Light winds disrupt schedule
An almost complete programme of races was completed on the second day of the Delta Lloyd Regatta, despite the best intentions of the fickle weather to disrupt proceedings. After Tuesday's near perfect start to the regatta, Wednesday didn't quite go to plan with light winds delaying racing by five hours.
The first fleets were released from shore at 10.15, but they were all back within an hour as what wind there was, failed to stabilise enough to allow racing. A long wait ensued before they were again sent out at 14.00 in an attempt to keep to the schedule, with the wind finally filling in at around 8-9 knots. The fleets for the second set of starts were released from the shore at 16.00 while the first fleets were completing their final races. The last fleet, the 2.4 mR, came shore at 20.30 having completed their two races.
It was a great day for the Polish sailors who continued to dominate with wins in the RS:X men and women's fleets and in the 49er. Nicholas Heiner (NED) extended his lead in the Laser, while Marit Bouwmeester (NED) took the lead in the Laser Radial. The young German Finn sailors carried on sailing well with Eike Martens (GER) winning one of the two races sailed, while Franck Cammas and Sophie de Turckheim (FRA) won two races in the highly competitive Nacra 17 fleet to take the overall lead. In the Skud 18, Alexandra Rickhaam and Niki Burrell (GBR) sailed a perfect day with two bullets to maintain their lead.
At one point today, any quality racing looked quite unlikely, but in the end only a few races were lost, and the races that were held were of a very good quality with a stable wind of between 6 and 10 knots for most races.
Two races were sailed for the 49er fleet in 6-8 knots. Lukasz Przbytek and Pawel Noval (POL) won the first race and Diego Botin and Pablo Turrado (ESP) the second.
Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel (GER) maintain the overall lead. Ploessel described the day. “The morning was extremely hard. We had super light winds, but we managed to get to the top mark in fourth before they abandoned racing. This afternoon we had more stable winds. We didn't really know which side would be better, but we figured out pretty quickly that the left was favoured and we went to the left a few times and got a tenth and a second place. We are very happy right now, still in first place and looking forward to the racing tomorrow.”
“I like racing when the conditions are always changing, when you have unstable and stable conditions, so all the skills are required. You need to be fast, and have a good look out. Normally we have different winds here in Medemblik, but I don't mind. I just take the weather as it is.”
Botin and Turrado had the best day with a 2, 1 and hold second overall ahead of Frederico Alonso and Arturo Alonso (ESP). Botin said, “In the first race we thought the committee end was favoured but it didn't work and boats on the left crossed very early, but we went straight
to the left and recovered to second. In the second race the wind dropped a bit, but was still very stable. We got a good start at the pin and went left very fast, and that was it.
“We prefer light winds, but we are starting to get faster in the stronger winds.”
The Polish sailors continued to dominate, but didn't have it all their own way. Zofia Klepacka (POL) won the first race and then placed fifth in the second to take the overall lead. Maja Dziarnowska (POL) drops to second while Lilian de Geus (NED) posted a 6, 2 to climb to third.
Klepacka said: “After my bronze medal at the Olympics in London I took a year off. I gave birth to my second child, daughter Maria. At this moment I want to enjoy the RS:X. In Poland we are good in RS:X because there is a good structure with the local sailing clubs. Besides that we are travelling with the complete Olympic team of 10 people. We are friends and fight only on the water. We make each other better. Today I had good races, and am enjoying the event. Winning is not the main objective but it would be nice.”
The second race was won by Farrah Hall (USA), her second race win this week. “The racing was good today. It was a little bit light, but that's why we're here, to race in all conditions. I was very happy to win the second race. Light wind at the moment is my strength, but I picked the right side as well. In the breeze it's more technical, but in the light it's more physical, and right now the physical side is a strength of mine, I really enjoy it. My goal this week is just to be more consistent. I've got more performance related goals at the moment, just to sail well in general.” Hall is now fifth overall.
The Nacra 17 fleet managed all three scheduled races. Ben Saxton and Hannah Diamond (GBR) won the first race and then posted a 4, 7 to jump to fifth overall, after not having the best first day. Then Franck Cammas and Sophie de Turckheim (FRA) won the other two races to take the overall lead from Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA) with Darren Bundock and Nina Curtis (AUS) in third.
The young German sailors are proving something of a phenomenon so far this week in the Finns, with Eike Martens (GER) and overall leader Philip Kasueske (GER) finishing first and second in the first race of the day. In the second race, Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) got a good start at the committee boat and led the fleet to the right before leading round the course, with Martens in second.
Overall, Kasueske still leads from Martens and Postma after four races. Postma was very happy with his win. He said, “I won one. It's incredible! Actually the thing is I haven't sailed a lot and I couldn't find the speed in the last few days. I've won every start, and I was winning every race at one moment, but just struggled with speed.”
Luke Patience and Elliot Willis (GBR) took the overall lead in the men's 470 after a fifth and a win today. Giulio Desiderato and Andrea Trani (ITA) drop to second, while Hugo Feydit and Charlie Agenau (FRA) move up to third. The first race was won by Onan Barreiros Rodriguez and Juan Curbelo Cabrera (ESP).
The 470 women only had one race today which was again won by Michelle Broekhuizen and Marieke Jongens (NED) to maintain a perfect score for the week. Afrodite Kyranakou and Anneloes van Veen (NED) remain in second place despite placing seventh, while a fifth for Linda Fahrni and Maja Siegenthaler (SUI) keeps them in third.
Picking up where he left off on Tuesday, Nicholas Heiner (NED) consolidated his lead in the Laser with a race win followed by a fifth place. He said, “It was a difficult day because of the lack of wind. My first race was very good. The second one was more unpredictable, the wind was gone at the start. Overall I am very satisfied. I hope there will be more wind tomorrow. While we were waiting I went out on the water in a 49er. That was nice, better than staying on shore.’’
Sam Meech (NZL) won the fourth race to remain in second overall, while Andy Maloney (NZL) moves up one place to third.
Marit Bouwmeester (NED) has taken the lead in the Laser Radial after four races. She won the first race of the day and placed second in the next. Alicia Cebrian Martinez de Lagos (ESP) won the second race and drops to second, but with a nine point gap to Evi van Acker (BEL) in third.
Bouwmeester said: “It was hard today. Almost no wind, you have to be lucky in these circumstances. Yesterday I made a big mistake in the first race. I had to make up a lot. It’s going very well here at Medemblik. I’m looking forward to the rest of the races. I’m feeling well, and making good decisions.’’
Przemyslaw Mirczynski (POL) continues to lead the men's windsurfer, with Dorian van Rijsselberghe (NED) moving up to second. Piotr Myszka (POL) stormed up to third having won both races today.
Van Rijsselberghe said: “I did two good races with second and sixth. The Polish guys are very strong and it shows directly where the Dutch are standing at this moment. I want to sail well here and if there is a podium place at the end then that would be nice. My main goals are further on in this season.”
Sebastian Wang-Hansen (NOR) didn't have the best day and was OCS in the second race. He said “I prefer strong winds, everything from 12 knots and above. I think I have improved in the last few months in light winds, but I still have some work to do. I was 14th in Hyères this year with almost all the fleet there. My goal for this week is to make the medal race.” He is now is 11th overall, so has some work to do."
Bruno Jourdren, Eric Flageul and Nicolas Vimont-Vicary (FRA) continue to dominate the Sonar class with two race wins today. A second place for Colin Harrison, Jon Harris and Russell Boaden (AUS) in the second race today lifts the to second overall, while World No. 1 Aleksander Wang-Hansen, Marie Solberg and Per Eugen Kristiansen (NOR) moved up one place to third.
Wang-Hansen said, “There is always something to improve. A little more to work on. At the moment we have been trying to develop some new sails. The goal we set for ourselves is to run the perfect campaign, but of course once we have done all that we can do, it shouldn't be possible to be better than we are. So no one should be able to beat us.”
Alexandra Rickham and Niki Burrell (GBR) produced a perfect score in the Skud 18 fleet with two race wins. In fact everyone in the fleet had the same scores in both races today. Marco Gualandris and Marta Zanetti (ITA) are second with Vera Voorbach and Jan Rein van Essenveld (NED) in third.
Matt Bugg (AUS) had the best day in the 2.4 mR with a second and a win, but Megan Pascoe (GBR) still holds the lead after winning the first race of the day. Kevin Cantin (FRA) stays third despite posting two ninth places. Race 1 winner Helena Lucas (GBR) had an OCS in the first race, and drop to fifth, though recovered placed second in the second race.
Racing for all fleets continues Thursday at 10.00.