French and New Zealand lead Olympic contest
Published on March 31st, 2015
Palma de Mallorca, Spain (March 31, 2015) – It was a long day with the late coming sea breeze delaying racing. Patience paid off and the second day in the Trofeo Sofia IBEROSTAR provided great racing and allowed to complete the qualification stage. A seventh race was completed for the kites who will go into medal race mode on Wednesday.
As the opening event of the Olympic circuit in Europe, the French and New Zealanders made the most of today’s races taking the lead in six classes.
“This is an excellent start in the regatta for the French team especially in RS:X, Nacra, 470 Men and Finn!” French Olympic team manager, Guillaume Chiellino can be proud of his team who has taken a rocket start into the 46th Trofeo Sofia IBEROSTAR.
Two French teams are leading the Nacra with World and European champions Billy Besson and Marie Riou in first position and Moana Vaireaux with Manon Audinet in second. Guillaume Pirouelle and Valentin Sipan are sharing the top of the score on equal points with Swedish team of Dahlberg / Bergstrom in the 470. RS:X World Champion Julien Bontemps scored his second victory to conserve a very tight lead in the Men’s windsurfing on equal points with Joao Rodrigues (POR) and Makoto Tomizawa from Japan.
“We are only at the start of the competition but the French like this event where they usually perform well like last year when they scored some good performances.” said Chiellino.
The talented New-Zealand team will probably be one of the main threats for the titles, like in the Finn where French and New-Zealander are head to head. Young kiwi Josh Junior has taken the edge today on the London Bronze medalist Jonathan Lobert, with a race win.
“It was a great day sailing. We had two completely different races.” explains Junior. “The first was very light and dominated by the left hand side. It was good the race committee persevered as a steady 18 knots breeze came in! I am really happy to have won that race too!”
New Zealanders are conserving their lead in the women 470 where the top two teams remain unchanged. Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie sailed into consistent second places today to conserve a small lead over French Camille Lecointre and Helene Defrance.
World number 1 Peter Burling and Blair Tuke remain at the top of the 49er fleet in front of German Heil / Ploessel and Brazilian Bianchi / Lowbeer.
Tamara Echegoyen and Berta Betanzos consolidate their lead in the women skiff with the Foght Schutt sisters climbing to second. Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) are taking third overall.
There is a change of lead in the Laser radial with Emma Plasschaert (BEL) taking a narrow lead over Paige Railey (USA), early leader Tatiana Drozdovskaya (BLR) and Alicia Cebrian (ESP) all on equal points. In the Laser men, Jesper Stalheim (SWE) conserves his lead in front of Norwegian Mathias Molatt and German Philipp Buhl. The day’s best performer is Argentinian Julio Alsogaray who places second in both races and climbs to 6th overall.
In the RS:X women, Chinese Manjia Zheng takes the lead from Charline Picon with top three scores.
The final stage is now on with fleets now split in Gold, Silver and a Bronze group for the Lasers. The Finns will continue to race in fleet until the medal race.
The kites have managed to complete one more race but leaders remain unchanged with Florian Trittel (ESP) and Elena Kalinina (RUS) who have been unbeatable. The wind direction and strength was far from ideal for launching and securing good racing conditions for the kites who have struggled to race for the last three days. Tomorrow 3 short medal races will decide on the winners in both the men and women divisions.
Racing continues daily and concludes April 4.
Source: Event media