Hot, tight, and breezy in Palma
Published on April 2nd, 2015
Palma de Mallorca, Spain (April 2, 2015) – The leaders at the Trofeo Princesa Sofía, the first European event of the Olympic circuit, are being pushed to their limits and some see their safety points margin reducing like snow under the Mallorca sun.
Evi Van Acker (BEL) is continuing undefeated in the Laser Radial finals with two more bullets added to her perfect score. The 2014 SWC Champion is obviously enjoying the breezy conditions and is closing the gap on Alison Young (GBR) who is conserving a one point lead going into the last day of finals on Friday. “There is a very strong competition in this regatta. It has been good racing and I have been consistent in all conditions. We will see what the rest brings in.”
Breeze lovers made the most of the conditions with perfect scores today and are closing the gap on regatta leaders.
Clean score today as well for British 470 women team of Sophie Weguelin and Eilidh McIntyre who are now two points from Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL). “A really good day on the water. Eilidh and I were pretty quick today, and that made our racing quite a lot easier. It was fun conditions out there with some nice waves and a good breeze, so it was a lot of fun!” explains Sophie Weguelin.
French leaders in the RS:X have been put under pressure from the Dutch windsurfers. Kiran Badloe adds two victories to close the gap to five points on World Champion Julien Bontemps. The young Dutch is making the most of his fitness and size in the breezy races. However Badloe is minimizing his good results: “A number of tough competitors are missing. I am very happy with the progress we made last winter in New Zealand. Some of it is paying off now.”
His team mate Lilian de Geus is seven points from leader Charline Picon (FRA), after winning a race in the women division. The French champion has sailed an average second race and is now discarding 12 points. “It could have been a lot worse!” explains Picon. “I had a bad start, some speed problem on port, and went too far on the layline.” On her opponents in Palma, the French windsurfer adds: “Lilian is very fast, the Chinese are also strong and Zofia is taking a great start in this season. This regatta is a good way for me to take some confidence with my racing at the start of the year and get used to starts in large fleet.”
With competition reaching its maximum in the finals, the leaders are pushed to their limits. An earlier comfortable margin protected the leadership of Philipp Buhl. The German laser sailor toe straps didn’t resist his powerful hiking style and he had to withdraw from the last race. Australian Matthew Wearn performed well in the breeze taking the bullet in the first race and placing 5th in the last to end the day in second position. He is now only three points from the German who has to add 15 points to his score. The 46th edition of the Trofeo Sofia IBEROSTAR marks Philipp Buhl seventh participation in the event. With two more final races and the medal race on Saturday, the fight among the top five separated by only nine points will be intense. The attention will also be on Dutch sailors who are playing in Palma their Olympic selections.
After scoring some big points in the first day of finals, the Spanish FX team of Tamara Echegoyen and Berta Betanzos are back in contention with a win and top 5 results. They are placing second overall, just four points behind Danish sisters Maiken and Anne-Julie Foght-Schutt.
Despite a penalty collected for starting too early, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) are conserving a healthy 21 points lead over Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel (GER), but can’t make any more mistake. The German have also increased their lead to 22 points over Brazilian team of Bianchi and Lowbeer.
No change of leadership in the 470 men and Nacra. Luke Patience and Elliott Willis (GBR) remain in first position in the Men 470. Undefeated since the start of the week, Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA) have now a 20 points margin over John Gimson and Hannah Diamond (GBR).
The score are tight in the Finn where World Champion Giles Scott is back in the lead. Despite sharing equal scores today with Josh Junior (NZL), Scott is gaining on his earlier redress granted after a collision that broke his boat and forced him to retirement. “I’ve managed to cling on to Josh Junior somehow over the last few days, which is pretty good, and finishing today off well is quite nice because my average points [redress] ended today so I now know exactly what I’m going into tomorrow with.” explains Giles Scott.
Megan Pascoe has taken a narrow lead on the 2.4 . “I got two bullets today! Yesterday was a bit tough in the shifts, but today it was much more drag racing, and big-ish breeze, but for Palma it’s always wavy so that makes it even bigger breeze. Palma’s got quite a lot on the Southern Ocean when you’re sailing a 2.4mR!”
Two races sailed in the Dragon give first position to Portuguese sailors on Lady Tati.
Friday will see the last day of finals and the last opportunities to break into the top ten for Saturday medal races.
Source: Event media