Ledgaard on the rise
It was expected to be a strong-wing day and the weather didn’t let competition down in Hard, Austria on Thursday, second day of the 2010 EUROSAF European Match Race Championship. With a fresh breeze between 16-17 knots and gusts that reached 20 knots, the second round of the Round Robins certainly proved to be testing for the crews but also very exciting for the crowds that came to watch despite the unrelenting rain.
Unlike yesterday, when tactical smarts were the name of the game, Thursday's strong weather put a premium on crew work, boat handling and smooth maneuvers. In addition, the race committees on both courses opted to hold short 3-leg races making the even more physically demanding.
Ekaterina Skudina from Russia was able to hold on to first place in Group A despite the great performance by Lucy Macgregor and, in particular, Lotte Ledgaard. After a subpar start on Wednesday with just 2 wins, Ledgaard swept today with five bullets, also beating the world’s number one match racer Lucy Macgregor and climbing to second overall on tie break. According to Ledgaard, today’s success was a question of sharpening their skills on the Scholtz 22 yachts. It cost them the first three races of the Round Robins but then led to a 7-race winning streak!
As the day passed, the breeze died down and Group B was affected. Only two of the five scheduled flight were raced today and Rita Gonçalves from Portugal came on top with 5 wins, tied with Italy’s Cristiana Monina.
In Group A, Pierre-Antoine Morvan, the French match racer, made a superb comeback from yesterday’s 3-2 score and finished on top of leaderboard with 7 wins, tied with Finn Stafan Lindberg. The French qualified first on tiebreak due to his two victories against Lindberg. Despite the stronger breeze, Morvan stated that he constantly had to be aggressive and opportunistic with the constant changes in wind direction.
Similarly to Women, Group B of the Open division saw the last two flights cancelled. The undisputed leader in this group, and only unbeaten so far in the European Championship, is Mads Ebler from Denmark. Yet, as Ebler points out, the results don’t reflect the tight and close races he had to win and two or three of them could have gone very easily the other way. According to Ebler, one of the strong points of his team in the lighter wings of the opening day was to continuously discuss the tactics onboard, sail relaxed and never panic when things seem to go wrong.
Racing will resume on Friday at 10am with the completion of the Round Robins for Group B and depending on weather conditions the organisation will decide on the schedule.
Set on the banks of beautiful Lake Constance and located a couple of miles from the meeting point of the Austrian, German and Swiss borders, picturesque Hard is an ideal venue. Racing takes place a few dozens of meters from the shore, giving the public the chance to be as close as possible to the action.
2010 EUROSAF European Match Race Championship - Round Robin 1&2 – Provisional Results
|GROUP A (10/10 flights)||GROUP B (7/10 flights)|
|1. Skudina,RUS, 8-2||1. Gonçalves, POR, 5-2|
|2. Meldgaard, DEN, 7-3||2. Monina, ITA, 5-2|
|3. Macgregor, GBR, 7-3||3. Hahlbrock, GER, 4-3|
|4. Groeneveld, NED, 4-6||4. Bekatorou, GRE, 3-4|
|5. Dekleva, SLO, 3-7||5. Bossard, FRA, 2-5|
|6. Kliba, CRO, 1-9||6. Cameselle, ESP, 2-5|
|GROUP A (10/10 flights)||GROUP B (8/10 flights)|
|1. Morvan, FRA, 7-3||1. Ebler, DEN, 8-0|
|2. Lindberg, FIN, 7-3||2. Pasini, ITA, 5-3|
|3. Arbuzov, RUS, 6-4||3. Monnin, SUI, 5-3|
|4. Meister, GER, 5-5||4. Marinho, POR, 4-4|
|5. Spitzayer, AUT, 3-7||5. Cherry, GBR, 2-6|
|6. Stanczyk, POL, 2-8||6. Den Boer, NED, 0-8|