Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Open Europeans, Helsinki : Echegoyen wins Women's Match Racing

by Soili Hirvonen

Spanish Tamara Echegoyen and her team are the new European Champions of Women's Match Racing. Echegoyen, Angela Pumariega and Sofia Toro took the gold medal in Sunday's final in Helsinki, ahead of Russia's Ekaterina Skudina and her crew (Elena Oblova, Elena Syuzeva).

The conditions at Hernesaari were challenging due to a fickle wind. Early into the day the wind completely died near the shore, which is why the start of Match Racing had to be pushed back until 12:30 from the original 11 o'clock.

Once the finals eventually got underway, it was Echegoyen who had the better start, winning the first match. Skudina came back in the second race but couldn't keep it up in the next two matches. Thus the Spanish team won best-of-five series 3-1.

Meanwhile, Silvia Roca Mata of Spain and Mandi Mulder of the Netherlands faced each other in the petit final. Mulder's team first took the lead, but Roca Mata and her crew evened the score in the second match. In the third and deciding race Mulder came out on top to grab the bronze.

Over 250 boats in the Laser starts

Laser Standard and Laser Radial also got their sailing underway on Sunday. They are by far the most popular classes at the Open Europeans: in total there are 251 Lasers competing, 140 Standards and 111 Radials.

Austria's Andreas Geritzer is leading the men's competition after two races, whereas Zhang Dong Shuang of China is in charge of the women's event. Hometown's biggest favourite Sari Multala is currently 20th (Radial).

Star class had its second competition day at the Open Europeans. Greece's Emilios Papathanasiou and Alexandros Dragoutsis continue in the lead after three races.

Women's Match Racing Results

For gold medal, best-of-five series
Tamara Echegoyen (ESP) vs. Ekaterina Skudina (RUS) 3-1

For bronze medal, best-of-three series
Silvia Roca Mata (ESP) vs. Mandi Mulder (NED) 1-2

1. Echegoyen (ESP)
2. Skudina (RUS)
3. Mulder (NED)
4. Roca Mata (ESP)
5. Le Berre (FRA)
6. Goncalves (POR)
7. Price (AUS)
8. Lehtinen (FIN)
9. Meldgaard (DEN)
10. Ru (CHN)
11. Bekkering (NED)
12. Pomerants (EST)

Open Europeans 2011