Now ranked second in the world (ISAF Rankings 28 June) after having won the Olympic regatta in Hyeres, France and finished second at Spa regatta in Medemblik this season already, RYA/Team GBR’s leading pair Nick Rogers and Joe Glanfield got down to the serious business of contesting the first of the 470 class’s two principal titles on offer this summer with a convincing opening day’s racing at the 470 European Championship off the Royal St George Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire on Dublin Bay yesterday.
Rogers and Glanfield improved steadily through the day as they opened with a fourth place, finished third in the second qualifying heat of the day and then won the final contest after leading from start to finish. They lead their group overall.
With the aftermath of gale force winds producing some very unsettled weather and sea conditions on Dublin Bay, the breezes were never easy to predict and contained some tricky shifts in direction with no really discernible pattern over the duration of the three differing races. It was a day for ‘sailing smart’ and keeping a close eye on what was happening right across the course area, particularly with the 99 boats – 65 men and 33 women crews – sailing on the same stretch of water.
Rogers and Glanfield warmed to their task in the first race as they rose from sixth at the first windward mark to take two places and hold fourth to the finish. They lead the second heat convincingly but in the heavy traffic of the second men’s fleet racing lost two boats which came through in the heavy traffic when racing among the other men’s fleet.
Sailing to the accurate weather forecast provided by RYA/Team GBR’s Met adviser Fiona Campbell, the pair won the third heat comfortably. Heeding her briefing to coach Adam Bower that the wind would clock to the right in the afternoon they erred right on the first beat and tacked across the fleet with a comfortable lead.
“It was certainly a good day for us, learning lots. Of course at this stage there is nothing much at stake but it is always good to be doing what we should, and sailing fast and we did that today.” Helmsman Rogers (Lymington) reported.
After finishing eighth at Kiel Week last month, RYA/Team GBR’s Graham Vials and Dan Newman (County Durham) proved their potential too, in the other fleet, scoring a fourth a third and a 13th to lie sixth overall, while Mark Plummer and Oliver Hawkley (Dalgety Bay) stayed inside the gold fleet qualifying zone with a 12,18,15.
“Overall it was not easy but Nick and Joe sailed well, but across the board today we were very encouraged by all of the boys’ performances today.” Reported RYA/Team GBR’s 470 squad coach Adam Bower.
The second set of qualifying races runs today (Friday) and after a lay day Saturday, racing for the emerging Gold and Silver fleet starts Sunday.
“Expectations here are for a good top eight from Nick and Joe, we’d be happy with a top three, but they certainly have it in them to win here. It is a very high quality fleet with everyone who is anyone here. Nick and Joe have been working hard developing some of their own ideas with regard to masts and a new jib and it certainly seems to be working for them.” Concludes coach Bower.
Results Day 1
Men’s Group 1
1, Marinho/Nunes (POR)
2, Zellner/Krabbe (GER)
3, Kizer/Gal (ISR)
4, Vials/Newman (RYA/Team GBR; Co. Durham)
5, Mollund/Martin (SWE)
12, Plummer/Hawksley (Dalgety Bay)
4, Charbonnier/Christidis (FRA)
5, Martinez/Cantero (ESP)
18, Plummer, Hawksley
4, Kajuto/Kejino (JPN)
1, Marinho/Nunes 5.0pts
2, Molund/ Martin 7.0
3, Kiger/Gal 16.0
4, Martinez/ Cante