After a windy opening day, the Delta Lloyd regatta provided sailors with challenging conditions with shifty winds on day two of the fifth ISAF Sailing World Cup event.
'Olympic couple' Robert and Gintare Scheidt, racing in the Star and the Laser Radial respectively, are leading their classes with top results including a win in today's last race. At the end of the day they Match-raced each others in the 'fun race' organised for the day winners. Robert took the win, but Gintare is aiming to take her revenge before the end of the week!
The Stars were last off the water last night, with their fourth race ending at 9.30pm! Beijing Silver medallists, Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada (BRA) took the early lead with a third and a win, followed by another win in today's last race. They are continuing on their good form after winning the Semaine Olympique Française in Hyères with a day to spare. After a victory in their last event in Palma, Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson (GBR) are in second position and in contention for the event title. Canadians Richard Clarke and Tyler Bjorn, and last year Sailing World Cup winners Eivind Melleby and Petter Moerland Pedersen (NOR) are only one point from second.
Beijing Silver medallist Gintare Scheidt (LTU) is climbing to first place in the Laser Radial after mastering the day's tricky conditions. “The wind was very shifty and the positions changed constantly throughout the races,” she said. Tina Mihelic (CRO), who is still carrying a disqualification from the first day, won the first race and placed fourth in the second. She is in tenth overall. “It was a difficult day with big shifts but I sailed well. I look forward more races to discard my OCS and come up in the rankings.”
Early leader Marit Bouwmeester (NED) lost seven places after a difficult day. She commented on her 39th place: “On the first race I got carried away, too eager, I went too far left and ended up with less wind.” Bouwmeester compared today's conditions with the ones encountered in Weymouth when the northerly is blowing.
Milan Vujasinovic has conserved his lead in the Laser on equal points with Brazil's Bruno Fontes. “I am happy with today's results and to keep the lead.” says the Croat, “Light winds are not my favoured conditions, and I found it really hard! I just had to be patient and wait to benefit from the situations that came my way.”
Tom Slingsby is third: “It was a very tricky day today, we had one race called off and the other two could very easily have gone the same way with big wind shifts,” said the reigning Laser World Champion. “First and second are equal on points after the first four races and we’re expecting a bit more breeze from now on so scoring will even out and hopefully I’ll knock a few points off them each day.”
In the RS:X Men, Princess Sofia Trophy winner Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED) has taken the lead from New Zealand's JP Tobin through consistent sailing. “I have not seen conditions so unstable, the wind went right and left and up and down. In the second race I ended up in a hole in the middle and rounded the top mark in 30th position. These conditions also gave me opportunities to catch up and finally finish fifth!” explains the Dutchman.
2010 Asian Games champion, Wang Aichen from China won the second race leaving him in sixth place overall.
In the RS:X Women's division, Israel's Mayaan Davidovich, who placed 9th in the Delta Lloyd Regatta last year, has taken the lead but Australia's Jessica Crisp is following her closely after winning today's first race. The Chinese sailors are once again proving their prowess in windsurfing and currently hold third, fourth and fifth places.
Olympic medallist Fernanda Oliveira with new crew Ana Luiza Barbachan (BRA) have taken the lead in the 470 Women after top three results in today's tricky conditions. Japan's Yuka Yoshisako and Noriko Okuma, 5th at the 470 Spring Cup, are up to second overall. After mixed results (19th and 1st), early leaders Martine Grael and Isabel Swan (BRA) hold third ahead of Dutch double World Champions Lisa Westerhof and Lobke Berkhout who have near perfect results with a first and a second.
In the Men's 470, Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic (CRO) are conserving their lead, three points over World no1 Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page.
“The conditions were incredibly variable today and to come away from that being consistent was a good day’s racing,” said Belcher. “We had a better day than a lot of those around us and are up to second now so there’s plenty to fight for tomorrow.
“The depth of the 470 class is so strong that if you have a good day you can move up but if not you will lose out very quickly, the fleet is close with numbers one, two and four in the world here, so we’ll aim to put in another solid day tomorrow and see where we end up."
But the day went to the Japanese teams with Tetsuya Matsunaga/Kimihiko Imamura and Ichino Naoki/Ryouhei Froyliche enjoying the conditions with a second and a first each. “We like the light conditions so today was a day for us,” explained Tetsuya, “We were in the lead at the top mark but got passed by Ichino and Ryouhei. We beat them again downwind.”
The Japanese 470 squad is in Medemblik en masse. “We are five boats training together and progressing together as well.” Tetsuya and Kimihiko, after finishing 18th in Medemblik in previous years, have an objective of a podium place in this event.
Finn World Champion Ed Wright is increasing his lead after winning a second race today. Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) is second, ten points from former Laser Olympic medallist, Slovenian Vasilij Zbogar. The second race in the Finn saw eight boats penalised for being OCS. Among them, Dan Slater (NZL) who collected his second penalty.
In the 49er, yesterday leaders, the Australians Outteridge/Jensen and the Philips brothers, got disqualified by the jury for rounding the wrong mark. As a result Skandia Team GBR's Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes have taken the lead with Denmark's Peter Kruger Andersen and Nicolai Thorsell holding second and Outteridge/Jensen down to third.
“It was a bit up and down today and the 22nd hurt us as we only get to drop one race at this regatta and we were disqualified from the first race yesterday,” said Jensen. “Saying that there’s a lot of racing still to go this week, it’s still early days and hopefully we can come through and win again.”
This regatta is the pair’s first together since the opening round of the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Melbourne last December. “It’s good to be back in the boat,” said Outteridge. “We’ve done a lot of training back home in Australia with our training partners but it’s good to get back to Europe and go racing, this event is a great lead in to Sail for Gold in Weymouth next week.”
The qualification stage in the Women Match racing is nearly completed. In Group A, Tamara Echegoyen and her Spanish team have continued their perfect scoreline with eight wins and will enter the Gold group undefeated. Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) had a better day with four wins and are second in the Gold fleet. The second Spanish team, Roca, is in third place in also the Gold fleet from Group A. There are still some matches to be raced in Group B, when Groeneveld (NED) and Skudina (RUS) have both collected six victories. Racing will resume in the morning to decide the remaining three teams who will qualify in the Gold fleet.
“The matches have been really hard and a real contest so we are happy with our results. We are in the Gold group thanks to real team work. Yesterday, in the breeze every small mistake could cost a lot and we needed to be careful. Today the wind was hard to read and my crew did a great work with the strategies. We needed to be very attentive to the wind shifts,” explained Echegoyen.
Thierry Schmitter (NED) and Megan Pascoe (GBR) are continuing with their series of first and second places and increase their margin over the rest of the fleet.
The forecast for Thursday is 15-20 knots in the morning gusting to more than 25 knots in the afternoon.