5 Golds at World Cup Amsterdam
Published on June 4th, 2022
Amsterdam, The Netherlands (June 4, 2022) – The five Olympic boat classes contested their medal races, the 10-boat, double-points decider that often shakes up the podium on the final day of competition. While the 49er gold had already been secured a day early, the other four events were still up for grabs. There was even some pre-start dueling in the ILCA 6 fleet with Greece pulling out all the stops to defend gold from the reigning world champion from Belgium.
Vasileia Karachaliou (GRE) left nothing to chance in her bid to retain the yellow jersey. She engaged her rival Emma Plasschaert (BEL) in an aggressive match race before the start. But then an individual recall flag went up on the race committee boat. Someone was over the line, but who? Not prepared to take the risk of a non-finish, Karachaliou turned back, followed swiftly by Plasschaert. This played perfectly into the hands of Greece, who maintained control of Belgium all the way around the race course, the two gold-medal contenders sitting in 9th and 10th for most of the two laps.
Meanwhile a battle was raging between Mara Stransky (AUS) and Anna Munch (DEN) for the final podium place. At one point Stransky even climbed into silver medal position ahead of Plasschaert. But down the final run it was Munch who screamed into podium contention after finding an extra burst of surfing speed to claim the bronze medal for Denmark. Silver to Plasschaert and gold to Karachaliou, and a mutual congratulations between the two leading contenders despite the aggression and intensity of the duel.
“It was nothing personal,” smiled Karachaliou. “I could have gone out to just sail a good race, but this was an opportunity to practice a different kind of medal race, one that we might have to face at the Olympics. I’m happy with how the race went, although going back at the start was not in my plans! But to win a World Cup gold medal, it means a lot.”
Canadian sailor Sarah Douglas from Toronto, ON, recorded Canada’s best performance in ILCA 6 at the second World Sailing World Cup of the season that ended on Sunday in Almere-Lelystad, Netherlands, as she finished in 13th position overall.
Douglas, who won the gold medal at the first World Cup of the season in April, had some highs and lows throughout the nine races that were held over the week, coming up with fourth-, eighth- and third-place results. Coralie Vittecoq from Montréal, QC, finished 36th, Maura Dewey from Victoria, B.C., took the 40th spot while Clara Gravely from Toronto, ON, was 44th out of a total of 57 athletes registered.
“It was a challenging week for me in Almere as I couldn’t quite get the strategy right. I have a lot of learning points and things to work on after this event,” said Douglas, who will now stay in the Netherlands for a week of training as part of her preparation for the World Sailing World Championships which will take place in August of 2023 in The Hague.
Laila van der Meer and Bjarne Bouwer (NED) won the pin end of the line, enabling the Dutch to put their bows down and launch their foiling catamaran hard into the left-hand corner of the course. Joao Siemsen and Marina Arndt (BRA) took the silver, while two Austrian teams were tied for points. For finishing ahead of their teammates in the medal race, Laura Farese and Matthäus Zöchling (AUT) secured the final podium place in front of Lukas Haberl and Tanja Frank (AUT) who had led the regatta earlier in the week.
Going into the medal race it was Switzerland holding the top two places. Yves Mermod and Maja Siegenthaler (SUI) started the day in the yellow jerseys and didn’t put a foot wrong, securing the gold medal with a 3rd place in the medal race. It didn’t go so well for Linda Fahrni and Cyril Schüpbach (SUI) who struggled to get in contention, leaving the door open for others to attack. Chris Charlwood and Amelia Catt (AUS) won the medal race and won the silver medal. Keiju Okada and Miho Yoshioka (JPN) started outside the medals but improved from 6th at the first mark to 2nd by the finish, lifting the Japanese crew to bronze.
The Netherlands might have dominated Belgium 4-1 in the Nations League football match the night before, but it didn’t come so easy for the Dutch 49erFX world champions this afternoon in Almere. Such is their world and Olympic medal-winning pedigree, Odile van Aanholt and Annette Duetz (NED) were hot favorites to win gold at this event. However, Isaura Maenholt and Anouk Geurts (BEL) had revealed their giant-killing intentions the day before with two race wins, and it was the Belgians that shot out of the start to take an early lead. Olivia Price and Evie Haseldine (AUS) were also in the hunt for the medals and in the early stages of the race there was little to separate the top three boats on the virtual leaderboard.
As Belgium rounded in first, Australia second and The Netherlands in third, this put Maenholt and Geurts in gold medal position. Forced to try something different, on the second windward leg the Dutch broke to the right away from their rivals who had gone left. At the next cross, van Aanholt squeaked past Australia, just enough to get into gold. Down the final run van Aanholt and Duetz let rip and closed the gap to the Belgians. At the finish there was little more than a boat length between them, with Belgium taking the race win but The Netherlands taking gold. Silver for Belgium, bronze for Australia.
Dutch 49er sailors Bart Lambriex and Floris van der Werken (NED) had already secured gold a day earlier so their participation in the medal race was a formality. However, the race for silver and bronze was up for grabs among five other teams. Already in silver medal position, Robert Dickson and Seán Waddilove (IRL) put the hammer down at the start and led all the way to the finish. The battle for bronze swung this way then another as four different crews moved into podium contention throughout the two-lap contest.
However, at the finish it was Benjamin Bildstein and David Hussl (AUT) who hauled their way to second across the line behind the Irish. By a single point, the Austrians had bagged the bronze and relegated Lucas Rual and Emile Amoros (FRA) to fourth place.
Noah Rees (GBR) saved the best for last, winning the final race of the series and displacing Shivam Ramdas (NED) from the top of the podium. Ramdas was second with Juliane Barthel (GER) in third.
• Formula Kite Women – Annelous Lammerts (NED) still way out in front, but Gisela Pulido (ESP) has an incredible day to rise to second overall
Formula Kite Men – Benoit Gomez (FRA) extends his lead over Lorenzo Boschetti (ITA)
• iQFOiL Women – Maria Belen (PER) won two races to close to just a point on training partner Lilian de Geus (NED) who still leads
• iQFOiL Men – Huig Jan Tak (NED) displaces Dutch teammate Max Castelein (NED) from the top spot
Canadian Sarah Douglas finished 13th in the ILCA 6. For the US squad, 49er team Andrew Mollerus/ Ian MacDiarmid ended up in 11th while teammates Ian Barrows/ Hans Henken had a strong finish to 5th overall. In the Men’s iQFOiL, Noah Lyons is in 6th overall going into tomorrow.
The forecast is looking thundery for tomorrow, when four medal series finals are due to be contested in the board fleets. The scheduled start of the Medal Series finals is for 1100 hours local time, although there’s the prospect of an earlier-than-scheduled start time to avoid the worst of the predicted storms.
Racing continues for the iQFOiL and Formula Kite fleets further north in Lelystad. The foilers contest their Medal Series showdown on June 5.
May 31-June 4: ILCA 6, 470 Mixed, Nacra 17, 49er, 49erFX
June 1–5: Formula Kite Women, Formula Kite Men, iQFOIL Women, iQFOIL Men
2022 Hempel World Cup Series:
April 4-9 – Hempel World Cup Series Palma (Princess Sofía Regatta), Spain
May 31-June 5 – Hempel World Cup Series Amsterdam (Allianz Regatta), The Netherlands
TBC – Hempel World Cup Marseille, France
The Hempel World Cup Series is the definitive annual circuit for the world’s leading sailors and Olympic hopefuls. Mirroring the Olympic style of sailing in format, duration and fleet sizes, the World Cup Series visits prestige venues across the globe at all stages of the four-year Olympic cycle, supporting athletes in their quest to qualify for the Games and connecting fans with the very best sailors in the sport.
Source: Andy Rice