Monthly Archives: May 2013

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Quantum Racing clinch comeback win

 

40 Trofeo Conde de Godó - 52 Super Series - Day Two

Photos © Xaume Olleros / 52 Super Series

 

 

52 Super Series in Barcelona – Overall

 

Winning the final race in Barcelona, Quantum Racing skippered by Ed Baird with Terry Hutchinson as tactician, contributed all that they could to lifting the Conde de Godo Trophy regatta for the second year in a row, but with long time event leaders Azzurra slumping to a dramatic seventh place at the same time, the American team did have a little unexpected assistance from their main rivals.

Azzurra went into Sunday’s only race with a lead of two points on Quantum Racing and four on Niklas Zennström’s Rán Racing, but the defending 2012 52 Super Series champions Azzurra had only a modest first beat and then were penalised for fouling Interlodge at the spreader mark spinnaker hoist.

Required to take a penalty turn Azzurra’s hopes of winning the regatta evaporated at that point. There was no coming back for them as Quantum Racing were already half a mile down the first run, sailing securely and confidently to take the winning gun and with it the Conde de Godo Trophy and draw first blood on the 2013 52 Super Series.

Rán Racing’s second place, with Azzurra seventh gives Zennström’s world champions crew second overall in Barcelona, the city where they won their first 52 regatta as a team in 2011.

If several of the earlier races had seen Quantum Racing forced to climb through the fleet, this time there were more obvious shades of the 2008 and 2011 champions at their best. They started well but one subtle, small right hand wind shift, minutes after the start was fundamental to them getting the jump on the fleet, making a key gain on Rán Racing, which allowed them to lead around the first windward turn.

Although they had a lacklustre first beat, Azzurra were still contenders at the top of the first leg, but as they tried to break away from the tail of the pack they were not clear enough of Interlodge and the resulting penalty compounded their initial problems.

It was a dramatic conclusion to a regatta which Azzurra had dominated at times, winning three races of the eight sailed, along with two thirds and a second place. But in the end the recoveries which Quantum Racing staged with their potent mix of fighting spirit, focus and sheer talent, proved their value.

“I look at a couple of races that we had pretty good comebacks from the top marks and those are the races that are the deciding factors.” stated Quantum Racing’s Terry Hutchinson, “The races when you lead at the top mark you need to win. Azzzurra fortunately could not get back through the fleet this time.”

“These things happen.” responded Simon Fry, Azzurra’s trimmer. “It’s a bad day. You park it. You maybe draw on it in the future if you need to but we know we are fast. We sailed pretty well for three and a half days but unfortunately we let ourselves down in one race, but we’ll be back. We’ll be alright in Ibiza.”

Tony Langley’s crew of Gladiator nailed one final third to their aggregate to finish fourth overall, the British owner especially pleased with their race win in Friday’s 25kts plus breeze.

 

Barcelona delivered a potent mix of breezes including two memorable days when the early season winds were consistently over 20kts, complemented nicely by Sunday’s 11-15kts showdown. Winners last year against Azzurra only tie-break, Quantum Racing’s head to the 52 Super Series second regatta of four with a series lead of three points, while the 2012 champions Azzurra are third, four points behind.

 

40 Trofeo Conde de Godó - 52 Super Series - Day One

 

 

Overall Results: (eight races)

1 Quantum Racing (USA), (3-1-2-4-2-3-2-1) 18pts
2 Rán (SWE), (2-4-3-1-3-5-1-2) 21pts
3 Azzurra (ITA), (1-3-1-2-4-1-3-7) 22pts
4 Gladiator (GBR) (5-7-7-3-1-4-5-3) 35pts
5 Interlodge (USA) (4-2-6-5-6-2-4-6) 35pts
6 Rio (USA) (7-6-5-6-5-6-6-4) 45pts
7 Provezza (TUR) (6-5-4-7-7-7-7-5) 48pts

 

Quotes:

Terry Hutchinson (USA), tactician Quantum Racing (USA): ” I look at a couple of races that we had pretty good comebacks from the top marks, those are the races that are the deciding factors. The races when you lead at the top, you need to win. Azzzurra fortunately could not get back through the fleet. Ed (Baird) and Warwick (Fleury) and the guys did great work all day sailing the boat. I kind of gave Ed some bad information about a minute prior to the start which got him in a tough spot but he did a really good job holding a lane off the start. You occasionally have regattas when things align, but I think we are sailing really well, the boat is really fast, the sails are really nice there is a lot or really good positives out of it.”

Niklas Zennström (SWE), owner-driver Rán Racing (SWE): “We have had a ups and downs all regatta, and I think most boats did, before today we were third with Quantum and Azzurra just ahead of us so to finish in second we are quite happy. Obviously we are here to win the regatta, but given where we were this morning I am happy with second.”

Simon Fry (GBR) trimmer Azzurra (ITA): “Obviously we are very disappointed, we had a half decent start, we managed to tack on Quantum after about two and a half minutes, we then got bounced around a bit, didn’t have the lane we wanted on the first beat, it wasn’t disastrous we were going to round probably fourth, and we could just chip away metre by metre but unfortunately we fouled Interlodge at the spreader mark, we are still seeking interpretation on the rule on that but that really put us on the back foot, we did a penalty and ge back into it at the leeward mark but on the second beat everything went against us. These things happen! Its a bad day, you park it, you draw on it, we know we are fast, we sailed pretty well for three and a half days but unfortunately we let ourselves down in one race, but we’ll be back. We’ll be alright in Ibiza.”

Chris Larson (USA) tactician Gladiator (GBR): ” I think the boat felt really good. We were three points behind Interlodge going in to the day and ended up fourth. After a disastrous first day when I tried to drag the boat around the course, we sailed really well and we were round the top weather mark in the top three in the last three days so it was really good today, we just need to hang in there and keep fighting. We can get better we need to get off the line and execute the strategy for the first half of the beat and if we can hold the same tack for 50 per cent of the beat and go the way we want and if it all works out we stand a chance of being at the front of the pack.”

Austin Fragomen (USA) owner-driver Interlodge (USA): “We loved the racing, tough competition. We were fine with how we did considering how little we have raced up against these top teams. We raced against them in the USA and we were delighted to be in the races there, to be able to compete and so we are looking forwards to Ibiza.”

Johnny Goldsberry (USA) Rio (USA): “Finishing up with a fourth place is good for us. We started off with a shaky start, had to tack away but got a couple of good shifts. Dee Smith has been great all week, keeping us in the right spot, so I think all in all good to finish with a good result is good for the team. In Miami we finished with a second. We could use more practise but we are getting there.”

Nick Rogers (GBR) helm Provezza (TUR): “We had good and bad days racing. We had a really bad day yesterday ripping three spinnakers. Thats a real downer but other than that we have learned a lot as a team, we just need to work really hard on our 20+ knot sailing but we had some good racing. Our aim is to take some good results from every regatta.”

 

By 52 Super Series, www.52superseries.com

 

 

Azzurra hang on but no room for error

 

40 Trofeo Conde de Godó - 52 Super Series - Day Two

Photos © Xaume Olleros / 52 Super Series

 

Day 3 – 52 Super Series in Barcelona

 

 

Azzurra under pressure

Although Azzurra lead into the final day of the Conde de Godo Trophy regatta after two fast, challenging races in fresh SE’ly winds Saturday, the defending 52 Super Series champions remain under consistently high pressure from Quantum Racing.

Indeed the American team got the better of Azzurra on the final run today, inflicting a small but perhaps telling psychological blow when they wrestled second place on the last gybe of the at the end of a fabulous, high speed duel which had raged back and forth from the last windward turn.

Winning the first race of the day with a significant margin over Austin Fragomen’s Interlodge, Azzurra looked to have gained control of Quantum Racing during the first beat of the second race and were set to consolidate their three points lead. But it went to the wire though, with the two gybing side by side for the finish line.

While Quantum Racing accelerated smoothly out of their turn, Azzurra stalled momentarily and could only make third.

After seven races Azzurra go into the final day of racing with two points in hand over Quantum Racing with Niklas Zennström’s Rán Racing in third, a further two points behind. Up to two races might be sailed Sunday.

Although Quantum Racing completed a solid day, returning a third and second, from the outside they appeared to make it more difficult than they wanted it to be. In both races they were, again, forced to be climbing up the fleet rather than getting into a position to be challenging for the lead at the first mark.

 

40 Trofeo Conde de Godó - 52 Super Series - Day Two

 

 

Immediately after the first start today they had to sail clear to take a penalty turn. In the second, Race 7, they made a well timed, fast start while Azzurra – this time – appeared to struggle off the line. But it was almost as if a magnetic field drew the two top boats together again and they locked horns with Azzurra from the middle of the first beat.

“Little communications on the starting line got us in difficulties,” evaluated Ed Reynolds, Quantum Racing’s team director later, “You don’t have to make much of a mistake to be put into a position where you can’t execute your game plan. In this fleet the most critical thing is to set yourself up to win the first cross and you have to do a lot of things in a very short space of time perfectly for that to happen.”

 

40 Trofeo Conde de Godó - 52 Super Series - Day Two

 

In the strong, 18-22kts winds the pressure on the crews was relentless and the action intense. Rán Racing, world champions, are four points off the lead after their slightly inconsistent day pairing their win to a fifth in the first race. They could not match Azzurra’s early speed and then compounded their problems when they skimmed the top mark last time up and had to take a penalty.

Two races are scheduled to be sailed, weather permitting on Sunday, Azzurra needing to keep up their same level of consistency to be sure of burying their Barcelona hoodoo and winning in the Catalan capital.

 

40 Trofeo Conde de Godó - 52 Super Series - Day Two

 

Results after Day 3: (seven races)

1 Azzurra (ITA), (1-3-1-2-4-1-3) 15pts
2 Quantum Racing (USA), (3-1-2-4-4-3-2) 17pts
3 Rán (SWE), (2-4-3-1-3-5-1) 19pts
4 Interlodge (USA) (4-2-6-5-6-2-4) 29pts
5 Gladiator (GBR) (5-7-7-3-1-4-5) 32pts
6 Rio (USA) (7-6-5-6-5-6-6) 41pts
7 Provezza (TUR) (6-5-4-7-7-7-7) 43pts

 

40 Trofeo Conde de Godó - 52 Super Series - Day Two

 

 

Quotes:

Guillermo Parada (ARG) skipper-helm Azzurra (ITA): “We definitely knew that it was going to be tough and that we have to fight metre by metre for each race from now to September so we are prepared for that. Today in the first race Tommy (Tomislav Basic, starting helm) got us a very good start, we had the boat going quickly and that allowed us to sail clean and then once we were clear we just let the boat do the job and we were quick. In the second one we did not have a great start. I think it was a little bit of bad timing. And from there we are not in control of our own destiny. We had to fight, we managed to get up to second on the last run, but we made a small mistake on the finish line. We gybed with too little speed and that let Quantum through. Overall it is very tight, we were still the best boat of the day and extended our lead by one point.”

Adrian Stead (GBR) tactician Rán Racing (SWE): “I was very disappointed with the first race, we got a good start and just seemed to drop out of the game really, scrapping for fifth place. I dont think we had the boat quite well set up, we got ourselves into a bit of a bad lane and Azzurra put about seven to eight boat lengths on us really quickly then unfortunately we just clipped the top mark and had to do a penalty turn and dropped back to fifth at the finish.
I think we are the opportunist boat, four points off Azzurra and two off Quantum, we know we gave some points away today but we are still in with a shout.”

 

By 52 Super Series, www.52superseries.com

 

 

Thrills and drama on the last day

 

 Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik, Holland 

 

At the Delta Lloyd Regatta, the new format experienced in the Eurosaf Champions Sailing Cup, with the emphasis put on the last medal race, created thrill and drama but also some frustration for some of the competitors in Medemblik. Five of the earlier leaders have lost top places during the Medal races which opened the field for the top six boats.

Mark Andrews wins his first major Finn event after an heart breaking medal race where the overall lead changed hands several times. ‘It was down to the wire! I was able to make up some places using the guts and in the end it turned my way. It was very close and I am very happy to have won this event’.

 

DLR MR Finn MA fb

Mark Andrews wins by the narrow-ist of margins – photos c Sander van der Borch

 

Pieter-Jan Postma lost top place but is secures Silver. ‘I was not aggressive enough in this race’ said Postma. ‘I should have followed my own line without worrying about the other sailors.’

Andrew Mills (GBR) won the Medal race with an impressive lead and narrowly takes the last place on the podium.

 

London Gold Medallists win the 470 in both the women and the mens events. Early regatta leaders Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL) won the Medal race to take their second event in the season after winning the Garda Eurosaf event. ‘We had a big rest after London and only raced at home for Sail Auckland. We are happy with the way we are going but there are lots of new faces and we will know where we are at when we race at the Worlds in July.’

Anne Haeger and Briana Provancha (USA) and Tina Mrak with Veronika Macarol (SLO) take Silver and Bronze.

 

DLR MR 470W nzl sdb

 

Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) have added the 2013 Delta Lloyd Regatta to their undefeated regatta series: ‘It was tricky today with lots of pressure and three laps. We are really concentrating on our performance and staying focussed and it is working well for us.’

The New Zealanders Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox win the Medal Race and take second place in front of Croatian team of Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic.

 

After winning seven races and dominating the RS:X fleet all week, Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED) suffered from a shift at the start of the Medal Race to fall behind the fleet and off the podium.

 

DLR MR RSXM

 

 

Pawel Tarnowski wins the RS:X men event after a second place in the Medal race. ‘I am very happy with my first victory in a RS:X senior event. This is my first season on the senior circuit and hope I can continue doing well at the European next summer. I won over great sailors here, Worlds champions, Gold medallists, this new system allows for all six sailors in the final to win and for me it worked well.’

Second is Byron Kokalanis from Greece and third place goes to Julien Bontemps (FRA).

 

After consistent sailing all week, Flavia Tartaglini (ITA) wins the RSX women event in the Delta Lloyd Regatta. ‘I came in the Medal race with a first place. For the Medal race we had a nice breeze, it was also tricky as close to shore with gusts and shifts. I manage to get a good start and lead for most of the race. In the end a third place was enough for me to keep the lead and win the title!’

Mayaan Davidovich (ISR) takes the Silver medal after finishing second in the Medal race. A victory in the Medal race for Blanca Manchon (ESP) brings her from sixth place to third place.

 

Delta Lloyd Regatta 2013 © Sander van der Borch

 

Further in the day, the Laser Medal race continued to provide the drama expected from the new format. Early leader and world number one Tom Burton (AUS) lost his lead after a difficult medal race. This is the second time in a row that the Australian loses a regatta with this format, the first time in Garda. Taking the medal race was what needed Ruger van Schaardenburg to keep the title he had won last year in Medemblik. ‘ I am very happy with my results and with the format. The medal race keeps opportunities opened for the top six, and for me it was a great opportunity.’

Young Australian Matthew Wearn places second in the Medal race and takes Silver while Andy Maloney (NZL) goes down to third overall.

 

It was an intense Medal race for the top three in the Laser Radials. Annalise Murphy (IRL) coming into third place in the Medal race, took the race and the victory on equal points with yesterdays leader Alison Young (GBR), and Marit Bouwmeester (NED).

‘I knew I had to give it all going into the Medal race, Alison and Marit are very strong and like me are good in these conditions. Of course I am happy with my victory but I don’t think this format is very fair on the sailors. It is good to experiment but this is not the way to go.’

Marit Bouwmeester (NED) keeps her second place while Alison Young (GBR) loses top place and haS to settle for Bronze.

 

Delta Lloyd Regatta 2013 © Sander van der Borch

 

 

The Delta Lloyd regatta provided drama until the last moment. Nacra fleet favourites, Mandy Mulder and Thijs Visser (NED) had ended the opening series with an impressive lead. The Medal race seemed to go according to plan until a capsize on the last leg ended the Dutch podium chances!

‘We have raced really well all week and know we are the best out there. Our capsize was unfortunate and still a mystery! We need to work out what happened, so we can learn from it.’ explains Mulder.

The situation suited the French teams who have been fighting for top place with the Dutch since the start of the season. They take the top two places with Moana Vaireaux and Manon Audinet winning Gold and Audrey Augereau and Mathieu Vandame the Silver medal. Renee Groeneveld and Karel Begeman (NED) are in third position.

‘We had a great week with lots of wind. We are tired but happy to win. It is a pity for Mandy and Thijs, they have dominated all week and deserve a better place than that! The Nacra is a great boat, very fast and when we will have a carbon mast it will be the fastest boat around.’ explained Moana Vaireaux.

 

The paralympic classes sailed two more races today. Megan Pascoe won the 2.4 title after winning the Miami OCR and placing in the top three in Palma and Hyères. ‘It was a tough regatta with lots of boats and great competition. It is good and more fun to race in a big fleet in the 2.4. I am used to sail in a shifty place so today it really helps. I could position well and take advantage of all the shifts.’ Helena Lucas (GBR) takes Silver and Barend Kol (NED) the Bronze.

The French team of Bruno Jourdren finishes the week on a high. They have defended their Delta Lloyd regatta title on the last day after scoring top two results. The fleet was small but of high quality with the top five in the London Paralympics competing.

 

The Eurosaf Champions Sailing Cup heads now to Great Britain for the Sail for Gold regatta.

 

By 2013 Delta Lloyd Regatta, www.deltalloydregatta.org

 

 

 

 

 

Skiffs medal races completed in tough conditions

 

DLR MR 49ers sdb

All photos © Sander van der Borch

 

Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik, Holland

 

The last day of finals in the second stage of the Eurosaf Champions Sailing Cup in Medemblik has been full on with the all schedule sailed in all classes. It was an important day as these last races will define the sailors qualified for the Medal races.

In the 49er and FX, the three medal races for the top eight have been scheduled at the end of racing today.

The FX completed two medal races on the three scheduled. With two wins, it is the German team of Tina Lutz and Susan Beucke who take the title.

“We had two really good races in tricky conditions so we are really proud! This is our first win in the 49ers! It has been a hard week with lots of problems and strong wind and with four races a day it was tough. Our next goal is the European in Denmark, so we will go and train in Kiel for a month and then try to sail good…sailing easy, keep it simple!”

Early leaders, Ida Marie Baad Nielsen and Marie Olsen (DEN) are taking Bronze. Silver is going to German team of Victoria Jurczok who started the medal race stage carrying six points from their opening series placing.

 

49erfx-605x340

 

The Danish team of Jonas Warrer and Peter Lang took the title in the 49er after placing 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the medal races sailed in building breeze.

“It was a closed call, very tight in points and great to win. Now we go home to Aarhus where we will train for the Europeans and hope to win!”

David Evans and Ed Powys (GBR) won the last two races to change their Bronze into Silver. Julien D’Ortoli and Noe Delpech (FRA) settle for Bronze.

 

Delta Lloyd Regatta 2013 © Sander van der Borch

 

Friday’s racing has also selected the top six sailors for the Medal races on Saturday. The series placing is counting for one race in the Medal race stage and will be added to the Medal race score.

Friday’s races didn’t change much in the top rankings and the same sailors keep their lead in all classes at the exception of the RS:X women where Flavia Tartaglini (ITA) takes the first place from Hei Man Hayley Victoria Chan (HKG).

In some classes this means an increased lead for the top placers, however in Saturday’s medal races, only the general position will count. Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED) who after winning seven races in the series has a 36 points lead over French man Julien Bontemps, will go in the Medal race with a 1st place and a one point lead over Bontemps.

The medal races are scheduled from 11 am and should deliver the expected drama.

 

To follow the Delta Lloyd Regatta

Tracking available daily for all boats on the event website.

 

By 2013 Delta Lloyd Regatta, www.deltalloydregatta.org

 

 

High octane downwind sailing

 

40 Trofeo Conde de Godó - 52 Super Series - Day Two

 Photo © Xaume Olleros / 52 Super Series

 

Day 2 – 52 Super Series in Barcelona

 

 

Azzurra hang on to Barcelona lead as Rán and Gladiator win races

 

While it was Tony Langley’s Gladiator and Niklas Zennström’s Rán Racing which ran out as best scoring teams from an exciting second day of racing at Barcelona’s Conde de Godo Trophy for the 2013 52 Super Series, both landing a first and third apiece, Azzurra still returned to the Réal Club Nautico Barcelona with their overall one point lead intact.

Azzurra suffered on the final run of the first race with a malfunctioning primary winch, losing a potential third race victory to Rán Racing just at the finish line on the final gybe. Quantum Racing kept themselves in contention with a great recovery in an electrifying, breezy, bumpy, second race when they fought back from being over the start line early to cross the finish second behind Gladiator.

The second race showcased the 52’s at their sparkling best. Crews arrived ashore wet, chilly and exhausted after the brisk 22-25kts winds, but after an afternoon of high octane downwind sailing in building swells few had many reasons to grumble.

 

40 Trofeo Conde de Godó - 52 Super Series - Day Two

 

Rán Racing owner Niklas Zennström was pleased to have stolen their win on the finish line of Race 4:

“It was nice to win, but it was also good to pass Azzurra on the finish line after they had done that same thing to us yesterday.” He smiled.

And a win for Gladiator, following up from their third in Race 4, was just the tonic for tactician Chris Larson after an opening day, Thursday, he is keen to forget. Their four points aggregate over Friday’s two races elevates Gladiator to fourth overall.

“It was just the difference of day.” Larson recalled, ” Unfortunately yesterday everything I did turned to custard. Not much went right. I was actually scared to walk home and allow myself to cross the street as I thought I might get hit by a car. It was one of those days that nothing seemed to work out. We talked about it. I apologised to everyone on the team and said ‘hang in there and I’ll try and make it up and have a better day’ and so we did.”

After five races the three top boats have stepped slightly clear of the chasing pack but correspondingly only three points separates regatta leaders Azzurra from Quantum Racing in third. Their premature start might have left them wondering what might have been, but after lying a slightly distant seventh early on, Quantum Racing’s fightback was nearly total as they were just on the point of challenging Gladiator at the finish line.

Such powers of recovery were not just confined to the American flagged team. In the previous start Rán Racing were less than perfect off the line and had to scrap hard on the first beat and thereafter to get themselves into the position to eclipse Azzurra on the finish line, although the Italian team’s Vasco Vascotto regretted that he did not realise the extent of their damage to the winch and would have altered his final approach to the finish line had he known.

While Rán Racing delivered on their pledge to win races it remains Azzurra who have the upper hand. But a regatta which last year was finally separated in favour of Quantum Racing only on tie break from Azzurra, this 2013 European curtain raiser might still finish up just as close.

 

40 Trofeo Conde de Godó - 52 Super Series - Day Two

 

Results after Day 2: (five races)

1 Azzurra (ITA), (1-3-1-2-4) 11pts
2 Quantum Racing (USA), (3-1-2-4-4) 12pts
3 Ran (SWE), (2-4-3-1-3) 13pts
4 Gladiator (GBR) (5-7-7-3-1) 23pts
5 Interlodge (USA) (4-2-6-5-6) 23pts
6 Provezza (TUR) (6-5-4-7-7) 29pts
7 Rio (USA) (7-6-5-6-5) 29pts

 

Quotes:

Vasco Vascotto (ITA), tactician Azzurra (ITA): “I feel that we had some very good bits and some not so very good bits. I felt the boats around us sometimes gave us some unnecessary problems for us and for them, we both lost two or three positions because of that. We had a problem with the winch at the start of the last run in the first race so we were not able to gybe, so we broke the winch and that is why we unfortunately lost the first place. There was not a clear enough communication to me that we had broken the winch otherwise I would have not made the last gybe. I could have gone a little more easy to get there. That was one of the only mistakes of the day, but even so if we tie on points for the day with Quantum Racing then we don’t have any big problems.”

 

Niklas Zennström (SWE) skipper-helm Rán Racing (SWE): “The first race we just beat Azzurra on the finish line on the last gybe. That was very nice as they did exactly the same thing to us yesterday, so that was just a nice race. In the second we were in good shape at the top mark and maybe just made a little mistake and missed the layline and two or three boats passed us but third place was ok.
“It’s awesome sailing downwind in this wind speed, just awesome! So much fun but you have to be careful. We had two small broaches so it’s on the edge but these boats are amazing. Going upwind it is a bit tough because of the sea state but these boats are great.
“Downwind it is very much about me reading the waves, just being on the edge and getting the speed up and working the waves and the wind together with the spinnaker trimmer.
“It’s very much driven by the trimmer and as the helmsmen I am looking at the waves and feeling the waves, its a combination but its more the trimmer talking to the helmsmen rather than the other way around.”

 

Chris Larson (USA) tactician Gladiator (GBR): “It was just the difference of day. Unfortunately yesterday everything I did turned to custard. Not much went right. I was actually scared to walk home and allow myself to cross the street as I thought I might get hit by a car. It was one of those days that nothing seemed to go right. We talked about it. I apologised to everyone on the team and said hang in there and try and make it up and have a better day and so we did.
We did not sail any differently. We are still starting quite aggressively, high risk, high return starts. Luckily we made both of these work today which put us out in front of the pack and allowed us to minimise the tacks upwind lead at the weather marks which is big for us.

At every turn on the second race we were able to hold them off, holding Quantum Racing off at the finish. We just tried to keep it simple. At the weather mark it was interesting as Rán tacked first to force Azzurra to tack. They both were not laying and so we dipped and tacked above them. It was good boat handling by them as they had to tack and duck us which was pretty scary in that strength of wind, so it was a close call for both boats.
It’s always good to win a race, that’s at least our target at each regatta and to keep our scores consistent. Yesterday it was the outhouse today the penthouse, so I think our average now is about fourth and if we can keep that up or get a little bit better then we could get a good overall finish.”

 

By 52 Super Series, www.52superseries.com

 

Dutch feeling at home in Medemblik

 

DLR 470M sdb

Photo © Sander van der Borch

Day 3 – Delta Lloyd Regatta at Medemblik

 

The Dutch teams made the most of the day at the Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik. At the end of the third day of racing, there is a Dutch boat in the top three of all classes at the exception of the 49er were Holland is not represented.

Pieter Jan Postma in the Finn and the Sonar team of Udo Essel took it all in the three races sailed in freezing conditions. They are now in the lead.

PJ Postma who enjoyed the breeze yesterday was pleased with his day: “It finally all came together! The feeling is right as well as the fitness and the tactics. I am pleased with the way I go and it surely gives me confidence for the regattas ahead.” Early leader Andrew Mills (GBR) collected a disqualification at the start and drops to the seventh position overall.

Paralympic champions Udo Essel, Mischa Rossens and Marel van de Veen proved today with three victories in the Sonar that they trully deserve their Gold medal. “We took a long break after London, so it is great to see that we are still up to it. It gives confidence for the future.”

 

DLR N17 tt

Photo © Thom Touw / www.thomtouw.com

 

The Dutch sailors are conserving their lead in the Nacra and the RS:X Men.

Mandy Mulder and Thijs Visser (NED) increase their lead after two bullets in the Nacra. The french and Swedish teams have close results with Moana Vaireaux and Manon Audinet (FRA) in second overall.

Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED) in the RS:X class is flying away with a win and two second places. Przemyslaw Miarczynski (POL) and Julien Bontemps (FRA) remains second and third.

The result is very tight in the RS:X women, with the top five within five points. Hei Man Hayley Victoria Chan (HKG) conserves a narrow lead from Moana Delle (GER). Third place is taken by Dutch windsurfer Lilian de Geus.

The Danish are again proving their domination in the skiff with Jonas Warrer and Peter Lang enjoying a 14 points lead over French Julien D’ortoli and Noe Delpech in the 49er.

Palma SWC winners, Ida Marie Baad Nielsen and Marie Olsen (DEN) take a narrow two points lead in the FX over Germans Tina Lutz and Susan Beucke. Early leaders Annemiek Bekkering and Claire Blom (NED) are now in third position.

The duel at the top continues between Laser World number 1, Australian Tom Burton and Palma winner Andy Maloney (NZL). They place first and second in the first day of the Laser final with the top 25 boats. In the women, Alison Young (GBR) shares the lead on equal points with Irish Annalise Murphy.

World #1 Matt Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) are back in the lead in the 470 class after two wins and a third place. In the women, Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL) are increasing their lead after top two places and a win. The other two races were taken by Dutch team of Afrodite Kyranakou and Anneloes van Veen (NED) who climb in third position.

It is a close score in the 2.4 after three more races sailed in freezing conditions. The top three win a race each with Megan Pascoe (GBR) leading from Barend Kol (NED) and Helena Lucas (GBR).

Friday will see the last day of the final stage and the last chance to qualify for the top 8 in the skiffs and the medal races scheduled for Friday night, and the top six in the other Olympic classes who will race their medal race on Saturday.

The forecast on Friday is for medium winds.

 

To follow the Delta Lloyd Regatta

Tracking available daily for all boats on the event website.

 

By 2013 Delta Lloyd Regatta, www.deltalloydregatta.org

 

 

Azzurra lay down early marker

 

yandy92076

Photo © Xaume Olleros / 52 Super Series

 

Day 1 – 52 Super Series in Barcelona 

 

In breezes which built from 10 knots for Race 1 to a sparkling 16-18 knots for the third heat, it was a day marked by tit-for-tat racing between the two rivals with the current 52 Super Series champions laying down the early marker by winning Race 1 comfortably.

Quantum Racing countered by winning the second race with Azzurra third to leave the top duo on equal points going into Race 3. The team which races under the flag of the Yacht Club Smeralda then executed another great pin end start, a near facsimile of their Race 1 opening, and were well clear of second placed Quantum Racing by the finish line.

The differences between the leading two boats were small across the day. Quantum Racing’s strategy in Race 1 did not work as planned and they rounded each mark in sixth but staged a valuable recovery on the final run, using the building breeze to good effect, to just steal a useful third on final approach to the finish line. After that they looked increasingly strong.

Ed Baird, skipper-helm of Quantum Racing recalled:” We made an assumption about the first race and stuck to our plan but the plan didn’t quite work out but we were fortunate at the end of that race that the breeze came up from behind and we were able to get into some good situations and we were able to get third. We rounded sixth in most of the mark roundings so we were lucky there.”

Well executed starts at the pin end of the start line twice were the foundations for Azzurra to build on. The number of sails allowed over the season is limited. With their programme foregoing new sails in the USA in order to bring on line a new inventory for the European season Azzurra were notably quick in key situations:

“The reality is that we didn’t use new sails for Miami. We suffered a little for that. We decided to keep all our new buttons (each counted sail has a registered button) for European season. So we have an all new fresh inventory here. We are going a little quicker and so can hang in there when we get in some tough positions.” Guillermo Parada, Azzurra’s skipper explained.

For Quantum Racing Terry Hutchinson and Jordi Calafat combined neatly on the first run of the final race, more readily identifying a big change in the late afternoon breeze which allowed them to pass Rán Racing and Interlodge to gain that second place.

Niklas Zennstrom’s world champions Rán Racing finish the first day of racing in third place overall counting a 2,4,3, a consistent scoreline given that conditions may have looked good but there was always something happening to challenge the tacticians. Adrian Stead, Rán Racing’s tactician confirmed that he felt they could have been one or two points better for the day and that now need to be going out punching tomorrow to win races.

Good starts and first windward legs were vital. Austin Fragomen’s Interlodge – with John Cutler calling tactics – held on to second all the way around Race 2 and in Race 3 Ergin Imre’s team on Provezza scored a good fourth place which keeps them in touch with Interlodge which lie fourth overall.

 

52 Super Series, Trofeo Conde de Godò Barcelona, after 3 races

1. Azzurra (ITA) 5pts
2. Quantum Racing (USA) 6 pts
3. Ran Racing (SWE) 9 pts
4. Inerlodge (USA) 12 pts
5. Provezza 7 (TUR)15 pts
6. Rio (USA) 18 pts
7. Gladiator (GBR)19 pts

 

By 52 Super Series

 

 

 

Wet and wild in Medemblik

 

DLR D2 Finn sdb

 All photos © Sander van der Borch

 

 

Day 2 – Delta Lloyd Regatta at Medemblik

 

 

The second day of racing in the Delta Lloyd Regatta tested sailor’s fitness and the equipment. Wind averaging 25 knots and picking at 30, throughout the day made for physical racing.

Only the Nacra and the 49er FX were cancelled. The Finn and Laser radial were the first to hit the water in the morning, followed by the RS:X men and women. The remaining fleets were kept to shore waiting for the wind to decrease.

Hyères Sailing World Cup winner, Andrew Mills (GBR) has taken the lead from Greg Douglas (CAN) in the Finn class after three races sailed this morning. Mills is discarding a disqualification at the start of race two to count only top five places. The day’s races win went to Miami SWC winner Caleb Paine (USA) and PJ Postma (NED) who place second and third overall.

 

DLR D2 Rad sdb

 

The Laser Radial completed two races of the three scheduled. Alison Young (GBR) keeps the lead with a bullet in the first race. While the second race was taken by Annalise Murphy (IRL) who is renowned to show her best in the heavy winds. The Irish sailor places second overall in front of Marit Bouwmeester (NED) consistent with two second places.

Hei Man Hayley Victoria Chan (HKG) enjoyed the waves and planning conditions to lead from Moana Delle in the RS:X with top three placings. However with a victory and two second places, Hélène Noesmoen (FRA) scored the best results on the water and climbs to sixth overall.

Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED) conserves top position in the RS:X men but Przemyslaw Miarczynski (POL), winner of the SWC in Hyères is closing the gap with two first places and a second. 2012 World Champion Julien Bontemps (FRA) wins the third race to remain in third overall.

 

The race committees had a very long day on the water. After the completion of racing in the Finn, Radial and RS:X, the remaining classes were kept ashore waiting for the wind to calm down. At 1700hrs the warning signal was finally given for the 470 and Lasers and racing cancelled for the 49ers, 2.4 and Sonar.

Soon after 7pm, the 470 and Lasers came back to shore after two races in 20 knots.

 

DLR 470m MYA

 

Olympic Champions Joe Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL) continued on their impressive performance to add another two victories to their score to comfort their lead over the 470 fleets.

Croatians are taking the lead in two classes.

In the Men, Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic (CRO) won the first race and placed second in the last to take a narrow lead over the Australians Matt Belcher and Will Ryan.

The Lasers were last to reach the shore, the windy races were dominated by the Australians and New-Zealanders, however consistent results from Croatian Tonci Stipanovic (3-4) place him in the lead after five races.

Today saw the end of the qualification stages for the Laser, Radial and RS:X. They will be split in Gold and Silver for the next two days with the top 25 in each class qualifying for the Gold fleet.

To follow the Delta Lloyd Regatta

Tracking available daily for all boats on the event website.

 

By 2013 Delta Lloyd Regatta

 

 

Cold and wet start

 

Delta Lloyd Regatta 2013 © Sander van der Borch

Photo © Sander van der Borch

 

Day 1 – Delta Lloyd Regatta at Medemblik in Holland

 

 

It was one of those day when you dream of a good log fire and a captivating book… Despite the rain and cold, the sailors put on all the warmest gear to start the first races of the 2013 Delta Lloyd regatta.

It was an intense day on the water with a tight programme. Olympic and Paralympic classes sailed three races apart from the 49ers and RS:X who had four races back to back.

“We realise it is an intensive schedule, particularly for the RS:X in non-planing conditions, so we decided to lower their target time to 20 mins and optimise resting periods between races.” explains regatta PRO Robert Lamb (GBR).

 

Olympic champions take the lead in three classes

 

DLR D1 470M sdb

 

RS:X Gold medallist Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED) didn’t mind the conditions, nor the intensive programme with four victories taken on the day:

“A perfect start here. Four wins. The circumstances were difficult today. Cold and rainy. People expect a lot of me, but winning stays difficult. The racing was nice. Four races on a day is not what we often do, in Garda we had that also. It’s tough, especially when it is so cold as today. Lots of guys in the RS:X had problems with the cold. In these conditions it’s important to sail smart, at least smarter than the other guys.”

Dorians success story is an inspiration for the younger generation. Young Dutch windsurfer Kiran Badloe who has started the year with a podium in Palma found it harder today but managed to place 11th in a strong fleet:
“My races were unstable today. The wind turned a lot, that made it tough, besides the cold. It is nice to compete against Dorian, but today I didn’t see him so much. He is so fast. Dorian is an inspiration for me. His success is very important for Dutch Sailing. My goal here is qualification for the top 25 in the Gold fleet.”

 

DLR D1 470W sdb

 

Close score in the Women 470 with Olympic champions Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL) in first place, a point ahead of Sophie Weguelin and Eilidh Mcintyre (GBR).

There are no surprises in the Men 470. Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS), undefeated since the start of the season, are taking the day with three wins.

The Danish shared the day in the 49er. Norregaard/Thomsen took the first two bullets while Warrer/Lang are leading the fleet after winning the last two races. In the women, Annemiek Bekkering and Claire Blom (NED) take first position after four races.

Canadian Finn sailor Greg Douglas leads the Finn fleet with Piotr Kula (POL) in second. With two SWC victories in Melbourne and Hyères and a second place in Palma, Laser class favourite Tom Burton (AUS) takes top place in the Laser.

SWC Palma winner Alison Young is leading the Radial in front of Annalise Murphy (IRL) and Marit Bouwmeester (NED).

 

Delta Lloyd Regatta 2013 © Sander van der Borch

 

Mandy Mulder and Thijs Vissel (NED) have taken the first two races to lead the small but strong Nacra fleet.

Moana Delle (GER) is continuing on her good form in the RS:X women in front of a deep field. There are twelve countries in the top 15 and some of the best sailors.

The British are dominating the Paralympic classes after three races. Megan Pascoe takes the command in the 2.4 fleet, while John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas (GBR) lead the Sonar on equal point with Hyères winners Bruno Jourdren, Eric Flageul and Nicolas Vimont-Vicary (FRA).

The forecast for the second day of racing is for strong winds.

 

The format

The Eurosaf Champions Sailing Cup is introducing a new format across all the events of the circuit. After the first regatta in Garda, it is now the turn of the Delta Lloyd Regatta to test this new format.

“The objective to have a competition understandable for the media and the public while being as fair as possible” explains Arjen Rahusen, Regatta Chairman.

In order to assess the changes and the impact on the regatta image, the DLR is conducting an online survey aimed at collecting comments from sailors, coaches and officials involved in the event. “We value the sailors opinion and encourage them to answer the survey.” added Rahusen.

All classes will race between 12 and 16 races (for the 49ers, FX and RS:X) in an opening series. The opening series will include a qualifying stage and a final stage for the Laser split in two fleets. All other classes will race in one single fleet.

Only the RS:X men, the Laser and Radials will race a final stage with the top 25 boats.

The opening series overall result for the classes racing in a single fleet as well as the results from the finals will count as one race which will count in the Medal stage for the top six boats. On Saturday, a single point medal race for the top six will be added to the opening series placing, to decide the winner of the event.

The 49ers will keep expermenting with their own format with three medal races for the top 8. Their Medal stage is scheduled on Friday evening.

How to follow the Delta Lloyd Regatta

Tracking available daily for all boats on the event website.

 

By 2013 Delta Lloyd Regatta

 

 

Ian Williams team win as breeze fizzles out at Lake Constance

 

AWMRT Ger winnners

 Ian Williams (GBR) – Team GAC Pindar wins Stage 1 Match Race Germany © Photo by Brian Carlin

Alpari World Match Race Tour – Match Race Germany 

 

Lake Constance left it right until the last moment to get uncooperative at Match Race Germany. An ominous-looking rain cloud was on its way across the third largest lake in Europe from Switzerland, sucking all the wind out of the vicinity and causing PRO Rudi Magg to draw proceedings to a close.

This handed victory at Match Race Germany to British helm Ian Williams and his American/Australian crew of Mal Parker and Bill Hardesty, supplemented on this occasion by stand-ins Graham Spence and Willem Van Waay. Williams’ GAC Pindar crew won today’s single Finals match against Adam Minoprio and his all-Kiwi Team Alpari FX crew of Nick Blackman, Chris Main, Tom Powrie and David Swete; reigning Alpari World Match Racing Tour champion (Williams), up against the 2009 champion (Minoprio).

A little slow out of the blocks in the Semi Finals yesterday, Williams was 1-2 down against Johnie Berntsson’s Stena Sailing Team crew as proceedings came to a close last night. However the GAC Pindar crew fought back this morning to take the next two points, to gain their berth in the final.

In his Semi Final match Minoprio had less to do this morning, scoring a come-from-behind win against France’s experienced Mathieu Richard and his Gefco Match Racing Team to take him through on a 3-1 scoreline.

“We had a nice lead, maybe 8-10 boatlengths during the first run,” explained Richard after a long team de-brief. “But then we ran out of wind, and completely stopped while they had a little breeze coming from behind. Often in those conditions it is not too bad to be behind and they showed us that today as they were able to overtake us. It is very disappointing and a bit frustrating, but that is how it is.”

Otherwise the Frenchman, who heralds from La Baule on the Atlantic coast, was pleased with the performance of his Gefco Match Racing Team in what is their first Tour event since St Moritz last year. Richard will be back for Korea Match Cup next week followed by Stena Match Cup Sweden at the beginning of July.

In this afternoon’s only Finals race, held once again in very light winds, Minoprio held up his hand, acknowledging that he had made a meal of the pre-start. “I forgot how long these boats take to gybe and I wasted a minute doing two gybes so we were late for the line. It was my mistake, I was kicking myself at the start of the race.” From there all he could do was chase the GAC Pindar crew around the course, who in turn did an immaculate job of covering their Kiwi opponents.

Minoprio felt the Race Committee was correct to draw racing to a close prematurely and was gracious in defeat. “There is no wind at the moment,” he observed. “Ian sailed better than us in the one race we had and he won Qualifying – he deserves the win here. We sailed very poorly in that final race against him and we didn’t deserve it.” However Minoprio reckoned it was a solid start to his come-back season. “Second is good points for the overall Championship and puts the pressure on everyone else.”

Williams was pleased with victory, a first in his lengthy match racing career at Match Race Germany, even if the last part of the event was curtailed. He felt he sailed the last race well.

“It was really light which meant manoeuvres were really costly. We did a nice job of keeping Adam down – he had to do a couple of gybes in the last minute before the start and that cost him a bit of speed which allowed us to be faster and closer to the line at start time. Then we did two less tacks on both beats and that is what allowed us to draw away by the finish.”

Victory at Match Race Germany, makes for a solid start to Williams and the GAC Pindar team’s campaign to win the Alpari World Match Racing Tour for a record setting fifth time.

“I haven’t been here in Langenargen for a couple of years,” admitted Williams. “They put on a great show here. The conditions are often difficult, but I like the big boats, they are impressive. Plus there is a good crowd turn-out here and the event works well for the local economy, so long may it continue.”

James Pleasance, Executive Director of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour felt that the beginning of the 2013 season had gone well: “It has been a fantastic week for the first stage of the 2013 Alpari World Match Racing Tour, and a good shakedown event for all the teams. The boats here are bigger and heavier and the teams have really had to find their stride in the variable lake conditions. But a great win for Ian and GAC Pindar, and against a former Tour Champion in the final as well. This Tour season is going be very close indeed.”

 

WMR Ger bc

 

 

Final Results
Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar vs Adam Minoprio (NZL) Team Alpari FX 1-0

Petit Final Results
Mathieu Richard (FRA) GEFCO Match Racing Team vs Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Stena Sailing Team 1-0

Final Semi-Final Results
Mathieu Richard (FRA) GEFCO Match Racing Team vs Adam Minoprio (NZL) Team Alpari FX 1-3
Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar v Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Stena Sailing Team 2-2

Leaderboard after stage 1 – Match Race Germany 
1 Ian Williams (GBR) – Team GAC Pindar 25
2 Adam Minoprio (NZL) – Team Alpari FX 22
3 Mathieu Richard (FRA) – Gefco Match Racing Team 19
4 Johnie Berntsson (SWE)- Stena Sailing Team 16
5 Taylor Canfield (ISV) – USone 14
6 Björn Hansen (SWE) – Mekonomen Sailing Team 12
7 Karol Jablonski (POL) – Jablonski Sailing Team 10
8 Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) – Vannes Agglo Sailing Team 8
9 Phil Robertson (NZL) – Waka Racing 4
10 Keith Swinton (AUS) – Black Swan Racing 2
11 Philip Buhl (GER) – STG/NRV Youth Team 0
12 Sven Erick-Horsch (GER) – NRV Match Race Team 0

 

By Alpari World Match Race Tour media, www.wmrt.com

 

 

 

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