World Cup Series Final gets underway
Published on June 5th, 2018
Marseille, France (June 5, 2018) – Competition at Sailing’s World Cup Series Final got underway today under clear blue skies, delivering the finale for the season while offering the first taste of the venue to host the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition.
After a small morning delay to wait for the sea breeze to build, sailing commenced early in the afternoon, with a 13-15 knot southerly breeze appeasing the 212 registered sailors from 34 nations racing across 8 of the 10 Olympic fleets.
It was a perfect start to racing for the British Men’s RS:X team as they dominated the opening race. Tom Squires snapped up the race win and was duly followed by Kieran Martin and Andy Brown as they grabbed the early initiative.
But their dominance didn’t last long as the Gamagori World Cup winner, Pawel Tarnowski (POL), took control at the front of the fleet, winning the next two races after an 11th in the opening race.
“It was a good day overall,” commented Tarnowski. “The last time I sailed in Marseille was last year and, due to a wedding in Poland, I only arrived yesterday so didn’t have enough time to train.
“I wasn’t used to the conditions here and during the first race I decided to go all the way to the right, with the French, but that wasn’t a good idea.
“However, my other two races were great. It’s only day one and I know the rest of the week is going to be tough, with plenty of tricky races. We have some top sailors here, which is why I am competing here.”
In the Women’s RS:X, Lilian de Geus (NED) put a scoring penalty from race one behind her to pick up a second and first which sees her tied at the top with Gamagori World Cup gold medallist, Hei Man Chan (HKG).
After her race one struggles, the Dutch sailor managed to bounce back, picking up a first and a second. Chan also had a tough start, finishing in 11th, but followed through with a 1-2 to leave her level with de Geus.
Stefania Elfutina (RUS) won the opening race of the series and is two points off the leaders in third.
Croatia’s Nenad Bugarin sprung a surprise in the Finn fleet, grabbing an early lead. The Croatian, ranked #19 in the world, has never reached a World Cup Series Medal Race before, but on the opening day he fended off previous World Cup medallists such as Jorge Zarif (BRA), Alican Kaynar (TUR), and Jonathan Lobert (FRA), to name but a few.
“I had two solid races,” explained Bugarin. “I had a good start on my first race with high speed on my upwind and downwind. I finished fourth in my first race and then first in the second.
“I didn’t have a good start on my second race but I managed to climb my way up the fleet. We have a small fleet and some top sailors, so we will have to see what happens, but I want a medal this time and I’ll try my best.”
Kaynar sits second following a 5-2, with Josh Junior (NZL) in third. Zarif won the opening race of the event and is fourth.
Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre (GBR) got their World Cup Series title defence off to a strong start in the 20-boat Women’s 470 fleet. A fifth and a race win positions them nicely at the head of the leaderboard.
Brazil’s Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Luiza Barbachan picked up the opening race win but were unable to come close in the second as they finished down in 11th, ending the day fifth overall.
World Cup Series Miami Champions and recently crowed 470 European Champions, Tina Mrak and Veronica Macarol (SLO), were off the pace in the fleet, scoring a 13th and an 18th. After the opening day, they are down in 17th.
The two race wins in the Men’s 470, went the way of Jordi Xammar and Nicolas Rodriguez (ESP) and Hungary’s Balázs Gyapjas and Zsombor Gyapjas. The Spanish team backed it up with a fifth to grab the lead, but the Hungarians could only manage a 14th which puts them seventh.
Plenty more racing is on the horizon in the Men’s 470 but the teams in between the Spanish and Hungarian teams will be content as very little separates them so far.
Lorenzo Chiavarini (GBR) thrived in the Laser, snapping up a second and a first in the 25-boat fleet. “It was fantastic, just what I like – nice and shifty conditions with plenty of sunshine. We had around 10 knots which was great for hiking,” commented the British leader.
“I did the simple things well, like using the shifts to my advantage, and I had good starts which helped me get up the fleet straight away.”
Giovanni Coccoluto (ITA) won race one and is second overall, tied on points with Michael Beckett (GBR).
Belgium’s Emma Plasschaert and Finland’s Tuula Tenkanen are locked on six points apiece at the top of the Laser Radial leaderboard after two races. Maud Jayet (SUI) won the opening race and is 12th overall, and race two winner, Alison Young (GBR), is in seventh.
In the Nacra 17, Vittorio Bissaro and Maelle Frascari (ITA) got off to a steady start to take an early lead. They secured a (12)-2-2 scoreline and have a slender lead over John Gimson and Anna Burnet (GBR).
Racing is scheduled to commence at 12:00 local time tomorrow as the opening series continues.
Canada, Mexico, USA update:
Among the four teams from North America, those in the top ten are Americans Riley Gibbs/ Louisa Chafee (5 – Nacra 17) and Canadian Tom Ramshaw (7 – Finn).
The World Cup Series commenced in Gamagori, Japan in October 2017. Miami held the American round in January 2018, followed by Hyères, France in April. For 8 of the 10 Olympic Events (no 49er and 49erFX), the winners from all of the rounds as well as the best performing racers across the series will bid on June 5 to 10 to be crowned the World Cup Series Champion.
The Medal Races on June 9 and 10 will be streamed live on World Sailing’s YouTube Channel.
Editor’s note: As a result of uncertainty due to the qualification requirements of the Final, and the logistics for attendance, most of the North American athletes did not include the Final when planning their 2018 event calendar.
Teams from Canada, Mexico, and USA:
470 M (0):
470 W (1): Atlantic Brugman/ Nora Brugman (USA)
Finn (1): Tom Ramshaw (CAN)
Laser (1): Robert Davis (CAN)
Laser Radial (0):
Nacra 17 (1): Riley Gibbs/ Louisa Chafee (USA)
RS:X M (0):
RS:X W (0):
The World Cup Series is an annual circuit of Olympic sailing for elite and professional sailors, and a key touchpoint for fans and media to connect to the sport of sailing and develop support for athletes on their road to Tokyo 2020 and beyond. Over 2,000 of the world’s leading sailors, representing 75 nations, have competed in the World Cup Series since its inception in 2008.
2017-18 World Cup Series
October 17-22, 2017 – World Cup Series #1 – Gamagori, Japan
January 21-28, 2018 – World Cup Series #2 – Miami, USA
April 24-29, 2018 – World Cup Series #3 – Hyères, France
June 5-10, 2018 – World Cup Series Final – Marseille, France
Source: World Sailing