Saturday, 28 March 2009

Nations Cup Grand Final: Semi-Finalists Decided

Close racing on the opening day at the 2009 Grand Finals of the Nations Cup in Brazil. Image copyright Matias Capizzano

by ISAF media

Brazilian skipper Henrique HADDAD and Lucy MACGREGOR of Great Britain earned the last two semi-final places at the Grand Final of the 2009 ISAF Nations Cup in Porto Alegre.

The teams from Brazil and Great Britain won through the repechage rounds held in the Open and Women’s divisions respectively on the third day of racing in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

In front of his home supporters, young Brazilian skipper Henrique HADDAD rose to the occasion in Thursday’s racing, winning all three of his matches in the repechage to join Damien IEHL (FRA), Alvaro MARINHO (POR) and Mads EBLER (DEN) in the semi-final stage.

HADDAD, who comes from the Iate Clube do Rio de Janeiro, upset the odds by winning all three of his matches in the repechage against Dave PERRY (USA), Mahesh RAMCHANDRAN (IND) and Manuel WEILLER VIDAL (ESP). The Brazilian started the Grand Final as an outside bet, with his World Ranking of #80 the lowest of any of the 10 skippers competing in the Open division. However the 22 year old has shown outstanding potential racing on the Guaiba river and will be sure of huge backing from the local support during the semi-finals.

In contrast to HADDAD’s success, Lucy MACGREGOR’s (GBR) progress through the Women’s repechage was less of a surprise. The British skipper is the reigning European Champion and holds a world #3 ranking. She swept past the challenge of Nicky SOUTER (AUS), Juliana SENFFT (BRA) and Rita GONCALVES (POR) to win the repechage on a 3-0 record. MACGREGOR joins Anna TUNNICLIFFE (USA), Giulia CONTI (ITA) and Claire LEROY (FRA) in the semi finals.

As winners of the round robin stage, IEHL and TUNNICLIFFE were able to choose their opponents in the semi-final. TUNNICLIFFE, Olympic gold medallist at Beijing in the Laser Radial dinghy, opted to face the French team of LEROY, who are the reigning World Champions and also the defenders of the Nations Cup. CONTI will line up against MACGREGOR. In the Open Division, IEHL will line up against MARINHO, leaving HADDAD to face EBLER.

The semi-finals are a best-of-five race contest. Racing will be held on Friday, with the Race Committee also planning to complete the opening races of the final as unfavourable conditions are forecast for Saturday.

Damien IEHL and his team from France defended their Open title very well, with a 4-0 score, on the opening day. Image copyright Matias Capizzano

Open Results

Repechage Standings

1. Henrique HADDAD (BRA), 3-0
2. Manuel WEILLER VIDAL (ESP), 2-1
3. Mahesh RAMCHANDRAN (IND), 1-2
4. Dave PERRY (USA), 0-3

Round Robin Standings

1. Damien IEHL (FRA), 8-1
2. Alvaro MARINHO (POR), 6-3
3. Mads EBLER (DEN), 5.5-3
4. Dave PERRY (USA), 5-4
5. Henrique HADDAD (BRA), 5-4
6. Mahesh RAMCHANDRAN (IND), 5-4
7. Manuel WEILLER VIDAL (ESP), 4-5
8. Adrian SHORT (NZL), 3-6
9. Juan FIGUEROA (ARG), 3-6
10. Jon ERIKSSON (FIN), 0-9

Claire LEROY from France defends her title in the Womens division. Image copyright Matias Capizzano

Women’s Results

Repechage Standings

1. Lucy MACGREGOR (GBR), 3-0
2. Nicky SOUTER (AUS), 1-2
3. Juliana SENFFT (BRA), 1-2
4. Rita GONCALVES (POR), 0.5-2

Round Robin Standings

1. Anna TUNNICLIFFE (USA), 7-1
2. Giulia CONTI (ITA), 6-2
3. Claire LEROY (FRA), 5-3
4. Lucy MACGREGOR (GBR), 5-3
5. Nicky SOUTER (AUS), 4-4
6. Rita GONCALVES (POR), 3-5
7. Juliana SENFFT (BRA), 3-5
8. Lotte Meldgaard PEDERSEN (DEN), 3-5
9. Cecilia RUIZ BARLETT (ARG), 0-9

Nations Cup

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