Delayed Winds at Trofeo Pincesa Sofia
Published on March 30th, 2016
Bay of Palma, Spain (March 30, 2016) – As the 47th Trofeo Pincesa Sofia IBEROSTAR moved into the Finals phase unfortunately the usually reliable sea breezes had not taken note of the transition to the real business end of the key Olympic indicator event.
Through the early part of the racing day light, lazy unsettled airs threatened the schedule. But a long day of waiting – both on the water and around the boat parks – was rewarded with racing for all classes.
Breezy or light, Qualifying stages or Finals, there has been no discernible weakness in the performance of the runaway leaders in the Men’s 470 fleet, Aussies Mat Belcher and Will Ryan. Their two wins today step them 14 points clear of USA’s Stu McNay and Dave Hughes. Belcher and Ryan still maintain a scoreline of all firsts, discarding their one third place.
As they seek to accelerate improvement as much as possible from one Olympic Games to the next, different National Olympic squads embrace entirely different philosophies.
Both of today’s fleet leaders in the Laser class are the product of similar ideals, programmes where four or five sailors work through the whole quadrennial as a close knit, tight unit. Competition within the group hones skill levels, information and knowledge is freely shared.
Andy Maloney is top of his New Zealand group of four or five Kiwi Laser sailors along with Sam Meech, who is sitting out this regatta. Maloney’s solid 8,5 today keeps him ahead of Croatia’s 2014 European Champion Tonci Stipanovic who finished fourth at the 2012 Olympic Games.
So, too, in the Laser Radial fleet Denmark’s World Champion Anne Marie Rindom’s two bullets today extend her overall lead. She is the product of what she calls the ‘Danish Model’. The Danes group is coached by Piotr Wojewski and has been together for three years. That Rindom and Sarah Gunni Toftedal are first and fourth in the Trofeo Princesa Sofia IBEROSTAR fleet, taking 1,2 in the first Gold Fleet race today, says something for the Danish Model.
“We call it the Danish Model where we all train together and stay together,” explains Rindom. “You don’t have to be best friends but we share everything together, we tell each other everything. We started with four girls three years ago. Now we have two of us at the same top level and have two younger girls starting out with us. We all still work together. The level is very high at the top and it is crazy how much we have all improved together. If Sarah (Sarah Gunni Toftedal) and I did not have each other then we would not be where we are. And between the top Laser Radial girls now I think we are all so very strong now in all the conditions. We are working to be good in all conditions. I can be good in strong winds and I can have a great day in light winds. It is much more about being mentally strong now.”
“The regatta is going well so far,” Maloney adds. “Really for me this is a chance to get another big fleet regatta under my belt before going to Hyeres and working on a few things, tactical big fleet things. We have had such a good squad of four of five of us pushing each other all the way through the four years through in training. Now we are at the pointy end of it all. But the selectors will make their choice in May, looking at all the big events. It is really close with Sam (Meech) and we are both sailing really well. Hyeres is the last big event before May so that will be important.”
Training alliances are also founded between top crews from different nations. The philosophy of the best learning from close equals, and competition between each other, transcends national team boundaries. In the Nacra 17 Class the French four times world champions Billy Besson and Marie Riou train with Italy’s Vittorio Bissaro and Silvia Sicouri, inviting each other to camps in Cagliari and La Grande Motte respectively. The top two Nacra 17s on today’s rankings, after nine races are Besson and Riou who are now 22 points ahead of the young Italian world championship bronze medallists.
In the 49er fleet the youthful duo Diego Botin and Iago Lopez are so far delivering the perfect riposte to being overlooked by the Spanish authority for Rio selection. They lead the class 22 places ahead of the Alonso brothers who clinched their selection at the World Championships after what was reported to be some slightly controversial boat on boat racing. Australia’s gold medallists Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen are steadily climbing the leaderboard, up to sixth now.
New Zealand’s Josh Junior holds off world champion Giles Scott in the Finn Class, Australia’s Jake Lilley becoming the only sailor to have won two races when he took the gun in Race 6.
“It was a lot better today,” Scott reported. “Yesterday was a bit frustrating really. I got it all wrong, a concertina of errors, so its great to get two solid results today and keep myself in there. A long hard day, lots of waiting, and when the wind did come in it came in strong.”
Top North Americans: Stu McNay and Dave Hughes (USA) posted a 7-18 but remain in second in the Men’s 470. Moving up to third in the Women’s 470 with a 1-2 is Annie Haeger and Brian Provancha (USA) while Charlie Buckingham (USA) slipped to fourth with 9-19 in the Laser. Also slipping was Luke Ramsay and Nikola Girke (CAN), now in seventh after a 15-2-23 in the Nacra 17.
470 (6 races, 1 discard): 1.- Mathew Belcher/ Will Ryan (AUS): 5pts, 2.-Stu McNay/Dave Hughes (USA): 19, 3.-Jordi Xammar/Joan Herp (ESP): 20
470 Women (6 races, 1 discard): 1.- Fernanda Oliveira/Ana Barbachan (BRA): 7pts 2.-Afrodite Kyranakou/Anneloes Van Veen (NED): 16 3.- Anne Haeger/Briana Provancha (USA) : 20
49er (7 races, 1 discard): 1.- Diego Botín/Iago López (ESP):15pts, 2.- Nico Delle/Nikolaus Resch (AUT): 18, 3.- Erik Heil /Thomas Plossel (ESP): 20
49erFX (8 races, 1 discard): 1.-Annemiek Bekkering/Annerre Duetz (NED): 25pts, 2.- Jena Mai Hansen/Katja Steen (DEN): 27, 3.-Charlotte Dobson/Sophie Ainsworth (GBR): 47
FINN (6 races, 1 discard): 1.- Josh Junior (NZL): 15pts, 2.-Giles Scott (GBR): 19, 3.- Pieterjan Postma (NED):24pts
LASER (6 races, 1 discard): 1.- Andrew Maloney (NZL): 18pts, 2.- Tonci Stipanovic (CRO): 25, 3.- Kristian Ruth (NOR): 25pts
LASER RADIAL (6 races, 1 discard): 1.- Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN): 16pts 2.-Evi Van Acker (BEL):18, 3.- Tuula Tenkanen (FIN): 20
NACRA 17 (9 races, 1 discard): 1.-Billy Besson/Marie Riou (FRA): 23 2.- Vittorio Bissaro/Silvia Sicouri (ITA): 55, 3.- Paul Kohlhoff/Carolina Werner (GER): 56
RS:X Men (5 races, 1 discard): 1.- Tom Squires (GBR): 7pts, 2.-Vyron Kokkalanis ((GRE): 10, 3.- Pawel Tarnowski(POL): 13
RS:X Women (6 races, 1 discard): 1.- Olga Maslivets (RUS): 8pts, 2.- Charline Picon (FRA):): 17, 3.- Marina Alabau (ESP): 17
2.4mR (2 races): 1.- Helena Lucas (GBR): 3pts, 2.- Bjornar Erikstad (NOR): 7, 3.- Lasse Klotzing (GER): 8
Note: Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar on March 28-April 2, one of the world’s most enduring Olympic classes regattas, is the final USA selection event to determine the Olympic representative in the Men’s Laser, the Men’s RS:X and the Women’s RS:X events. Details.
Report by Event Media