Olympic level testing in Canary Islands

Published on January 26th, 2021

Due to COVID-19 health and travel restrictions, athletes preparing for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics have been challenged to find suitable training and competition opportunities. However, many of the elite competitors in 8 of the 10 Olympic events were able to attend the 2021 Lanzarote Olympic Winter Regatta in Canary Islands, Spain.

With excellent wind conditions and good weather, Lanzarote has become a popular spot for Olympic teams to train over the past few months, in the midst of the global pandemic.

One hundred thirty-five sailors across the 470 Men and Women, 49er, 49erFX, Finn, and Nacra 17 classes competed January 16-24, while 66 ILCA 7 and ILCA 6 sailors are racing on January 25-28. Thirty-three nations are represented overall.

The 470 Men and Women, 49er, and 49erFX classes completed a full 13-day series of racing before embarking on their Medal Races, with the Finns completing six races and Nacra 17s completing seven races ahead of their Medal Races.

The Finn class saw the largest fleet, with 23 sailors competing. Recently-crowned 2020 eSailing World Champion Joan Cardona (ESP), who came third at the 2020 Finn European Championship, beat the 2020 European champion Zsombor Berecz (HUN) to the title this time. Alican Kaynar (TUR) took the bronze medal.

There was strong competition in the skiffs, with both the 49er and 49er attracting some of the best Olympic class sailors. The 14 boats of the 49erFX fleet were topped by reigning Olympic champions Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) who claimed gold by 10 points. Annemiek Bekkering and Annette Duetz (NED) finished second, with Aleksandra Melzacka and Kinga Loboda (POL) in third. In a 49er fleet of eight boats, Croatian brothers Sime and Mihovil Fantela edged out close competition from Sebastian Schneiter and Lucien Cujean (SUI) and Bart Lambriex and Pim van Vugt (NED) to take the title.

Jordi Xammar and Nicolás Rodríguez (ESP) triumphed in the 11-boat 470 Men’s fleet ahead of Olympic rivals Anton Dahlberg and Fredrik Bergström (SWE), with Simon Diesch and Philipp Autenrieth (GER) in third. Heading the 12 boats in the 470 Women’s fleet were Silvia Mas and Patricia Cantero (ESP), with Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre (GBR) in second and Noya Bar-Am and Shahar Tibi (ISR) in third.

Finally, it was Danish duo Lin Ea Cenholt and CP Lübeck who claimed victory in a Nacra 17 fleet of 10 boats. Paul Kohlhoff and Alica Stuhlemmer (GER) took the silver medal, with Emil Järudd and Cecilia Jonsson (SWE) winning bronze.

The Lanzarote Olympic Winter Regatta is organised by Canary Island Federation, Real Club Náutico Arrecife and Marina Rubicon. This event offers amazing conditions in two different venues in Lanzarote island (Arrecife in the North) and Marina Rubicón (in the South).

For results, click here.

Source: Scuttlebutt, World Sailing

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