Wednesday, 13 April 2011
Star in light conditions off Palma. Image copyright Jesus Renedo/Princesa Sofia/MAPFRE.
by Corinne Rolland-McKenzie
The second day of racing in Palma offered the 1000 sailors racing in the 10 Olympic classes and the 2.4 paralympic event, tricky conditions with moderate and shifty winds. Today's races were sailed in opposite winddirections, with the remaining North-Easterly opening the day but replaced in the afternoon by the expected sea breeze. The committee was able tocomplete a race for all classes in both winds in moderate conditions averaging 10 knots.
The British team capitalised on yesterday's results to take topplacing in three classes.
Olympic Gold medallist and Sailing World Cup leader, Ben Ainslie(GBR) claimed today's races and the lead in the Finn class in front of team mate and earlier leader Giles Scott (GBR), and Pieter-Jan Postma (NED). In the other group the races went to Australian Brendan Casey coached by Finn medallist, John Bertrand (USA) and by junior sailor Jorge Zarif (BRA)coached by Robert Scheidt brother and ex-coach Thomas Scheidt.
Bronze medallists in the 2011 Rolex Miami regatta, Luke Patienceand Stuart Bithell add two more victories to their score in the 470 men fleet and climb from 6th to 1st overall. Nick Rogers andChris Grube (GBR) remain in second overall, three points ahead of Australians Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page.
“The racing was good today, the forecast was right. We started in the offshore wind and came back with the sea breeze. There were different styles going on so it was good to train, keep your eyes out andkeep sailing to all the changes going on around you.” explained Luke Patience.
Despite winning a race yet, consistent racing brought Nick Dempsey(GBR) in top place in the RS:X fleet. Beijing Bronze medallist, Shahar Zubari (ISR) got to second while Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED) drops to thirdafter suffering in today's conditions. Today's races went to Mashia Nimrod (ISR) and 2008 Olympic champion, Tom Ashley (NZL).
With a total of five races sailed in the event and trickyconditions close to the shore in Palma, the 49ers fleet has collected high scores. The Sibello (ITA) brothers are back on the international circuitafter the Sail for Gold regatta. The 2009 European champions are in good form winning two out of three races. They claim the top place four pointsfrom early leaders Dylan Fletcher and Alan Sign (GBR).
The Princesa Sofia defending champions, Manu Dyen andStéphane Christidis (FRA) are taking third overall.
The Japanese AI Kondo and Wakako Tabata (JAP), are conserving thefirst position in the 470 women fleet with top five results collected in diverse conditions in during the last two days. The Japanese have beentraining in Palma for the last three weeks with some of the top teams.
“We used to be lacking speed in the breeze but our intensetraining in Palma has paid off on Monday. We were able to master the breezy conditions and continue with good results today. Lots of other top teamshave changed crew like the Dutch or the British so it does give us an advantage.” declared Ai Kondo.
The Sail For Gold winners are only two points from Jo Aleh andBianca Barbarich-Barber (NZL) who claimed today's races. The Princesa Sofia regatta is the first event together as a team for Joe and Bianca who standin for Polly Powrie who is recovering from a bike crash! The new composed team who has been training together for six days only before the event iscollecting great results.
“There was a lot less wind than yesterday. The conditionswere good for us. We had lots of fun!” says Aleh.
Australian Tom Slingsby conserves his lead in the Laser fleet withtop three results so far. However the day was perfect for Olympic Champion Paul Goodison (GBR) who took two bullets and climbes to second overall onlyfive points from the World Champion. Julio Alsogaray (ARG) is in thrid after winning the day's first race and placing fifth in the next.
In the Radial, Paige Railey (USA) has collected four second placesto lead the fleet in front of Marit Bouwmeester (NED). Tania Calles (MEX), Tatiana Drozdovskaya (BLR), Gintare Scheidt (LTU) and Cecilia Saroli (ARG)all win a race today.
The RS:X women fleet has a new leader with Marina Alabau (ESP)racing consistently to a fourth and a second placing: “I am happy with my day, the wind was difficult, light and shifty. I stayed fourth duringthe whole first race and started the second in the same position but was able to catch up two places and pass Blanca before thefinish.”
Alessandra Sensini (ITA) didn't perform in the lighter conditionsadding twenty points to her score today. She is now in second position overall. Charline Picon (FRA) who had suffered from equipment failure inMonday's windy races, was undefeated today with two bullets. She seats in 12th position overall but could come up in the front when thediscard comes in.
Mateus Kusznierewicz and Dominik Zycki (POL) win the first race andclaim the lead in the Star in front of Percy/Simpson (GBR) and Scheidt/Prada (BRA). The Italian team of Diego Negri and Enrico Voltolini (ITA) win thesecond race to place fifth overall.
In the 2.4m, Thierry Schmitter (NED) is keeping the lead in the tenboats fleet after collecting another first and a third.
After a long day on the water Stage One was completed for theWomen’s Match Racing at the 42nd Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia MAPFRE in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
Advancing to the Gold Group arethe three undefeated teams (Lehtinen, Barkow and Tunnicliffe) and the three 2nd place teams in each group (Leroy, Hahlbrock, and Macgregor). They will sail a round robin to determine the seeding of the Quarter-Final Knock-out series.
Fighting for a chance to join the Gold Group in the Quarter-Finals are: Skudina, Roca, Groeneveld, Souter, Le Berre, and Hazard. They will sail a round robin with the top two advancing.
The remaining 12 teams will continue racing in the Silver and Bronze groups to determine places 13 through 24 in the event.
Racing will resume on Wednesday at 10am for the Women match racing and 11am for the other classes.
Trofeo Princesa Sofia MAPFRE