Monthly Archives: March 2017
Trofeo Princesa Sofía Iberostar – Day 4
As the Finn class at the Trofeo Princesa Sofía Iberostar trial a new format which gives the top two sailors from Qualifying fast track tickets directly into Saturday’s five boat Grand Final, the runaway fleet leaders in the Womens Skiff class racing on the Bay of Palma may wrap up their titles with a day to spare.
In the driving seat in the Womens Skiff, the 49er FX, Germany’s Victoria Jurcoz and Anika Lorenz currently look unstoppable having won six times from 11 starts to lead the 30 boat class by 34 points. The Kiel based pair who are the only crew in this Palma fleet to have finished inside the top 10 in Rio sailed to a 1,1,2 in the lighter, 7 – 9kts sea breeze conditions.
“We did not start so well in the third race and had to fight back with some other fast girls around. But we are giving everything we can to try and win tomorrow. That would be nice.” Helm Jurcoz commented.
The Finn class sailors holding counsel, not making any premature judgements about the format innovation which responds to the need to deliver easily understood, exciting, televisual finales to the Olympic events. Turkey’s Alician Kaynar and Estonian Deniss Karpak booked their places in Saturday’s five boat Grand Final and will be joined by the top three sailors from an eight boat Semi Final raced Friday.
Kaynar, 13th in Rio and 18th in London, has only four points of a margin after eight races over Sweden’s Max Salminen in third. The class leader has mixed feelings about his fast track to the final.
Kaynar said “It is nice to make the final early and it’s important. I will have time to rest a bit but I am not sure. It can still be unfair to some sailors. And from my own point of view if I carried on tomorrow there would still be the chance to guarantee a place on the podium. Now I don’t have that chance. There are two sides to it.”
Salminen, the Swede who was sixth in the Finn at the 2016 Olympic regatta, won both races today. He also has mixed feelings and contends:
“I am afraid about the new format that you can get in sticky situations because match racing or tactical sailing comes into play earlier rather in the Finals. I am trying to be open minded. There are a lot of other things we could do better. I do think we can televise the sport better. As a class we missed out in Rio on two of the most spectacular days of racing I have had in my career because we were not on the TV course. No one at all could see us on the course. There is a lot of basic stuff to do before we fine tune the format.”
Salminen’s Swedish compatriots in the Men’s 470 Class Carl-Frederick Fock and Marcus Dackhammer lead the Men’s 470 fleet after winning two of the three Finals races so far. Helm Fock believes they are profiting as a higher premium is placed on starting in the short 20 minutes duration sprint races of their Finals.
“We made it quite easy with the short upwinds. If you could get away off the line then it was easy. It is important to be on one of the ends.” Says Fock, “Unfortunately now we are the only 470 crew left at this level in Sweden. In the last cycle we were three boats but I think it will be just us this time. That is OK for selection but it makes it hard to for training.”
Photo c Thom Touw Photography
The new 470 Womens class leaders are a fresh partnership at their first regatta together. Helm Silvia Mas Departes has won the 470 Junior Worlds twice but her crew Paula Barcelo has committed to studying medicine. The Barcelona helm who sails for the Arenal club which hosts the 470s paired up with Patricia Cantero just four weeks ago and the duo have clicked, taking over the top of the Women’s ranking.
“We are fast together, especially upwind.” Canarian Cantero observes, “This is our first regatta together. I gave up sailing the 470 after I did not qualify for Rio. I did not sail from May last year until a few weeks ago. We feel good together. We trained a lot of hours before here to make it work. In the race I tell her what I see and she makes the final decision. It is working well.”
Solid consistency continues to serve the young British duo James Peters and Fynn Sterrit well, keeping them at the top of the 49er fleet for a second day in a row. Their 6,6,2 scoreline leaves them 13 points clear of Spanish Rio crew Diego Botin and Iago Lopez in second but the new partnership of Dylan Fletcher and 470 silver medallist Stu Bithell are on a charge after a mid regatta blip prompted by a ‘marginal UFD’ penalty. Miami winners Fletcher and Bithell have bounced back with a 3,1,1,2,3 to elevate themselves to third. Fletcher explained:
“It was nice to be out in the champagne conditions. It was awesome, typical Palma. We picked up at the UFD which was marginal and then there was a race run which we think should not have been run at all because there was no wind, so we did not do well. That is hurting us a little now. But otherwise today we were getting nice starts and going fast. It was easy when you were winning. It was hard when you are in the pack.”
Dylan Fletcher-Scott / Stuart Bithell (GBR) – photo © Jesus Renedo / Sailing Energy / Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar
Rio Olympian Fletcher adds: “It is really cool with Stu. I had been sailing with Alan (Sign) for a long time and so this is new, fun and exciting. His background is the 470 and so he brings a different element into the boat, he helps out with the tactics and is really, really good at making the boat go fast. It keeps me in check and has gelled well. For sure our boat handling needs to get better and we can go faster. Pete and Blair (gold medallists Burling and Tuke) are always fast. They will be back.”
The GBR pair John Gimson and Anna Burnett retain a slender lead in the Nacra 17 class where the standings exactly mirror those of the 49er with British crews first and third and hosts Spain in second in this case Spain’s Fernando Echavarri and Tara Pacheco. Gimson and Burnet survived a something of a rocky day after getting a UFD in Race 10. A collision in Race 12 resulted in damage which required them to retire but the subsequent protest allocated them redress points for the race.
Photo c Thom Touw Photography
Grand Canarain 19 year old Joel Rodriguez is reaping the rewards of a winter of hard training on his home waters, in Tenerife and Miami, leading the Laser class by 15 points ahead of Italy’s Francesco Marrai. Three British sailors, Elliot Hanson, Scot Lorenzo Chiavarini and double world champion Nick Thompson, lie third, fourth and fifth.
The points are tight at the top of the RS:X fleets where Poland’s 2012 Bronze medallist Zofia Klepacka leads and Spain’s Ivan Pastor holds a small margin in the Men’s competition. On his return to the regatta site at Can Pastilla Pastor said:
“It has been a hard and physical day because of the light winds. When you are sailing now in the gold fleet every little mistake is paid for by many points. All the fleet is tired now and it is important to know who is behind you and so today I am happy with my results.”
Results after Day 4: (top three)
1. Carl Fredrik Fock/Marcus Dackhammar (SW E), 20 pts
2. Jordi Xammar/Nicolás Rodríguez (ESP), 26pts
3. T etsuya Isuzaki/Akira Takayanagi (JPN), 28pts
1. Silvia Mas/Patricia Cantero (ESP), 18pts
2. Mengxi Wei/Yani Xu (CHN), 20pts
3. Afrodite Zegers/ Anneloes Van Veen (NED), 22 pts
1. James Peters/Fynn Sterritt (GBR), 43pts
2. Diego Botin/Iago López (ESP), 56pts
3. Dylan Fletcher Scott/ Stuart Bithell (GBR), 65pts
1. Victoria Jurczok/Anika Lorenz (GER), 29pts
2. Helene Naess/Marie Ronningen (NOR), 62pts
3. Kimberly Lim/Cecilia Low (SIN), 66pts
1. Alican Kaynar (TUR), 40pts
2. Deni s s Karpak (EST), 42pts
3. Max Salminen (SWE), 44pts
1. Joel Rodriguez (ESP), 17pts
2. Francesco Marrai (ITA), 32pts
3. Elliot Hanson (GBR), 35 pts
1. Viktorija Andrulyte (LTU), 46pts
2. Tuula Tenkanen (FIN), 49pts
3. Evi van Acke r (BEL), 51pts
1. John Gimson/Anna Burnet (GBR), 46.45pts
2. Fernando Echavarri/Tara Pacheco (ESP), 48pts
3. Tom Phipps/Nikki Boniface (GBR), 63.73pts
1. Iván Pastor (ESP), 32pts
2. Mattia Camboni (ITA), 34pts
3. Shahar Zubari (ISR), 36pts
1. Zofia Noceti- Klepacka (POL), 22pts
2. Stefania Elfutina (RUS), 24pts
3. Marina Alabau (ESP), 25pts
Alican Kaynor (TUR) & Deniss Karpak (EST) go direct to the Grand Final
Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar in Palma de Mallorca
It is the Finn class, ironically the longest established of the Olympic classes, which will be the first to really feel the effect of their new format which is being trialled for the first time at the Trofeo Princesa Sofïa Iberostar.
There is a greater incentive to press hard, take a few more risks to earn one of these two ‘golden tickets’. The two sailors who have benefitted from this new format are Alican Kaynar of Turkey and Deniss Karpak of Estonia. These two sailors have a layday by missing the semi-finals and progressing direct to the Grand Final race on Saturday which will consist of only 5 boats.
Meantime the third, fourth and fifth placed boats go straight to the eight boat Semi Final. These sailors are: Max Salminen (SWE), Nenad Bugarin (CRO) and Nicholas Heiner (NED).
Friday consists first of a one race Semi Final Qualifier from which only the top five boats go forwards to the Semi Final. The Semi Final Qualifier is a standard 50 minutes race. The eight boat Semi Final has a target duration of 25 minutes and the Grand Final should be just 20 minutes from which the top three boats qualify for the final.
Otherwise the trial formats really start to take effect, Friday.
The most notable changes are in the RS:X fleets where at the end of Friday’s Gold fleet races the first placed sailors advance direct to the Grand Final. The Grand Final is a three board sail off.
In the 470 it is now only the top eight boats which make it to their Grand Final.
The 49ers and FX change is to a three race medal showdown, still for the top 10 boats.
The Nacra 17 and Laser finals are largely unchanged from usual.
The race formats will all be then evaluated by World Sailing.
Trofeo Princesa Sofía Iberostar – Day 3
The Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar regatta in Palma trials a number of complicated finals and medal race formats for all classes in an experiment by World Sailing to make sailing more understandable and more fun to watch.
The gold fleets now move into the final series stage and the fleet leaders are emerging from the pack.
A perfect day of three wins in the 49er FX fleet sees Germany’s Victoria Jurczok and Anika Lorenz sitting 30 points clear at the head of the Women’s Skiff class after nine races at Mallorca’s Trofeo Princesa Sofía Iberostar.
Making the difference so far is the Germans’ superior strength and experience, as one of the crews in Palma which have carried on almost seamlessly from Rio where they finished ninth. After a winter off sailing they are straight into the new Tokyo 2020 quadrennial after a February training camp here.
Photo © Jesus Renedo / Sailing Energy / Trofeo Princesa Sofía Iberostar
Hungry to make their mark at the 49er FX European Championships when they come to their home water of Kiel in June, the duo who have sailed together since 2011 have been a class apart so far at the European season opener.
“Conditions were good and stable outside and we were fast and so we had three good races. We have good technique and have been sailing the boat for longer than most of the other girls here. It is nice to be leading, on the one hand it brings more pressure but on the other it gives you confidence to know you are sailing well. We sailed together since 2011 and have known each other for more than 10 years.” Crew Anika Lorenz comments, citing input from new British coach Dave Evans as a positive asset.
“We have never even medalled here before. We often make it to the top six and the medal race and so on but maybe this can be the year we win in Palma. We had a long break after the Olympics and did not sail through the winter, so we are back fresh. We started training in February here with our German team mates. After Hyeres we will go back to Kiel to train for the Europeans which is great for us to be able to stay home. It will be great to be home, to race from home, to have friends and family about and all the other girls to come and sail and train with us at home.”
As expected at what is effectively the perfect showcase event for emerging younger talent in the immediate post Olympic period, there is no shortage of standard bearers for the next generation, not least in the 470 class where the host nation of the 2020 Olympics are proving to have strength and depth among their talent pool, many of whom come from their college sailing.
Photo © Pedro Martinez / Sailing Energy / Trofeo Princesa Sofía Iberostar
Young Japanese duo Tetsuya Isozaki and Akira Takayanagi moved into the lead in the 470 class with their second and first places in the final two qualifying races for their fleet.
Isozaki and Takayanagi are among the vanguard of a new generation of Japanese 470 sailors breaking through from a productive squad which train through their national college system, notably from Japan’s Economic University in Fukuoka. Crew Takayanagi, 20, took the bronze medal at last year’s 470 Junior World Championships in Kiel-Schilksee, Germany when Japanese pairs took gold and bronze.
Isozaki and Takayanagi already finished second at the Sailing World Cup Miami in January, runners up to the highly experienced Americans Stu McNay and Dave Hughes who today finish the Mens 470 Qualifying phase in fifth, just three points behind the Japanese leaders Kenichi Nakamura, who coaches the squad and who represented Japan in the 470 in 2008 in Qingdao, explains that part of their growing improvement as a squad is intensive month long training periods in the Kerama Islands, a strong wind and big wave venue. They arrived in Miami directly from such a camp and come to Palma after another intensive period:
“In Zamami on the Kerama Islands where they sail, it is in strong winds the seas often between four and six metres. We went to the Miami World Cup and got second after the same pattern, one month of training before in Okinawa. This year they will do another three months of training there so over this year they will have done five months training there.”, says Nakamura.
Sweden’s 470 duo Carl Frederick Fock and Marcus Dackhammer, lying third believe they have made significant improvements since they were 28th at the Trofeo Princesa Sofia last year and 11th at the subsequent 470 European Championships.
“We had a good day.” helm Fock reported at the Club Nàutic S’Arenal, “We got yellow flagged in the first race and then it was hard to get back into it. In the second race we were second. There are a lot of good teams here at the start of the new campaign. We feel good in the boat and definitely have improved.”
China’s Mengxi Wei and Yani Xu stepped to the top of the 470 Women’s leader table completing qualifying with a 1,2 in the typical Palma sea breeze conditions to overhaul the Dutch duo Afrodite Zegers and Anneloes Van Veen.
Photo © Pedro Martinez / Sailing Energy / Trofeo Princesa Sofía Iberostar
Great Britain’s James Peters and Fynn Sterritt aggregated 12 points, going 3,6,3, over the first three Finals races for the 25 strong 49er Gold fleet to take the class lead, 11pts clear of the Spain’s Diego Botin and Iago Lopez and 17 points clear of Argentina’s Lange brothers, Yago and Klaus.
That the young Brits are in good shape after their excellent training with the strong British 49er contingent in Cadiz is confirmed in the knowledge that the Spanish and Argentine partners both finished top 10 at the Rio Olympic games.
Crew Sterritt commented, “We had a consistent day. It was not really classic Palma until later in our day so it was quite tricky to start with but we are happy to be at the front of the fleet. We are really happy with the way we are sailing together. We have made a jump since last year and we said that we wanted to make an impact early on in the campaign and so have been working hard to realise that, working a bit more than others. Down in training we were going well against the other British teams but really it is hard to know how that translates to the race course because all the time it is Brit v Brit, but we felt we were going well. Normally we have not been so comfortable here and it has not been so good, but it feels different this time. It is lovely on the water, such a great place to go racing. You cycle along the front here in the morning and then go racing. It is great. There are not many better venues.”
After taking three of the top four places in the Nacra 17 fleet in Miami, British crews are to the fore again in Palma. John Gimson and Anna Burnett, a newer pairing who were fourth in the Florida round of the Sailing World Cup, return to lead the fleet after nine races with Tom Phipps and Nicola Boniface – Miami runners up – in fourth.
Equal levels of top consistency proved elusive across the two races for the Laser class, particularly among the top three sailors who all sailed one bogey result. Spain’s emerging Grand Canaria based Joel Rodriguez is back at the top of the fleet whilst in the Radial fleet Finland’s Tuula Tenkanen put herself back on track to repeat her Trofeo Princesa Sofía regatta win of last year en route to her sixth in Rio. She leads World Champion Ali Young by two points.
Holland’s Nick Heiner, 2014 Laser World Champion moved into the lead in the Finn class, courtesy of two fourth places, while there is no change in the RS:X classes where Spain’s Marina Alabau and Poland’s Pawel Tarnowski both retain slender points leads.
Trofeo Princesa Sofía Iberostar – Day 2
From a funky first day of racing when the promising solid morning breeze evaporated to become difficult, shifty and unsettled and then disappeared, it was a return to business as usual for the second day of competition at the 48th edition of the Trofeo Princesa Sofía Iberostar regatta.
The Bay of Palma was blessed by the reliable light ‘Embat’ sea breeze which filled in on cue to keep the 10 classes racing on, or close to schedule.
It is 21 years since Holland’s Roy Heiner clinched a bronze medal in the Finn class in Savannah at the 1996 Olympic regatta. Now the Finn fleet on the Bay of Palma sees the Heiner family name back near the front of the fleet, courtesy of son Nicholas.
After more than five years in the Laser class, peaking with a triumphant Laser World title in 2014 in Santander, Nicholas Heiner has beefed up, having already gained more than 10 kilos of muscle, and is making waves near the front of a competitive Finn fleet. Coached by Spain’s Olympic silver medallist Rafa Trujillo, Heiner is lying a provisional third place in the 57 boat Finn fleet after four races. It is very, very early days but the young Dutch sailor is enjoying the transition.
“It is great to now race in the big fleet in the Finn. I did Melbourne last year and there was only five or six boats so there are way more good guys here and it is now good to race against them.”
A rigorous winter training programme in the gym has seen the required dividends in muscle and fitness.
“I am 10 or 11kgs heavier than I was in the Laser, and going heavier. How far? I can’t say, that is top secret. It will depend on what we feel I can handle performance wise. We build it up slowly but the muscle comes on quick enough. I am happy with that. That has been a lot of gym work and a lot of food. You are just eating as much food as you can get in! Initially the weight was coming on with the gym work alone and now with the regatta when you are racing the Finn downwind, compared with the Laser, it is so brutal that a day like today I am quite tired. So I am ready for some pasta. In the Laser it was salad all the time and some pasta now and again.”
His father, a veteran of four Olympics between 1988 and 2000 in the Finn and Soling, was on hand during Nicholas’ last training camp.
“My dad came to the last training camp and it was great. Some old school stuff came up but he did make me think about stuff, some of the little things that matters, for example. It was great to have him around.”
The Finn fleet completed two races in the moderate sea breeze which dropped away during the afternoon. Estonia’s Deniss Kapak leads the regatta by a clear six points from Sweden’s Max Salminen. Miami Sailing World Cup winner Jorge Zarif of Brazil lies seventh.
The 470 classes stayed on schedule with two races for both groups sailed. The Women, racing first, enjoyed the best of the day’s conditions before the breeze started to die during the late afternoon, making it especially challenging during the second race for the Men. Afrodite Zegers and Anneloes Van Veen, the winners in January in Miami and who just missed the Rio podium with fourth place, have retained their consistency – finishing no worse than fourth – to lead by one point.
“First race we had a good start and went OK but missed some pressure near the top, from then on we kept fighting and took some opportunities to catch up to the one and two who were in front of us. In the second race we were struggling a bit more. We were not so fast in our downwinds but we managed OK.” Recalled crew Van Veen.
“In Miami we sailed well to win and then got some good training afterwards but here the fleet is bigger, it is more challenging here. This season we are targeting everything towards the Europeans and Worlds in Greece which is still home territory in a way for Afro. I think we are on the right track.”
While the top female duo did not falter, the male Russian duo Pavel Sozkyin and Denis Gribanov struggled in the second race – sailing a discard 19th in the very light breeze. They still lead but only by a single point from the American pair Stu McNay and Dave Hughes who won the second race of their day. Brazil’s Geison Mendes and Gustavo Thiesen are third. Brazilan Helm Mendes explained:
“In the end we did not get such good starts but we did OK. We have done some training in Brazil with the younger guys and it is good to be pushed by them. We were very happy yesterday when there was more wind, we were very fast. Here we are looking for a good result from here so we can go to Hyeres and we want to go to Japan. The fleet here is good with many young crews and today in the light winds they were very fast.”
Spain’s 49er duo who finished ninth in Rio 2016, Diego Botin and Iago Lopez Marra continue to lead the Men’s Skiff class winning two of their qualifying fleet races, and so lie five points ahead of the GBR duo James Peters and Fynn Sterritt.
Botin commented: “It’s been a really solid day for us even it is was a bit complicated. Our goal is to be on top at the end of the championship. We’ve only sailed two days and we haven’t yet used the discard which is so important. We have to try to keep on sailing like today. And this being one of my favourite events helps. I love the conditions, the place and all the facilities we have! I love being here!”
The German pair Victoria Jurczok and Anika Lorenz have a ten points cushion at the top of the 49er FX fleet. Fourth on these waters one year ago they move into the Tokyo quadrennial after their ninth in Rio. Norway’s Helene Naess and Marie Ronningen are second. They could not quite match the German because they missed the key move in the first race before the breeze built. Ronningen recalls:
“The first race we did not have the proper sea breeze built and so that race was just all about getting into the shore. The sea breeze came in for the second race and I think we were the only ones who saw that coming and we went left and went from fifth to first. In the last race it was then all about getting to the left, to the shore and getting the shore effect, standard Palma sea breeze. It is always good to be in Palma. With six races done we have had four good races and two not so good races. And so we are happy. The fleet here is interesting. There are a lot of new teams, it is interesting to see people switching in and out from the Nacra and so many young girls coming into the class and the people who have been to the Olympics.”
Jeemin Ha, Korea’s representative in Rio, leads the Laser class, GBR’s past world champion Nick Thompson returning a solid 3,2 to lie second behind Canarian Joel Rodrieguez, while in the Radial fleet Holland’s Maxime Jonker is three points up on GBR’s world champion Alison Young.
The Nacra 17 fleet has Denmark’s Lin Cenholt and Christian Peter Lubeck leading ahead of new pairing John Gimson and Anna Burnett with British compatriots Tom Phipps and Nikki Boniface in third. The newly formed dup of double Olympic medallist Iker Martinez and Olga Maslivets lie 11th. After five Olympic windsurfing campaigns, Maslivets is on a steep learning curve adapting to the Nacra:
“There are good things and many unexpected things for me. Definitely the high speed skills from windsurfing helps a lot in the catamaran, that’s’ a good thing. There are lots of weak points, of course, one is that I am not that much into pure sailing and I do not know a lot about boats, how they work, how the systems works and definitely team work. That’s my weak point, I’m used to sailing alone so now I’m learning new things. I was sailing in RS:X, top level RS:X, 5 Olympic campaigns, now jumping into Nacra 17, a very new beginning. The Trofeo Princesa Sofía Iberostar is giving a real challenge to see where we are and what we need to work on. It is really exciting.”
Spain’ London 2012 gold medallist Marina Alabau is on form leading the RS:X Women’s class while Poland’s Pawel Tarnowski, the 2008 Youth World Champion and runner up here last year, heads the Men’s regatta.
Trofeo Princesa Sofía Iberostar – Day 1
For many of the 833 sailors racing at the Trofeo Princesa Sofía Iberostar opening day of what is effectively the start of the new four year Olympic cycle of European regattas brings a unique excitement. For the seasoned campaigners who made it to Rio, and for those who didn’t, being back in their boat, fully engaged in the heat of competition, racing on the renowned Bay of Palma is the perfect reminder of the enduring appeal of Olympic class racing. Indeed, for some, it could be considered a lifetime addiction.
Laser Radial World Champion Alison Young did not have the regatta she dreamed of in Rio. But she is back in the boat she loves, doing what she loves. After a fifth at the 2012 Olympics, then eighth in Rio there was, she says, no hesitation about whether to roll directly into the new cycle.
“There was no decision to be taken. I am really excited to be back. I really enjoy my Radial sailing. It is great to be back racing. I love Radial racing and I have such a great opportunity to keep getting better.” Young highlighted after opening with a second in the breezier first race and a fourth as the offshore drainage breeze faltered, became shiftier and finally expired in the very early afternoon.
She starts off in third overall behind the Netherlands Maxime Yonker who began with a 1,2 and Belgium’s 2012 bronze medallist Evi van Acker, another sailor whose passion for the Radial remains undimmed, who sailed a third and a first.
The contrast in conditions across the two races on the Laser race track was notable, the first contests for Women and Men enjoying a brisk 12 – 15kt breeze, the second saw lighter conditions.
Yonker is ready to press hard here after two months hard training on the Bay of Palma, driven by her slight disappointment at not coming away from the Sailing World Cup Miami event with a better result.
“I am really focused at this event. I want to keep it fun and enjoy it. I did an 11th in Miami and that was a bit disappointing after I had trained so hard. So here I was looking forwards to getting back out and racing again. So it is good to have a strong opening day after two months away from racing.”
The Dutch early leader stated, “The first race was stable and strong I started well and just hiked really hard. I managed to stay in front for the whole fleet. The second race was more puffy and tricky.”
Spain’s Joel Rodriguez, past Ladial Radial Youth World Champion, made the best start of the 134 strong Laser Standard fleet with a first and second ahead of Norway’s Mathias Mollat.
The USA’s Charlie Buckingham started his European campaign with a solid pair of scores, fifth and tenth: “It was a good way to start the event. I could have started a bit better and a couple of decision did not go my way but it was solid. I love Palma. It is one of my favourite events and here I am just looking forwards to getting more racing in Europe this season. Here I am focusing on particular things, starts and upwinds. I want to do a lot of events this season, just trying to maximise my racing practice.”
Buckingham was 11th in the Laser class in Rio and reflects:
“From Rio I learned a lot of things. Mostly there are smaller things I need to improve on but I think I am just looking to get more and more experience. There I think I finished probably where I should have, last quadrennial between seventh and 15th and now I just want to keep getting better and build my experience.”
For Sailing World Cup Miami 49er class winners Dylan Fletcher and 2012 Olympic 470 silver medallist Stuart Bithell, there is the excitement of putting the building blocks together as a new partnership which clearly had huge potential. Smart starting and hooking into the crucial first windshift was key to their pair of solid second places which put them at the top of the fleet after the first two races. A seventh in the third leaves them third, behind their compatriots James Peters and Fynn Sterrit who count a 1,3. All three top boats have the same four points tally.
Bithell is a big fan of Palma, happy to be back at the regatta after a two year absence: “We are happy as a new team in the 49er. For us both it is different and really exciting. It is going really well at the minute after a really good winter of training. This week is a good week to see what we have learned and to learn more which we will hopefully take on to Hyeres.
Our objective this week? To win. We are looking to win but in fact we are not looking too much at the outcome. I know it’s boring to be saying that. But it is. There is a good fleet here with plenty of good guys, plenty of numbers.”
For the US 470 pair, too, Stuart McNay and Dave Hughes the choice to carry on was no big choice. According to helm McNay:
“I love sailing. It is not hard to go on. As long as my family say it is OK to keep going then I will be sailing. I love the sport. I love 470 sailing. I love Olympic sailing. It is the pinnacle of our small boat sailing.”
The Miami class winners McNay and Hughes lie third after the first two races: “It was good for an opener. We started towards the leeward end of the line both times and it turned out that the right hand end was a bit better. But we were able to keep fighting, we had good upwind speed there was plenty to play on the shifts and we had good downwind speed. And to end up with two solid scores is a good way to start. We are here to win, that is why we race. But it is the beginning of the season in Europe and we love racing in Palma. The class here is good. We have a number of guys from the Olympics and as well a whole crop of good younger guys coming up.”
Photo @Jesus Renedo / Sailing Energy / Trofeo Sofia
Notable entries for Palma 2017
It’s Palma time again, and that means it’s the first chance to drool at sun soaked Mediterranean photos of some of the worlds best sailors, and those who wish to become them. Especially fun is Palma in the year after the games, as it’s the first large regatta where many of the top sailors will get back into the game. So let’s see who’s showing up, and why that’s notable.
The first thing we notice is there are some very deep squads. 6 Danes, 4 French, 4 Spanish, 7 Brits, 4 Germans, 4 Irish, 3 Dutch, and 4 Poles in the 49er.
The Danes… 6 teams and no Jonas Warrer, and no Allan Norreggaard… so the old man medalists are out of the way and a new generation is looking to replace them. The Danes have been one of the most successful nations in 49er since the start, taking medals in 2008 (Gold) and 2012 (Bronze) and then the leather medal in 2016. Jonas Warrer is off match racing and Allan is sailing Nacra, which means a whole new generation can fight to be the next great Danish skiff team!
3 Dutch – 4 Irish? Well, that’s a change! For the entire life of Olympic skiff sailing, Ireland and Holland have been committed 470 nations, ignoring the skiffs. Matt McGovern and Ryan Seaton have blazed a path in Ireland and they’ve split to form 2 teams, with 2 younger teams also in the mix. Of significance though, is that both Ireland and the Netherlands have decided to compete in skiffs now. The Netherlands sailing team is the most selective in the world, typically only supporting a handful of teams in any quad, but then supporting them to the max. Whether any of these new skiff teams earn that support, we do not know yet, but the Netherlands has also committed to a strong 49erFX transition squad from youth to senior sailing, so they should have a strong supply of excellent young talent to fill the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 berths in upcoming games!
These strong squads so early in a quad sets up classic Olympic scenarios, where national teams form and work together, but ultimately know they are all chasing a single prized Olympic berth. It takes talented coaches and a very long term approach from a nation to make these situations work well, and there is sure to be some drama along the way!
Mix and match and internal strife
The most ambitious Olympic sailor of all time is back! Robert Scheidt shocked the sailing world when he decided to get back into the laser for Rio 2016 after the Star was removed. Many thought it was understandable for him to try and race in a home games, and many assumed at his age he wouldn’t be competitive in such a physical boat as the laser. Well, competitive he was, though he felt short of another medal. Well, he’s back, and he’s shocking again! He quietly started training with Brazilian crew Gabriel Borges through the winter, but he seems to like learning the skiff, and while we shouldn’t expect top results for at least a year, the true test will be if Robert’s ambition can lead him to put in the hours to learn all the new skills needed for a fast boat. If he puts in the time though, who would doubt his ceiling!
Another notable team from Brazil is Gabriel’s skipper from Rio 2016, Marco Grael. Marco is back to crewing, where he started his skiff career, and has brought over Carlos Robles who sailed for Spain last quad. This duo should be competitive from the get go, and if they can mesh as a team could become top contenders over time. Both sailors are top young talents, so we’ll see how they come together.
The Alonso brothers are back from Spain, and could now be the most senior members of the fleet. Also back are Diego Botin and Iago Marra, and these two teams had quite an off water battle for the Olympic berth after the Alonso’s won a Bronze at the 2015 Worlds and then match raced their countrymen back at the 2016 Worlds to win the berth mathematically, only to have their MNA launch another qualifier which they lost. All four sailors are complete gentlemen, but you can imagine there must be some bad blood there. In fleet racing, both should find themselves at the top of the fleet, so if they can avoid fixating on each other or not will be an interesting situation to follow.
If you haven’t noticed yet, Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell, who raced against each other for Rio 2016 berths have now teamed up and dominated Miami. They will be looking to win Palma having done a lot of training in Cadiz this winter. James Peters and Fynn Sterritt will need to emerge this quad from potential top sailors to top level competitors, as there should be little to slow Dylan and Stu down. A blast from the real past is Simon Hiscocks, 2000 Silver medalist and 2004 Bronze medalist is lining up as a skipper. He’s a guy who is more addicted to sailing than almost anyone else, and while he likely won’t rank at the top of the standings given his full time work schedule, it’s great to see a hero of the class stay involved.
On an individual basis, there are also plenty of interesting teams entering. The Lange Brothers return after a strong first games. Their father won gold in the Nacra and they were one of the fastest improving teams last quad ultimately finishing 7th at the games, the highest placing for a first quad team. They should be contenders for the podium all quad long.
Yannick Lefebrve and Tom Pelsmaekers, from Belgium, are back. This duo were the last to successfully form and Oympic parthership, coming together in 2016. They sailed well together from the start and now look to put in the long hours of training needed to compete, we’ll see how they do without the freshness of a new team and a games just around the corner.
For the first time since 2001, the feature Austrians are not Nico Delle Karth and Niko Resch. Ben Bildstein and David Hussl started training alongside their countrymen in 2013 and have had numerous outstanding performances and set backs. They’ve been training hard all winter with top finishes at both Melbourne and Miami, and will be competitive all quad long. The biggest question remaining from them is if they can put up top performances at top regattas?
From Poland, Lukas and Pawel are back after an eighth in Rio. They could have contended for the medals but the regatta didn’t quite go their way. Their long term training partners split, seeing Tommy retire, but Jake has picked up young skipper Prz who has been developing along the Junior ranks and team Poland should remain a force to Tokyo.
Swiss Olympians Sebastien Schneiter and Lucien Cujean are back, as you’d expect given their young age, and they have two other Swiss teams joining them. This is the largest Swiss contingent in recent memory and is driven by a strong national class association who are working hard to build Swiss skiff sailing.
The Swedish squad are back, and we can only hope their NOC, which blocked their participation from Rio, can pick up some of their Olympic spirit and give them quality support all the way to Tokyo.
It’s fantastic to see our friends from Oman return. Musab and Hashim are wonderful gentlemen and sailors, and had it not been for an unfortunate quirk of the qualificaiton procedure for Rio, they would have been Olympians. There are a lot of Asian teams working hard for Tokyo, but with the Japanese gaining an automatic entry there might be additional space for them, and given their early start, they have a fantastic chance.
In the 49erFX its transplants all over
Clearly, the strong sisterhood that’s developed within the 49erFX culture is getting known! A large number of top sailors have transplanted themselves into 49erFX racing. So lets look at who’s joining the fleet.
The headlining name is 2016 World Sailor of the Year, Hannah Mills, 470 Gold Medalist from Rio. Hannah has been a top 470 sailor for two quads and is looking for a new challenge. She’s taken a unique approach to starting her 49erFX campaign… without a partner. For now she’s sailing with 49er Olympian Alain Sign, meaning she’ll be working on her skills for the near term and look to pick up a crew later. With Alain as her crew.
Palma is allowing male and mixed teams in the 49erFX this year, being a post Olympic year, to aid teams of all stripes get their campaigns going.
Another standout transfer is Nacra 17 Bronze medalist Tanja Frank, moving from crewing the Nacra to helming the 49erFX. She’s teamed up with Austrian crew Lorna Abicht and no doubt will be on a quick learning curve to start out.
Nicole Van Der Velden is on the opposite path as Tanja, moving from helming a Nacra 17 to a sixteen place finish in Rio to start crewing for Aruban Odile Van Aaholt. The duo are both young but have plenty of international experience and will have four years to build up a campaign.
Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey are both returning Olympians, the interesting part here is that Saskia has shifted over to racing for Team GB and abandoning Ireland after her skipper retired. Charlotte split with crew Sophie Ainsworth after an eighth place finish in London. Sophie has teamed up with Kate McGreggor though they are busy training down under and won’t be in Palma… so team GB is a jumble, and there is surely one more shoe to drop once Hannah looks to pick up a female crew.
Returning from Estonia are Kaitin Tammiste and Anna Maria Sepp, who were the last to qualify for Rio and were both teenagers at the games. They’re continuing on and will look to develop up the fleet over the next four years.
Returning from France is crew Aude Compan, but with skipper Sarah Steyaert retiring, she’s teamed up with former rival Julie Bossard. Julie spent a lot of time crewing last quad, but also has plenty of experience on the helm and they’ll be looking to get their project going.
German Olympians Vicky Jurcsok and Anika Llorenz are back and pushing straight through from their first games. They finished ninth in Rio and were probably a bit disappointed in that, but are charged up and getting ready for the new quad. They won the practice regatta.
Absences, Changes and Notes
Absent are all four of the girls tied heading into the Rio medal race. Clearly Palma is going to be a development regatta in 2017 rather than a top championship.
However, from Denmark we have a new team with 2016 Worlds Silver medalist Anne-Julie Schutt with a new crew, Iben Neilsby. Anne-Julie had been crewing for her sister, Maiken, for the chase to Rio, so she’s switched so skippering and will be working on a new project.
Check out the regatta photos all week long, starting on Monday, March 27th, and note the Theatre Style final on Saturday April 1st. The scoring for the Theatre Style will be single points added to the points scored during the week, unlike other reports that stated the weeks points won’t count. Some other classes are testing other final formats, so sailing fans can tune in to see what excitement is generated.
by 49er Class
Photo c Sailing Energy / Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar
Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar Regatta in Palma de Mallorca
The Spanish showcase Trofeo Princesa Sofía Iberostar Regatta starts the new Olympic quadrennial in Europe on March 27 to April 1 when the waters of Palma, Mallorca welcome 646 boats and 833 sailors from 53 different nations, setting out on the first stages of what many hope will be a successful journey to the 2020 Olympic regatta in Tokyo, Japan.
This year it is once more the first event of the Eurosaf Champions Sailing Cup, but the event is also keen to be a catalyst for changes. On display this week will be a host of new formats and schedules which are designed to make the finale for each class more exciting and more easily understood, ideally holding tension and excitement right into the very last stages of each of the ten class events.
Each of the changes for the Finn, RS:X, 49er and 49erFX as well as the 470 classes have been proposed and refined by the classes themselves in cooperation with World Sailing.
For example, the 49er and 49er FX Classes will now be decided over three ten minute races over an Arena Style rectangle course. The RS:X Men and Women will be distilled down to a 10 sailor Quarter Final moving forward to a six boards semi final from which two advance to a three strong final including the outright winner of the Opening Series.
Ferran Muniesa Manager of the Trofeo Princesa Sofía explains:
“It was immediately obvious from last November’s World Sailing General Meeting that Olympic sailing needs changes to the format which was used in Rio 2016, as pushed for by the International Olympic Committee, by the Olympic classes and by the sailors themselves, recognising that Final day needs to be more understandable.
“At the last Olympics there were several cases where medals were already won before the Medal Race and that does not make sense to those who maybe do not know sailing, nor does it make for an exciting finale.
“So we agreed with the Events Committee to get in touch with all of the different classes and to look at their proposals. Thus all off these formats come from the classes themselves. There is no point in experimenting without the backing of the classes. Now we hope we have formats which are more understandable to non-experts.
“We are a regatta which likes to innovate and to rise to a challenge like this. We have had a lot to adapt, not least the result systems. In practical terms, that also means another course area on the last day and more people to run it. It’s a great challenge.
“At first when we went through the proposals, our people were looking at me like ‘what on earth?’ Now here we are ready to do it all. This is the right time to do it. We can be a little more flexible at this time in the quadrennial but you have to test it on a big scale like this, at a good level.”
The RS:X Classes compete in six qualifying races Monday to Wednesday in two groups followed by up to four races Thursday and Friday.
From this ten race opening series the sailors placed third to 12th race off a Quarter Final of 10. The top five advance to a Semi Final of six boards, including the sailor who took second place overall in the Opening Series. The top two sailors advance to a Grand Final of three boards which includes the sailor who took first the Opening Series.
The Finn Class compete in an eight race opening series Monday to Thursday. The top two boats from this Opening Series advance straight to the five boat one race Grand Final. Three boats, that is third, fourth and fifth advance to an eight boat Semi Final. On Friday there is a one race Semi Final Qualifier from which only the top five advance to the eight boat Semi Final. From this Semi Final the top three sailors go into the one race showdown Grand Final along with the top two from the Opening Series.
The 470 classes race Monday to Wednesday in two groups over six races. Thursday and Friday there are 6 races comprising a Semi Finals for the 20 boat Gold Fleet. The key difference is that each of the first two series carry forward one aggregate points tally (including one discard in Qualifying and one in Semi Final). Based on the overall results from these then the top eight boats go into the Grand Final.
The 49er fleet race in two groups Monday and Tuesday and then Wednesday and Friday are Semi Finals for 25 boats. From these aggregate scores there are ten boats advancing to a three race Medal Race Final.
The 49er FX race an Opening Series Monday to Friday followed by a three race Medal Race Final for the top ten.
The Nacra 17 compete Monday to Friday in a 15 race Opening Series. The top ten advance to a one race Medal Race.
The Laser and Laser Radial fleets race their ten race Opening Series over Monday to Friday, splitting to a Gold and Silver fleet for the Radials Wednesday and Friday, and a Gold, Silver and Bronze fleet for the Laser Standards. The top ten advance to the Medal Race.
As usual the fleets contain a mix of Olympic stars and medallists looking to keep their game sharp, new pairings casting off on their new pathways together. Others might be simply dipping a toe back in the water for the sheer fun and enjoyment of racing at this hugely popular, accessible warm weather venue.
In the 470 Men’s Class which has 56 entries Greece’s bronze medallists Pangiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis return to the regatta where they finished third last year. They arrive fresh from finishing third in Miami in January. The USA’s Stu McNay and Dave Hughes won the Miami SWC event and were fourth in Rio 2016 and fifth in Palma in 2016.
In the 470 Women’s Class there are 42 entries. The Netherlands Afrodite Zegers and Annelous van Veen arrive at the CN Arenal after winning the Miami SWC and finishing fourth at the 2016 Olympic Sailing Regatta. Last year on these same Palma waters they finished runners up in the 470 Europeans. Slovenia’s Tina Mrak and Veronica Macarol were sixth here last year, sixth in the Europeans and sixth in Rio at the Olympics.
In the 49er Class Ireland’s Ryan Seaton, tenth in Rio, won the class here last year but sails this time with Seafra Guilfoyle. Argentina’s young pairing of Yago and Klaus Lange finished seventh in Rio and were fifth in Miami at the Sailing World Cup. Poland’s Lukasz Przybytek and Pawel Kolodzinski were eighth in Rio and seventh in the 49er Europeans last year in Barcelona. And the Spanish pair of Diego Botin and Lago Lopez Marra were third in Miami, third in the 2016 Europeans and third in Palma last year and ninth in the Olympic regatta in Rio.
In Miami in January Brasilian legend five times Olympic medallist Robert Scheidt opened a new chapter in his storied career with 16th at his first regatta in the 49er class with crew Gabriel Borges. They will be looking to prove their progression here. GBR’s 2004 Olympic bronze medallist Simon Hiscocks races with young Daniel Budden. Compatriot Dylan Fletcher, sixth in Rio with Alan Sign has begun a new campaign sailing with Stuart Bithell, the new pairing having won their first regatta together in Miami.
Eighth in Rio GBR’s Charlotte Dobson races with Saskia Tidey in a new partnership. Germany’s Victoria Jurczok Anika Lorenz were ninth in Rio.
Brazil’s Jorge Zarif is probably top seed in the Finn class after his victory in Miami and pushes into the new quadrennial after fourth in Rio. Sweden’s Max Salminen, Argentina’s Facundo Olazza and Hungary’s Zsombor Berecz will be among the top contenders.
In the Laser Standard fleet which has 134 entries USA’s Charlie Buckingham was 11th in Rio just ahead of Italy’s Francesco Marrai and these two will be among the leading challengers. Britain’s Lorenzo Chiavarini was third in Miami finishing just ahead 2015 World Champion Nick Thompson. Top seed in the Laser Radial class is Belgium’s 2012 bronze medallist Evi Van Acker and Finland’s Tuula Tenkanen who were fourth and fifth respectively in Rio.
The Nacra 17 class will witness the new pairing of Iker Martinez and Olga Maslivets. The Spanish double Olympic medallist is now partnered by the Ukranian-Russian sailor who previously raced in the RS:X class, winning the Sofia Iberostar regatta last year.
The RS:X classes, Men and Women, look to be very open. In the Men’s fleet the host nation’s Ivan Pastor Lafuente was best placed in Rio, finishing ninth. In the Women’s fleet Finland’s Tuuli Petaja-Siren was tenth in Rio. China’s Manjia Zheng was third in Miami in January ahead of GBR’s Isobel Martin who was fifth in Miami.
As edited by Grand Prix Sailing – Source: Trofeo Princesa Sofía – Mallorca 2017
The Foiling Week™, now reaching the 4th year, is expanding again offering more events and richer programs. The first and only series of global events dedicated to the amazingly fast foiling boats, their sailors and designers is heading to destinations in Europe, USA, South America and Australia.
The Foiling Week Association, together with a wider group of clubs on Lake Garda, will host the first 2017 event from 6th to 9th of July. The program will include the TFW Forum in the morning and the on-water activities mainly in the afternoon with a Foiling Expo and Foiling Boat Trials available throughout the event. There will be races for the one-design classes, a fun downwind long distance race along with prototypes and a permanent test area for the boat trials.
Moths, Flying Phantoms, S9, Waszp, A Class catamarans, Kite Foil, Wind Foil and many other classes will race on the one design race course, while prototypes will race the TFW Downwind Long Distance race together with the one designs. High numbers are expected for the Moth races considering the Worlds will be a few days later at the same club.
Solar powered foiling boats will be also protagonists at Foiling Week. V20, the world’s first one-design solar powered foiling boat will demonstrate their capabilities while students are challenged to make the smaller V5 foiling.
Emission free power boats are aligned to the sustainability culture that Foiling Week wants to introduce to the sailing community together with Sailors for the Sea. Sailors for the Sea is a leading conservation organisation that engages, educates, inspires and activates the sailing and boating community toward healing the ocean.
Gurit TFW Forum will be run in the morning. This year the forum main topics will be accessibility, safety and sustainability, plus discussions on latest AC designs and production boats.
Accessibility to foiling is about the learning curve and spread amongst all sailors including children and women. Foiling is now ready to be the first sailing technique beginners can learn.
Because foiling is faster, safety needs the implementation of specific precautions and rules, in racing, boat design and sailors equipment.
Foiling Week wants 3.0 sailing to be the ambassador of a new way to live sailing. Sustainability is a key value that the foiling community can help spreading to the whole nautical world.
The Foiling Expo and Foiling Trials will be open daily to show and demonstrate the latest products and technologies available for foiling. There will be trials specifically dedicated to women and children, organised in co-operation with Magenta Project.
The Magenta Project was formed by the sailors of TeamSCA, the first all female team to compete in the Volvo Ocean Race in twelve years. “Changing a culture” is Magenta Project’s goal, Foiling Week Association share the same idea. Magenta’s girls want to promote women’s role in sailing, Foiling Week promotes a new and challenging way to sail for all.
Every day Forums, Races, Expo and Trials create experiences that people will share at the Foiling Week evening socials events. Foiling Week is the place to be for every passionate sailor looking for an intense and exciting sailing experience!
Jon Bilger (First Master and 4th overall) © John Adair
The World’s first ever Waszp National Championships were held in at Manly Sailing Club in New Zealand on the weekend of 4 – 5 March. The Waszp is a one design foiling dinghy that was launched onto the world sailing scene last year.
Andrew McDougall, the designer of the Mach 2 Moth, wanted to make foiling accessible to all sailors and has spent five years designing the Waszp to make it simple to rig, launch and sail, and most importantly, to bring the price and ongoing cost of foiling down so that all sailors can afford to fly. The Waszp concept has been embraced by NZ sailors and since its launch in August last year the fleet has quickly grown to 55 boats in NZ.
Wellington Waszp sailor Albert Stanley 3rd Youth. © John Adair
When the Waszp was first launched in NZ it was thought that the first season would be spent learning how to fly them and slowly building the class numbers. It was not envisaged that a NZ National Championship would be held, but NZ sailors have wanted to fly for a long time and so the number of Waszp’s in NZ has grown very quickly as have the flying skills of Kiwi sailors. The mix of sailors (pilots) is also very broad with male and female and ages from 10 to over 60, such that it was decided to hold the Inaugural NZ Waszp Nationals and be the first country in the world to hold such an event.
The fleet raced as one, with divisions for Youth, Women, Open and Masters. The overall winner would win the Andrew McDougall Trophy (in honour of the designer) and the individual division winners would have their divisional trophy named after them to mark the importance of this inaugural event.
Nick Olson fastest Waszp sailor in the world in a straight line. © John Adair
Conditions at Manly were offshore and gusty, 5-20 knots with big swings and some big holes on Sunday. In most of the races the leading sailors could fly around the complete course and finish the races in 10 to 15 minutes. For those sailors still learning, turning and going around marks were the skills they are still working on and they were taking 30-40 minutes to complete the races. The learners ended up not scoring as they were not able to finish soon enough to get points.
On Saturday, there were 26 Waszp’s on the start line and 24 on Sunday with 2 Waszp’s coming up from Wellington and Geoff Woolley, who flew in from Australia. It was impressive to see that many boats flying on a start line and the top sailors had enough skills and confidence after a few starts, to port tack the fleet on a number of occasions.
Foiling Gybe by youngest entrant 14 year old Francesco Kayrouz © John Adair
Henry Haslet from Wakatere narrowly beat another Wakatere sailor, Tim Adair (who had gear failure for races 7 and 8) to win the Andrew McDougall Trophy. Henry Haslett also won the Henry Haslett Youth Trophy.
Sara Winther won the Sara Winther (Takapuna) Women’s Trophy. Jon Bilger (Kohimarama) won the Jon Bilger Masters Trophy.
Sara Winther First Female. © John Adair
Thank you to Dave West the PRO for this first ever Waszp event, Sean Paterson the Commodore of Manly Sailing, Mark Orams the President of the Waszp Association of NZ, www.nzsailing.net for the sponsorship and all the Manly Sailing Club helpers who made it such a great event.
Full Results and more pictures and video can be found on the NZL Waszp Facebook page and for more information about trying or buying a Waszp
by Mike Pasco as edited by Grand Prix Sailing
2017 World Champions Steve Goacher & Tim Harper
21st Lexus Flying Fifteen World Championship at Napier
The last day of the 21st Lexus Flying Fifteen World Championship turned out to be a real cliff hanger. To finish on a high, Napier delivered on the weather with a warm sunny day and 9 – 11 knots of breeze.
The final race was delayed for about an hour as the NE/E breeze kept shifting from side to side causing two general recalls. On the third attempt the PRO got racing started with a 1.1nm beat into a sloppy chop in Hawke’s Bay.
The two title contenders were at each other from the 5 minute gun with the Brits, Steve Goacher & Tim Harper playing cat and mouse with Nick & Janet Jerwood (AUS) never losing sight of each other.
Murray Gilbert & Jonathan Burguess lead the kiwi pack around the top mark
After a clean start under U flag, the fleet were split across the course with a slight bias to the middle left hand side upwind. The first rounding was really crowded with a whole raft of New Zealand boats leading the field. Locals Hayden Percy & Scott Pedersen led from Murray Gilbert & Jonathan Burgess from Royal Akarana YC in Auckland. Third round was a female skipper, Susan Thompson sailing with crew Cameron Taylor (AUS) from Daveys Bay in Victoria.
The following run turned dramatic, Goacher & Harper turned the spreader mark right on the stern of Nick & Janet Jerwood, both crews down in about 20th place. A collision from a luffing incident on the downwind leg ended up with a red flag on each of the lead boats along with a small hole in the Jerwood’s boat. The Jerwood’s rounded the gate in the top 10 but Goacher & Harper had dropped places to the mid 20’s, having done turns.
The kiwi fleet chase down the run
Jeremy Davy & Martin Huett (GBR) from Draycote Water SC took the lead at the gate, followed by David Yu & Chris Nelson (AUS) from Royal Freshwater Bay YC in Perth. The kiwi chase pack rounded in a huddle led by Murray Gilbert & Jonathan Burgess.
The second lap was more of the same, 9-11 knots with the breeze flicking regularly left and right. Davy & Huett begun to extend their lead from a charging Greg Wells & Richard Rigg (GBR).
There were a number of crucial place changes in the final leg to the finish but Davy & Huett held firm to take their first gun of the regatta, fellow Brits Wells & Riggs crossing second and Yu & Nelson recovering to 3rd.
Nick & Janet Jerwood have to settle for second
The Jerwood’s crossed in 4th and Goacher & Harper in 21st but sadly the final result of the championship would have to be decided in the protest room.
After a lengthy hearing Nick & Janet Jerwood were disqualified from the final race handing the title to the British team.
Steve Goacher was a very happy man winning his 4th world title nearly 20 years after his last win in 1999. However he was even more pleased for Tim his crew of the last two years as it was Tim’s first world title. He claimed it was one of the tougher championships he had raced in 25 years or more of Flying Fifteen sailing.
By finishing the last race in 6th, the kiwis Gilbert & Burgess rose to 3rd on the overall podium overtaking Percy & Pedersen as first kiwis. Aaron Goodmanson & crew Alister Rowlands made up the third kiwi boat in the top ten.
Hayden Percy & Scott Pedersen however have the honour of being first Silver boat with an impressive 6th place overall in the Open rankings. First Classic division boat was Nicholas Heath & Philippa Noon from the UK.
Results (Top 10 of 57 entries, after 7 races with 1 discard)
1 GBR 4021 Steve Goacher / Tim Harper – 19,8,1,1,2,1,(20) = 32pts
2 AUS 3986 Nick Jerwood / Janet Jerwood – 5,2,8,(20),1,2,DSQ/58 = 38pts
3 NZL 3840 Murray Gilbert / Jonathan Burgess – (32),9,6,13,5,6,5 = 44pts
4 GBR 4004 Charles Apthorp / Alan Green – 6,(53),14,2,15,3,7 = 47pts
5 AUS 3684 Matthew Owen / Andrew Reed – 2,4,7,9,12,(24),13 = 47pts
6 NZL 3091 Hayden Percy / Scott Pedersen – 1,6,22,5,(25),5,9 = 48pts
7 GBR 3760 Jeremy Davy / Martin Huett – 9,5,10,7,(16),DSQ/58,1,= 48pts
8 GBR 4030 Greg Wells / Richard Rigg – 4,14,15,(24),11,4,2 = 50pts
9 HKG 3972 Ashley Smith / Adam Kingston – 14,(35),4,6,4,16,11 = 55pts
10 NZL 3739 Aaron Goodmanson / Alister Rowlands – (18),3,13,17,7,1,6 = 57pts
For full results and more information visit: www.napiersailingclub.org.nz
The 21st Flying Fifteen World Championship host club is Napier Sailing Club.
Major sponsors and supporters include: Lexus of Hawkes Bay, Napier City Council, The Food Company, Nelson Signs, Napier Port, GWR, Marineland, Ericksen Honda, Clearview Estate Winery
More photos are available via facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/FFW2017Napier/
by Jonny Fullerton, on behalf of the International Flying Fifteen Class