Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Kieler Woche: Not everbody could race today

MACGREGOR (GBR) Women's Match Racing on Sunday (20.06.10) in Kieler Woche 2010, © okpress/Kieler Woche

by Hermann Hell

Less wind on day two of Kieler Woche meant that not all classes could continue their races in the ISAF Sailing World Cup. Only the RS:X, 2.4 mR, 49er and the Women's Match Racing competition had the chance to sail close to the coastline. "The weather conditions were very strange today. We had enough wind on the courses near the harbour, but the further you go out the wind dropped. So we had to think about how we can have the same conditions to sail all classes closer to the shore, maybe one after each other. But we really hope we will have better conditions on Monday," explained Jobst Richter, Chairman of Kieler Woche.

Womens Match Racing: The Womens Match Racing endured a long day on the water on the opening day of Kieler Woche to complete the early rounds of the Match Racing regatta in the Elliott 6 Olympic boats. The three groups went out on the water today in much lighter conditions to try to complete the group stages. ISAF ranked number one Lucy Macgregor (GBR) has started strongly in a tough group winning all but one of her flights against Anna Tunnicliffe (USA). Lucy said that they raced two very different days out on the water but although the wind was much less today there was still a lot of chop, "We have had a really good start to the regatta winning all our races except the last one against Anna today. It was really hard on the race course today, it was hard to keep the boat moving, all the moves can be very expensive."
Both Lucy Macgregor and Anna Tunnicliffe go through to the Gold group. In Group B, Genevieve Tulloch (USA) ranked ninth in the ISAF world rankings won six out of seven of her flights to lead her group from world number two, Claire Leroy (FRA) and fifth ranked Nicky Souter of (AUS). The race committee tried to complete Group C but at the time of going to press the rain had drawn in and the wind was not cooperating so after four flights sailed the surprise leader was ISAF world ranked number 20, Silja Letinen of Finland who had won all her races to lead the group.

49ers: After the surfing conditions yesterday the 49ers were able to maintain a bit more control out on the race course but it was still very tricky for the top crews.
The British teams currently hold the top two places after five races sailed. Chris Draper and Peter Greenhalgh started their Kieler Woche campaign with two bullets yesterday relishing the conditions, "It was a good day yesterday, really good fun conditions, flat out, what 49er racing is all about." Today they continued their good form with a third and a second discarding one bad result (12th). Greenhalgh explained, "It was tough today, 2-5 knots in a lot of spectator boats, the wake caused us to park up a few times but it is the same for everybody so it's just about dealing with it." In second is the other British duo of John Pink and Rick Peacock and the first of a number of strong French teams, Yann Rocherieux and Morgan Lagraviere are making up the podium one point adrift.

Womens RS:X: Only two races could be sailed in the Womens RS:X class today. "In less wind we can only rock the board as the class rule says in these conditions, so only two races are allowed per day." And a single race today took 50 minutes. After nearly one hour rocking the sail you are off. It was fair enough just to sail two races today," explained local hero Moana Delle (GER). Her training partner Amelie Lux (GER), silver medallist at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, sailed her first race today with a special guest on board and came in fifth. "I am pregnant!" "The baby will come in October and then she will look forward to the Games in Weymouth 2012," Amelie Lux hopes for her comeback. Best on track to win Kieler Woche in the RS:X is Olga Maslivets (UKR) defending her lead from the first day.

Mens RS:X: There was not much change in the 39 board RS:X Mens fleet today despite the change to light and shifty conditions. Beijing 2008 silver medallist Julien Bontemps (FRA) has a near perfect score of four bullets and one discarded second place. However with two fleets Ivan Pastor of Spain also has also recorded three bullets and a second, discarding a fifth place. He is only one point adrift of Bontemps with a string of Polish sailors making up the next three positions led by Michal Majewski.

2.4 mR: Rely on me is probably the motto of the 2.4 mR class in Kiel. "We can sail in any wind. When all the other classes cannot start because of lack of wind, the 2.4 mR can sail every day at Kieler Woche. So it was no problem for us to sail three races again today", Heiko Kroeger (GER), gold medallist in the 2.4 mR from Sydney, reported at the end of the day. Kroeger, now fourth overall, is tied with Thierry Schmitter (NED), bronze medallist from Athens 2004. But defending her lead from the first day is Megan Pascoe (GBR) with a discarded 11th place in the last race to remain two points ahead of Barend Kol (NED).

There was no racing in the 470 fleets today despite the efforts of the race committee; the wind was just not stable enough. Renowned coach of the Australian Olympic Team, Victor Kovalenko was beaming from ear to ear on the dockside with his protégées performance at the start of Kieler Woche.

"I am very happy that they became the members of 'Three Bullets Club', the sailors who won three races in one day at a Sailing World Cup event, Euros, Worlds or the Games. It is indication of top level skills in our sport" referring to 470 Mens leaders Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page and also of Tom Slingsby in the Laser class.

There was no racing for the Lasers, Laser Radials, Finns or Stars today but tomorrow's forecast expectations are for more breeze and a chance to get the race schedule back on track.

Racing continues until Wednesday 23 June when the Medal Races take place live in front of the harbour.

Kieler Woche