Tavella/Greggi move ahead
Belen Tavella and Franco Greggi will finally meet Pepe Bettini and Fernando Gwozdz on the race course for the beginning of the finals for the 2011 29er World Championship. These two Argentine teams have been tied for the first two days of racing and both are sailing excellent regattas. Today’s tie was broken with Tavella/Greggi sailing a 1-3-1 in the final 3 races of the 9 race qualification series. Discarding their two worst races (OCS and 3) they have a 2-point lead over Bettini/Gwozdz who finished the day with a 2-2-3.
Commenting on her race day, Belen Tavella said: “we finished first in the qualifying series and we’re very happy – we hope tomorrow we will win. I think our course was easier than the other today.” Franco Greggi added: “I’m very confident and we hope tomorrow will be a very good day.”
The conditions were quite different then the previous days with lighter wind, a little rain and confused seas left over from the previous day. Changes in conditions kept everyone on their toes, including the race committee. The wind began at 16 knots but by the end of the day, both courses had velocity drops to around 11 knots. The wind also shifted to the southeast after serving up the morning easterly for the first race.
Bettini and Gwozdz raced on the north course for today’s racing and, crew Fernando Gwozdz commented that they “had a good day but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to win the qualification series, but it’s alright, because tomorrow a new regatta starts. We will go with everything we have.”
Argentine teams currently hold the top 6 positions going into the finals with Australians Byron White and Ash Rooklyn being the top foreign team. The Aussies liked the lighter conditions and sailed to a 3-4-4 putting them in 7th overall. The French team of Gael Jaffrezic/Julien Boyet who are also the top youth team, had a tough day sailing their two drop races but keeping a 6th and they stand in 8th overall. The top female team of Ida Baad Nielsen and Marie Thusgard Olsen stand in 19th overall.
Wednesday evening the sailors were treated to a talk by Santiago Lange, multi-World, Olympic champion and America’s Cup veteran who is also competing in the 29er Worlds as a crew for his son Klaus. Afterwards, a traditional Argentine asado fed the sailors who were also
entertained by some authentic music and of course the Tango.
Tomorrow’s finals will have the top 25 teams in the gold fleet on the north course. The silver fleet will consist of the remaining 35 teams who will compete on the south course.
Racing continues on Thursday, January 6 with three days of the final series.