Thursday, 24 June 2010

Kieler Woche Day 4: A light Breeze Returns to Kiel

Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada (BRA) lead the Star class © /Christian Beeck.

by Hermann Hell

It was a bit of a nail biting day again in the morning of the fourth day of Kieler Woche, penultimate stage of the ISAF Sailing World Cup. By noon a light breeze filled in and all classes could finish enough races before the medal races begin on Wednesday. "The forecast was really the opposite of what we saw later on the water. But to make sure enough races were completed for the Finn and Star classes, who had only raced two before, we relocated their course close to the shore. And it worked, they could sail three races," explained Jobst Richter, Chairman of Kieler Woche.

Rafael Trujillo started the day where he left off yesterday, chalking up another bullet, his third consecutive, but dropped off the pace in the second race of the day, discarding a 19th to go into the medal race with a four point lead over his rival Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic of Croatia, who also discarded a bad result in the second race. "It was shifty and puffy on the course today, I had a bad start, had to sail back round the committee boat." explained Rafa. "The top ten boats are always racing against each other all the year but Ivan and I have been fighting for gold at the last three major events. I have been coming to Kiel since 1997, won in 2004, came second in 2008 so I really hope I can win tomorrow." Deniss Karpak (EST) goes into the medal race in third only just ahead of the chasing pack.

He has never won Kieler Woche in the Star before, only in the Laser, but he is well on the way to achieving that goal this year. Robert Scheidt (BRA) with crew Bruno Prada leads the Star fleet into the medal race with a comfortable gap of seven points to Diego Negri and Enrico Voltini (ITA) with Mark Mendelblatt and Magnus Liljedahl (USA) in third.

Mens 470
It was only possible to race one more race again today and it was a predicable sight as Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page chalked up a fourth bullet in a row. They seemed to be sailing an immaculate series in all conditions but Page was respectful of the opposition.
"There has been very good competition at Kiel Week this year, we prefer stronger wind, which is what we had on the first day but we have been practising in the light so its good to know we are going well in light as well." "The points are very close for the medal race tomorrow and the medal races are a different style of racing to the normal fleet racing so we have to sail with what we feel and see. It's a very short race with only ten boats, so tactics will be out of the window; the calibre of competition is very high." Despite the Aussies domination of the fleet, 2009 world champions Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic (CRO) are only five points behind with Anton Dahlberg and Sebastian Ostling (SWE) another four points back in third so the medal race will still be close.

Womens 470
On top of the Womens 470 fleet the British team of Sarah Ayton and Saskia Clark go into the medal race as leaders. Sarah Ayton, double Olympic gold medallist and two-time world champion, part of the 'three blondes' who sailed to victory in the Yngling class at the Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Games, has teamed up with experienced 470 crew Saskia Clark, a former world championship medallist in 2005 and 2007. She is aiming for a third gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in Weymouth. Lisa Ericson and Astrid Gabreilsson of Sweden go into the medal race in silver position with Maria Gallego and Julia Rita of Spain currently in bronze. Three German teams have found their way into the top ten after four races. Kathrin Kadelbach and Friederike Belcher, Annina Wagner and Marlene Steinherr, and Tina Lutz and Sanni Beucke will all start in the medal race. "We won the last race today and just made it into the medal race, which was not a sure thing before. We are very happy," stated Tina, former world champion in the Optimist.

Only three points separate the top six competitors in the 49er fleet going into the medal race. Of three British boats in the top five the young team of Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign have enjoyed the light conditions to lead the consistent Danes, Emil and Simon Toft Nielsen, the first of three other Danish teams in the medal race. Yann Rochierieux and Morgan Lagraviere of France sailed very consistently, winning the last race of the day and finishing in the bronze position but only one point ahead of the chasing pack of three boats including former leaders Draper and Greenhalgh (GBR).

In the only race of the day Michael Leigh (CAN) closed the gap to four points on run away leader, Tom Slingsby (AUS) by winning the last race. Leigh heads into the medal race with a further three point lead over two young German sailors lead by Philipp Buhl.

Laser Radial
The Laser Radials sailed one more race today and Tatiana Drozdovskaya (BLR) has maintained her lead all week to finish with a fifth and a slender one point lead over Alberte Holm Lindberg of Denmark and seasoned campaigner Paige Railey (USA) another point behind in bronze position. These three go into the medal race with a few points in the bag.

Mens RS:X
Having sailed seven races in total Julien Bontemps of France has been simply unstoppable recording six bullets and discarding a second. Trailing him by six points is Ivan Pastor (ESP) and the Polish trio of Grodzicki, Majewski and Przbytek battling for the other medals.

RS:X Women
After leading the RS:X fleet right from the start to the medal race it was no surprise that Olga Maslivets (UKR) starts tomorrow as number one ahead of silver medallist at the 2009 world championship, Blanca Manchon (ESP) and Agata Brygo (POL).

2.4 mR
With twelve races sailed, the 2.4 mR class showed again today that this class is the real results machine at Kieler Woche. And after his Kieler Woche victory in 2009 Heiko Kroeger (GER) is again on course to make it his second win in row. After three days leading the fleet, which started in Kiel with handicap and non handicap sailors, Megan Pascoe (GBR) dropped back to third place three points behind Helena Lucas (GBR).

Womens Match Racing
The race committee continued to churn through the rounds all day but by 20.00hrs had to postpone having got part way through the quarter finals. At the close of the day, Claire Leroy (FRA) leads Silke Hahlbrock of Germany two flights to one. Ekaterina Skudina (RUS) leads Silva Lehtinen's team from Finland by two to one and Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) also leads Katie Spithill of Australia by the same score. In the final group world number one Lucy Macgregor (GBR) leads her opponent Genevieve Tulloch (USA) by two to one.

The medal races will start on Wednesday from 11am.

Kieler Woche