champion Paul Goodison (GBR) leading by one point over World Champion Tom Slingsby (AUS), and two over team mate Nick Thompson. Both British won a race today.
Other tight results are in the 470 men competition where the top four are within two points. Olympic champions Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page have won a race and are in the lead despite collecting 20 points in the day’s last race. They are on equal points with French Charbonnier/Meyer-Dieu who had a good day with a third and a fifth. Third and fourth place overall are early leaders Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell (GBR) on equal points with Palma defending champions and Sail for Gold winners Pierre Leboucher and Vincent Garos (FRA) collecting the best scores today with a first and a third.
Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED) proved he has learned from yesterday’s racing conditions with two bullets in medium wind added to his good score in heavy wind Monday. He moves back to top place three points from Nick Dempsey (GBR). Byron Kokkalanis (GRE) moves up to third after a second and a third.
“It was not easy today. The first race was much tougher than the second race. They were typical Palma conditions: the left side was favoured and I went left and so I won the race.” explained van Rijsselberge.
In the women division, Marina Alabau (ESP) comforts her lead with a win and a second. After discarding her DNF collected after braking equipment during windy Monday, Charline Picon (FRA) is climbing to second overall in front of Sensini (ITA) in third.
The top of the Laser radial fleet had mixed results in the shifty breeze. Paige Railey (USA) is keeping top place despite failing to finish within the time limit and collecting high scores. With the discard coming into play and good results in the previous day, the American is not affected by the DNF. Evi van Acker (BEL) is in second position and Bouwmeester (NED) in third. Great racing day for Fatima Reyes (ESP) who climbs to fifth overall thanks to a second and a first, and for Sarah Winter (NZL) who is now 6th after taking two bullets.
Japanese crew Ai Kondo and Wakako Tabata (JAP) have increased their lead in the 470 women class over Cohen/Vered (ISR) and Aleh/Barbarich-Barber (NZL). With many protest still being heard the 470 women results could change.
The Stars sailed from the Real Club Nautic de Palma, had their race abandoned when the North-Easterly changed for the sea breeze. In the end, only one race was sailed, won by Mark Mendelblatt and Ian Fatih (USA). Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson (GBR) keep the lead of the regatta with a third place. They are five points from Kusznierewicz/Zycki (POL) and 11 from Scheidt/Prada (BRA).
The Finns and the 49ers were last off the water. Ben Ainslie and Giles Scott are one point apart in the Finns with the Olympic champion conserving his lead. Tomas Lebreton (FRA) is climbing to third.
“It’s been an interesting event.” explains Ainslie. “The first day we obviously had a lot of wind and that was hard work for everybody – I haven’t raced in that amount of wind for a long time, so that was a good experience but hard work! The last couple of days has been a bit lighter and trickier winds and it’s been good racing.”
With four top five results including a race win, Manu Dyen and Stéphane Christidis (FRA) are taking the lead in the 49ers. The defending champions are 15 points ahead of Peter Krugger Andersen and Nicolai Thorsell (DEN) in second position. Pietro and Gianfranco Sibello (ITA) are in third.
“We had a very good day with four races in the top five; We have a good lead so it is a good position to go into the finals tomorrow. We won the event last year and would like to win the title again.” explains Manu Dyen.
Thierry Schmitter (NED) conserves the lead in the 2.4 after taking his fourth victory. After a bad move in the second Schmitter cross the finish in sixth place:
“Today the first race went well. During the second race I went completely to the right, and there was no wind at all. Therefore I was the last one at the first windward mark. I can not remember in my sailing career to be the last one at the top mark! Then I went left and came back to finish sixth.”
Four points away in second overall is Heiko Kroger who finished the day by claiming the second race. Megan Pascoe (GBR) is third with consistent top 4 results.
In the Women Match racing, the six teams in the Repechage Group were first up sailing three flights of their round robin. The New Zealand team of Stephanie Hazard, Jenna Hansen, and Susannah Pyatt had a very successful morning winning all three of their matches.
“It was a good day. We had good sailing conditions for all of our matches apart from the hour or so we postponed. The Race Committee did a good job with what they had this morning and it was good racing all around. We were happy with our results. We didn’t make too many mistakes and kept everything pretty simple. We got pretty decent starts – we were ahead every start which definitely helps and then we had great crew work and great communication around the course. Overall, a good day.” remarked Stephanie Hazard after racing.
Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) and Claire Leroy (FRA) lead the Gold Group with three wins each. And in the Silver Group Anna Kjellberg (SWE) leads the way with 3 wins from 3 matches.
Tomorrow will see the completion of the round robins with the top two from the Repechage Group joining the six teams from the Gold Group in the knock-out Quarter-Finals.