Up And Down Day At Santander 2014 ISAF Worlds
It was a tough fifth day of racing for all of the fleets at the
Santander 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships with a challenging up and
down wind playing havoc across the seven race courses.
It was scheduled to be a Super Tuesday with all of the fleets apart from the
Women's RS:X scheduled to take to the water but the schedule did not quite go
to plan with abandonments, strong current and a fickle breeze challenging the
All of the fleets managed to complete some racing with the Men's RS:X and
Women's 470 rounding off their Qualification Series, the Laser and Laser
Radial continued their gold fleet racing and the remaining fleets resumed
The weather was pleasing for the Men's RS:X fleet with an easterly wind which
allowed the Race Committee to set the course quick and complete race number
5, the last race of the Qualification Series for the Men's RSX.
A tricky offshore breeze with seaweed across course made racing tough and
unpredictable. The yellow fleet leaders took off from the many, many sailors
were on port, and they hit the left corner on the upwind, which paid off in
The downwind strategy for the majority of the guys was to keep planing in the
gusts. The top three finishers in the yellow fleet were Piotr Myszka from
Poland, Thomas Goyard and Julien Bontemps from France.
A brilliant planing start on port in front of the entire Blue fleet
unfortunately didn't help JP Tobin (NZL) to finish among leaders as he went
to the right side whilst the winning side appeared to be left.
In the end Pierre le Coq from France took the bullet (See the video of
Pierre's interview this morning before the race) followed by Byron Kokkalanis
(GRE) and Nick Dempsey (GBR).
This brought the qualification series to a close with the fleets now
splitting up into gold and silver.
Women's RS:X racers have had a lay day today, so the leaders remain the same:
Charline Picon (FRA), Bryony Shaw (GBR) and Patricia Freitas (BRA). The
girl's will continue racing in Gold and Silver fleet tomorrow.
There will be a strong battle in RS:X Men for those 18 qualification spots
allocated for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games from the current World Championship.
There are 23 countries in the Gold fleet (49 competitors) and 5 countries
will come back home without a desired qualification spot.
Same applies to the Women's RSX, where 15 counties got into a Gold fleet, 31
competitors in total, with only 13 nations able to qualify for the Rio 2016
Olympic Games 2016 in Santander.
The weather forecast looks quite optimistic for a good racing on Wednesday so
please keep an eye on the action here in Santander at the ISAF Sailing World
RS:X Reports courtesy of
Olga Maslivets, International RS:X Class Association
After yesterday's session of waiting the 49erFX fleet was anxious to get
their world championship started. Up to four races per fleet were scheduled
for the Duna course, the feature course with the huge grandstands. Over 1,000
local sailing enthusiasts greeted the sailors as they began their quest for
gold fleet and ultimately the title.
For local 49erFX stars Tamara Echegoyen and Berta Betanzos (ESP) it was a
special day. Every time they rounded a mark or came near the grandstands a
huge roar would erupt.
"We took inspiration
from them today. It was lovely to hear them cheer us even in the second race
when we were not doing so well, we knew they were here to support us," said
hometown girl Berta.
The first race was dominated by starting, as the side current made for mostly
port tack sailing. Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth (GBR), Tessa
Parkinson and Chelsea Hall (AUS) and Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA)
nailed their starts, punching through the starboard tackers into commanding
positions up the first beat. The Brazilians had the better boatspeed and
managed to sail comfortably to the first bullet of the event with the Aussies
and Brits finishing in the top 5.
In race 2 the wind and tide were more aligned making a more even beat. A
number of teams tacked their way up the shifts and puffs, with the right hand
side holding the advantage. Parkinson and Hall found great form again and
lead comfortably through the first two and a half laps of the race.
Unfortunately for them they mishandled a gybe and capsized on the last run,
sending them back into 12th by the time they recovered. Still, a solid day
for this duo who work full time and sail in their local skiff club in Perth.
The Blue fleet then got their turn and faced some challenging conditions.
Canadians Erin Rafuse and Danielle Boyd were leading the first race in what
was the best breeze of the day, ultimately being overtaken by the reigning
European Champions, Ida Nielsen and Mari Olsen (DEN) who finished first.
Their next race looked to be another good one until the wind died out for the
last 100m of the first beat. Most of the fleet stacked up at the windward
mark and many teams had to take evasive manoeuvres to avoid fouling. Laura
Shoenfegger and Elsie Lovreck (AUT) escaped first from the mess and held on
for a third. Kate MacGregor and Katrina Best (GBR) took the win, a nice
recovery from their challenging first race.
Then the wind really started playing havoc with the fleet, as a system breeze
dominated the sea breeze and came in at around 20 knots from 60 degrees right
of where the wind had been. More shifty racing allowed each fleet to sail 3
races on the day, with nothing yet decided as we head into the second day of
Today was blue fleets chance to go sailing having watched yellow fleet get
two races in on the first day of qualification.
The day started off wonderfully, with 12 knots of breeze and open waters.
Defending World Champions Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) were quick off
the line and quick to get to the favoured right side, kicking off the event
with a bullet. They followed that up with a 4 and a 7 for three top 10's and
first position on the day.
The only other team to manage all top 10's were fellow Kiwi youngsters Logan
Dunning Beck and Jack Simpson, who sailed to an impressive 5, 8, 6 in the 40
boat fleet. Much more common were teams with a "A Good, a Bad, and an Ugly," said standout Irish crew, Matt McGovern.
Many of the top teams only managed one or two races inside the top 10,
leaving most teams vulnerable to missing out on gold fleet tomorrow.
Races 2 and 3 for the Blue fleet were in a dying wind that backed left until
it came from over an island, causing instability both in the breeze and
fleet. The shifty racing left few boats in a comfortable position but does
leave open many intriguing possibilities for the final bit of qualifying.
Then it was yellow fleets turn to hit the water again. They got half way
through their first race and it had to be abandoned.
49er and 49er FX Reports
courtesy of Ben Remocker, International 49er Class Association
After a long day of waiting the Nacra 17 sailors were very keen this morning
to start racing on their second day of competition. Around 12:00 the wind was
enough to go out and Yellow Fleet left the beach. They could race two good
races. Around 15.00 the Blue Fleet could start their first race. But after
their first race they had to wait a long time on the water because of
windshifts and wind speed that had ups and downs.
For both sailors and Race Committee these are very difficult days, all the
more knowing that during the last few months of training the conditions were
Reigning World Champions Billy Besson and Marie Riou won both races in the
Yellow Fleet. They are very happy with these results of this first day, "During the races of our fleet
the conditions were very good. We are happy with this result, but we have
still a lot of races to go.”
The Dutch team Mandy Mulder and Coen de Koning were also very happy with
their results of the day, "With
a 2nd and 7th place it's a good start of this championship. We are happy to
be in second position after two races and look forward for coming days.”
The Italian team of Lorenzo Bressani and Giovanni Micol finished third and
eighth in the yellow fleet. They started sailing the Nacra 17 this year and
have trained a lot in Santander over the last month. Bressani is a
professional sailor who won the 2010 and 2011 Melges 24 and Melges 32 World
Championships whilst Micol previously sailed the 470. They were particularly
happy about their second race performance because they had a bad start and
came back from behind to the eighth position, "Coming from behind to eighth gives us a lot of
self-confidence. This means we have the speed and power to sail in front of
the fleet. Our goal is to be in the Gold Fleet, but this start of the event
makes us very happy.”
Spanish team, Iker Martinez and Tara Pacheco, decided to stop racing and have
packed their boat to go home. Tara had a surgery a few weeks ago and is still
recovering. During the first race the team noticed that they were not able to
sail 100%. Martinez said, "We
want to go for 100% and that's not possible at this moment. So we decided to
stop now and go home and give Tara the time to recover fully.”
In the Blue Fleet the Swiss team Matias Buhler and Nathalie Brugger won the
single Nacra 17 blue fleet race ahead of British team Ben Saxton and Hannah
Diamond. The Swiss team said, "We did a very good first race and are very happy with this result.
Unfortunately we didn't race any more. But the Race Committee did all they
could do in these difficult weather conditions with shifty wind and up and downs.
Hopefully it will be better tomorrow.”
Nacra 17 Report courtesy
of Edwin Lodder, Nacra 17 Class Association
The Olympic qualification hunt is now well and truly game on, with 16 nations
advancing to gold fleet and gunning for the ten qualification places on offer
for Rio 2016.
A win from race 3 in the yellow fleet popped the 2012 Olympic silver
medallists Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (GBR) into the overall lead, helped
by the discard coming into play to knock out their 11th place finish from
race 1. Austria's Lara Vadlau and Jola Ogar took the win in the blue fleet
and moved up to second, whilst overnight leaders Maelenn Lematire and Aloise
Retornaz (FRA) dropped from first to third overall, after finishing eighth.
Race 4 was a nail biter, with gold and silver fleet qualification on the
cards to decide the shortlist of nations in with a chance at Olympic
The Blue fleet winners Michelle Broekhuizen and Marieke Jongens (NED) took
massive leaderboard gains and Slovenia's Tina Mrak and Veronika Macarol did
the same in the yellow fleet.
Mills and Clark kept consistent to take a third place finish and wrap up the
four race qualification series in first overall, with Vadlau and Ogar holding
onto second and leaping up to third overall from their 3,1 scores are
Broekhuizen and Jongens.
The gold fleet final series is set to unfurl into a massive battle for
Olympic qualification as teams from 16 nations fight for just 10 nation
slots. Brazil receives an automatic slot to Rio 2016, and as Brazil's two 470
Women teams have both advanced to gold fleet, the battle for them is all
about finishing ahead of each other.
Lemaitre and Retornaz proved their day one race performance was no fluke,
scoring an 8,10 today to advance to gold fleet in fourth overall. Impressive
form from the 2013 and 2014 470 Junior World Champions, positions them as the
only junior circuit team to qualify to gold fleet. Clear validation of how
tough it is stepping up to senior fleet racing.
"It is great, because
we have been training a lot,” said Lemaitre. "But the first day, we were
really surprised to do this, but now we know it is possible so we will see.
It is fantastic and great for us as it is very difficult in the senior fleet.
We just did less mistakes than the others. We have to continue again and
again. This is just four races so far,” she smiled.
Based on provisional results and subject to any protest outcomes, the 16
nations in the gold fleet in with a shot at qualification for the Rio 2016
Olympic Games are (in country order): Australia, Austria, China, Czech
Republic, France, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand,
Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, United States of America.
The day was really complicated and long for the 74-boat 470 men fleet. Three
races were on the cards for all to get the qualification series completed,
but the breeze again failed to play ball. Two races were held for the yellow
fleet and just one for blue today.
The conditions put pressure on sailors to stay focused and ready to jump into
action as the breeze fills in, and today's six hours wait on the water was
the longest day so far.
"It has been pretty
hard, really shifty and really variable,” commented 2012 Olympic
Champion Mat Belcher. "It
is really hard to run a race in these conditions. I guess what was a bit
disappointing today was in one race we were stopped for more than 5 minutes
in just 2 knots of breeze.”
In total contrast to their opening race 37th place, Spain's Onan
Barreiros/Juan Curbelo won race 2 in the yellow fleet and leapt up the
leaderboard. But disappointment for the world ranked #13 pair as they took a
black flag startline penalty in race 3 and will now need a top finish
tomorrow to guarantee their place in the top 50% of the fleet who will
advance to gold fleet racing.
Numerous teams suffered the same fate with ten others boats awarded a BFD
penalty. Penalty scores for other top teams for Rule 42 infringements has
also put the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons in the leaderboard shuffle.
Over in the blue fleet, the USA's Stuart McNay/David Hughes repeated their
form from Sunday's opening day of racing, and took another win in race 2 to
move into the overall lead. Although the blue fleet count only 2 races to the
yellow fleet's 3 races, the Americans still top the overall leaderboard, as
in practice their race result from race 3 would be discardable anyway,
leaving them counting two race wins.
So, the line-up for gold and silver fleets is still fully open, and teams are
just hoping to get the qualification series wrapped up on Wednesday, and move
onto the six race final series on Thursday and Friday to ensure a full
schedule of races for this critical Olympic qualification event.
The pressure is now on the Race Committee to use Wednesday's scheduled
reserve day and get the qualification series finalized, with one more race
for yellow and two for blue fleet.
470 Report courtesy of
Luissa Smith, International 470 Class Association
The Finn fleet only got in one race despite being on the water for eight
hours. Yellow fleet was won by Oliver Tweddell (AUS) who led the entire race
from Deniss Karpak (EST) and Josip Olujic (CRO).
The Blue fleet was stacked with big names but the returning Jonas Høgh-Christensen
(DEN), the London 2012 Silver medalist, back after a two year lay-off, led
round the top mark from London 2012 bronze medallist Jonathan Lobert (FRA).
Giles Scott (GBR) rounded in 10th and made gains throughout to pass
Høgh-Christensen at the last mark to take the race win. The Dane crossed in
second with Lobert third.
The fleet then waited afloat for another six hours with no further racing as
the wind performed circles around the fleet. So two days in, 13 hours afloat
and just one race to show for it.
Tweddell explained his race, "The first race was pretty tricky. I started at the pin and went left
and got a nice bit of pressure and a left hand shift which worked out quite
well and then basically held my lead from Deniss Karpak all race.”
On the race committee,
"Luigi (PRO – Peter Reggio) and his race team were actually doing a
really good job. They weren't sending us off for a bad race in dodgy wind. We
actually got a second race off but they abandoned it after a couple of
minutes as the breezed died and then filled in. So they did a really good
job, but the breeze was never stable enough to get a second race in.
Unfortunately that's sailing.”
Høgh-Christensen said, "I
had a good start and almost hit the pin end starting boat. But I had a good
first beat and hit the shift right and had two fast guys behind me with Giles
and Lobert. I managed to keep the Frenchie behind me but Giles was just too
quick downwind. The last run was free pumping. The French went high and Giles
went low and I had to cover one of them. The French was in second so I
covered him and lost Giles.
"It was a very simple
race. I got off at the right end and hit the right shift. My boat speed was
Ok, and I was happy with my downwind speed even though I lost Giles, so I'm
Scott said, "Day two
has been very long. We had only the one race which was frustrating. But that
race did go quite well and I got Jonas and Lobert at the bottom of the last
run, which was nice. It got the championship off to a good start, but I just
would have liked some more racing.
"Then we had a long
wait, and we were in pretty late in the evening, so hoping for better
tomorrow. The wind was a decent strength but just wasn't consistent. Luigi
did his best to try and get us away but it wasn't right.”
Finn Report courtesy of
Robert Deaves, International Finn Class Association
Phillip Buhl (GER) had a perfect day scoring two first places and moves up to
He said, "We finally
had a little bit more wind on the race course today and still a little bit
tricky and gusty but at least we got to more races in. For more it was
obviously very satisfying as it is not every day you get two bullets in a
world championship. In the first race I had a good start and good first
upwind leg and rounded third, I think, and then got through to first on the
downwind leg overtaking Pavolos Kontides (CYP) and Alessio Spadoni (ITA).
"In the second race I
started near the pin boat but was not so good but I wanted to go left. Near
the top of the upwind I got a little lucky with a left shift that was bigger
than I expected and then I took the lead on the second upwind.”
The new overall leader is Tom Burton (AUS). Burton, who has been parked in
third place for two days seized his chance by scoring a fourth in the sixth
race and then using his previous eighth place discard to get out of jail as
he recorded a 16th in the seventh race.
Overnight leader, Nick Heiner (NED) could only manage two 12th places and
drops into second overall. He explained, "I
had a good comeback race in the first race until I got a yellow flag penalty
on the second upwind which I was bit surprised about and it cost me 4 places.
It kind of made sail a little less free in the second race but it was really
tricky conditions with a lot of patchy weather. It is not good enough for
first place but tomorrow is another day.”
Nick Thompson moves up to third .
Olympic Silver medallist, Marit Bouwmeester (NED), finally made it into first
position overall after a steady climb up the rankings with consistent results
and a first place in the only race of the day ahead of Evi Van Acker (BEL).
Bouwmeester had a fairly easy time leading from start to finish, "It was tricky. I had a good
start and managed to get off the start line well. I don't think I was first
round the first mark but I had good downwind speed and had the lead by the
next mark. I was happy. We were proper hiking in steady conditions which was
really nice after all the previous light winds.”
Veronika Fenclova (CZE) scored a third place that was enough to get her back
up into second spot whilst others around dropped back in the stronger wind.
Laser and Laser Radial
Reports Courtesy of Jeff Martin, International Laser Class Association
Schedule of Racing:
12-18 September, Laser and Laser Radial
13-19 September, RS:X Men and RS:X Women
14-20 September, 470 Men and 470 Women
15-21 September, 49er, 49erFX, Finn and Nacra 17
Live Blog – A live blog will follow the ISAF Worlds from
Thursday 11 September through to Sunday 21 September. The live blog is
available here http://www.sailing.org/events/isafworlds/live-blog.php