Photo: Thom Touw

Long, long day at the Delta Lloyd Regatta

Skandia Team GBR leads the field in both 470 classes

Thursday May 27th 2010, Author: James Boyd, Location: Netherlands

It was a test of patience for all on the second day at the Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik, as the light winds across the Ijsselmeer led to long delays to racing. As forecast the wind remained light during the morning before dying totally then eventually filling in from the northwest. While the Star class was the only one to finish the two programmed races, the Laser Radial and the 470 men could only complete two races. The other fleets waited on the water attempting to start before being sent back to shore.

In the 470 Men it was another good day for double World Champions Nic Asher and Elliot Willis who added a 1-4 to their scoreline and now hold a 12 point lead over Israeli veteran campaigner Gideon Kliger and Eran Sela. The only hiccup was when they were blackflagged in the first race (which they won) but they successfully contested this. The dying wind also created upset in the Blue group with only 12 boats able to finish race five within the time limit, leaving 29 teams with a DNF. With the regrouping tonight into Gold and Silver finals, this last race will have a strong impact on the regatta.

There was similar Skandia Team GBR success in the 470 Women where Hannah Mills and Claire Cumming have pulled into the lead following their 3-8 score today. They are three points in the clear from Denmark’s Henriette Koch and Lene Sommer, tied with yesterday’s leaders from France Emmanuelle Rol and Helene Defrance. British stars Sarah Ayton and Saskia Clark finally put in a good performance coming home fourth in the final race, dragging them up to 15th overall.

Mills, a former Junior World Champion, and crew Cumming took a fearless tactical approach on the race course. “I think it was a day to be punchy at the corners rather than conservative in the middle as the wind seemed to fill back in towards the edges of the course,” Mills explained. “Also, when you had a lane and saw pressure ahead you just had to stick with it. I think that’s what worked well for us today.”

In the Laser only one race was sailed. A third was enough to push Chilean Mattias del Solar into the lead after Spain’s Javier Hernandez posted a disappointing 20th, dropping him to second overall , now 10 points from first place, with Aussie ace Tom Slingsby three more points behind in third. It was not a good day for the Brits in the Laser with Nick Thompson coming home 24th and now 11th overall and Mr Laser, Paul Goodison, coming home 11th but still suffering from yesterday’s DNF when his tiller broke during a collison. However Goodison will be up to his familiar position on the podium when the discard kicks in.

In the Radial the Netherland’s Marit Bouwmeester added a third victory to her scoreline in today's first race pushed her overall lead over the Czech Republic’s Veronika Fenclova to seven points. Croat Tina Mihelic is in fourth. “I have had problems with my starts,” she reported. I was OCS twice in Hyeres and once again yesterday! But today I was careful and it went well. I am fast downwind, I always pass a few boats."

One race was sailed in the Finn in light and shifty conditions. Recently crowned European Champion, Croat Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic won the race pushing him into the lead over Rafael Trujillo who finished a lowly 20th dropping him to fourth. “The wind had gone right before the start" explained Gaspic. “For me it was obvious it had to go back to the left so I took this option. I took the shift had got to the top mark in first. The wind kept turning and we had to beat to the second mark. It was a hard race because we had to play the shifts and the puffs but it was great fun!”

Britain’s Ed Wright managed to advance one place in the overall standings and is now second. The European silver medallist picked up an eighth, but with Wednesday’s top contenders Zach Railey and Rafa Trujillo suffering scores in their 20s it was enough for the British sailor to improve his position. Teammate Giles Scott is in seventh.

Austrians Nico Delle-Karth and Nikolaus Resch took the lead in the 49ers today where they now hold a 11 points advantage over young Brits Dylan Fletcher and Alan Sign who are tied in second with France’s Manu Dyen and Stéphane Christidis and the Riegel brothers from Germany. Among the Brits it was John Pink and Rick Peacock who had the best day on the water with two race wins boosting them into 7th place.

In the Star Norway’s Eivin Melleby and Petter Morland Pedersen have extended their lead after posting a 1-2. Poland’s Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Dominik Zycki (POL) are now on equal points with last race winner Mate Arapov and Ante Sitic from Croatia.
Blanca Manchon maintained her lead in the strong RS:X women fleet, while it was Australian Jessica Crisp who won today’s race. Piotr Myszka (POL) and Maksym Oberemko (UKR) won the Men's races with Nimrod Mashiah holding a narrow lead over Alexandre Guyader and Nick Dempsey.

In the Women’s Match Racing it took all day to conclude the opening series. Ekaterina Skudina and her team have been steadily improving since the start of the year and have won all their matches in the Delta Lloyd regatta opening series qualifying them for the Gold Round robin with Sofia Bekatorou from Greece within the other groups, Anna Kjellberg (SWE), Lucy MacGregor (GBR), Anne-Claire Leberre (FRA) and Renee Goeneveld (NED). The teams qualified for the Repechage are: Ru Wang from China, Julie Bossard (FRA), Katie Spithill (AUS), Nicky Souter (AUS), Mary Rook (GBR) and Tamara Echegoyen (ESP).

Lucy Macgregor commented: “While Annie is in Sardina at the Louis Vuitton Trophy, Ally and I are working hard with Nicky getting used to sailing with each other, so the gold fleet racing will be a perfect opportunity to refine some of that before the quarter finals.”

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