Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sailors On Fire in Palma - 44th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mapfre - Day Three

After three days of fantastic racing in varied conditions on the Bay of Palma the qualification series in the 44th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mapfre, ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma regatta has concluded and now the serious business begins.
Tim Shuwalow Hanna Klinga (SWE) Photo: Jesús Renedo/Sofia Mapfre
The Nacra 17 fleet raced in the afternoon in a medium breeze with small waves, making it a perfect day with great conditions and six races countries with strong multihull cultures like the Netherlands and France are on top.
Renee Groeneveld and Karel Begemann (NED)  Photo: Jesús Renedo/Sofia Mapfre
Renee Groeneveld and Karel Begemann (NED) are leading the Nacra fleet with their consistent results despite not winning a race. Like many other teams they are a successful combination of multihull and match-racing experience.
Iker Martinez Tara Pacheco (ESP) Photo: Jesús Renedo/Sofia Mapfre
“I’ve come out of match racing so I’m really new to catamaran sailing so everything on the cat with the foils has meant we’ve done a lot of training here in Palma since December. The day went pretty well with three good solid races. We were at the front of the fleet for all three and we are pretty happy with the day” Renee Groeneveld said.
Eli Llargues Fabian Escud (ESP) Photo: Jesús Renedo/Sofia Mapfre
“Yesterday we didn’t have a bad day but we did have a few bad starts, so our focus today was to have some good starts. And the first two races today were pretty much perfect but in the last one we were a little bit unlucky with someone coming from over the line a little bit low and giving us some bad wind but we ended up fourth so it was OK,” explained Karel Begemann.
Photo: Jesús Renedo/Sofia Mapfre
They are closely followed by the French teams of Moana Vaireaux and Manon Audinet and Billy Besson with Marie Riou on equal points. Besson and Riou are setup like the Dutch with a multihull specialist and a former Olympic match racer. The pair won the first two races but were struck with some bad luck in the last race of the day, 
Photo: Jesús Renedo/Sofia Mapfre
“Today was not so bad, we won two races. We broke the rudder so that’s why we were not so good in the final race. But it was a great day. Marie is a really good crew and is working hard on the boat,” Besson said.
Photo: Jesús Renedo/Sofia Mapfre
Sailing the multihull after an Olympic match racing campaign is a new challenge for Riou and one she’s taking to with the help of the experienced multihull sailor Besson, “I have a tough job with a lot of things to do – trim the mainsail and the spinnaker – but I’ve been learning a lot because before I was in match racing so it’s new for me to sail the multihull. I have to learn a lot and I have a good teacher. He’s a good protector and saved us from capsizing. The boat is really fast compared to the keelboat before. It’s really fun and fast.”
Photo: Jesús Renedo/Sofia Mapfre
To have a mixed event is also a new test in the Olympic sailing programme. After two Olympic campaigns in the Tornado class, Billy Besson appreciates sailing with a female crew. “It’s really nice sailing with Marie and she compliments the team. With all the men we had a lot of fights and we want to make it and now we have no fights and we just talk and make good decisions for a good race.”
Alexandra Maloney with Molly Meech (NZL) Photo: Martinez Studio/Sofia Mapfre 
For 49erFX sailors Ida Marie Baad Nielsen and Marie Thusgaard Olsen (DEN) and Alexandra Maloney with Molly Meech (NZL) training in New Zealand over the winter proved successful as they are leading the fleet. Just one point separates both teams who have shared their progression in the 49erFX and they hold a clear advantage over the fleet with 20 points separating them and the Italians Giulia Conti and Francesca Clapcich in third place.
49er:FX Fleet Photo: Martinez Studio/Sofia Mapfre
“We have sailed together in the 29er for the last two years. We were lucky to have Ida and Marie over in New Zealand to train with us. We usually sail against the guys in the 49ers so it was good to have another FX team to train with. They are very fast and smart and are used to large fleets," Maloney said after racing.
Photo: Martinez Studio/Sofia Mapfre
On what it will take for the Kiwis to overtake the Danes tomorrow Maloney added, “We surely need to take better starts. Yesterday they were not so good, we are not used to large fleets in the skiff, but today was already a lot better.”
Stephen Morrison and Ben Rhodes (GBR) Photo: Martinez Studio/Sofia Mapfre
Stephen Morrison and Ben Rhodes (GBR) are one of five British teams in the lead tonight. Injuries and a long recovery for Rhodes have come to a positive end with outstanding results in the strong 49er fleet.
49er Fleet Photo: Martinez Studio/Sofia Mapfre
“I’m holding up all right. It wasn’t really as easy as the physios had recommended. Since the Olympics we've only had four days of sailing up until the day before yesterday, so the 18-20 knots and big waves over four races was quite a shock to the system,” Ben Rhodes said.
Photo: Martinez Studio/Sofia Mapfre
“Obviously the racing is going to get a lot tighter as the standards get higher and there’s every chance that's going to pick up some of the rusty points in our sailing. If we can stay relaxed and realistic about that then there’s no reason why we can’t make some good decisions and still get good results. This week and the next couple of months are about just keeping a reasonable perspective on things but one thing is for sure, we’re sailing really fast,” Morrison said.
49er Fleet Photo: Martinez Studio/Sofia Mapfre
The Finn sailors were the first off the water, concluding their qualification series after six races. After fighting for top place with Jonathan Lobert (FRA), Giles Scott (GBR) consistency in all conditions has him leading in the 72 boat fleet. The 2011 European and World Champion is one point ahead of Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) and two points ahead of team mate Andrew Mills (GBR).
Photo: Martinez Studio/Sofia Mapfre
Philip Buhl (GER) has kept the lead in the Laser, distancing himself from World #1 Tom Burton (AUS), who is now in fourth. Andy Maloney (NZL) has jump to second overall after taking two bullets in the last qualification races.
Andy Maloney (NZL) Photo: Jesús Renedo/Sofia Mapfre
Alison Young showed her full potential in all weather conditions with a fifth victory and clean score and was only defeated in the last race today. Sarah Gunni (DEN) is second while Amélie Riou (FRA) who has consistently finished within the top three, is in third place overall.
Sarah Gunni (DEN) Photo: Jesús Renedo/Sofia Mapfre
Olympic Men’s 470 helms take the top two places with their new crews, Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) hold first place and London 2012 silver medallist Luke Patience and Joe Glanfield (2004 and 2008 Silver medallist) have climbed to second after ending the qualification series with a victory. 
Photo: Jesús Renedo/Sofia Mapfre
Newly formed team of Pierre Leboucher (FRA) with his ex-coach, Nicolas Leberre (FRA), are proving their potential together in third place. However the day in the 470 was claimed by the young French team of Sofian Bouvet and Jeremie Mion who won two races and climbed up the ladder to be fifth overall.
Pierre Leboucher and Nicolas Leberre (FRA) Photo: Jesús Renedo/Sofia Mapfre
Sophie Weguelin and Eilidh Mcintyre (GBR) conserve their lead in the Women’s 470. Brazil’s Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Barbachan improve their overall ranking to second after a victory and a third place.
Photo: Jesús Renedo/Sofia Mapfre
The class favourites are in front in the RS:X with 2012 World Champion Julien Bontemps (FRA) on equal points with Toni Wilhelm (GER). Ivan Pastor is third and Ricardo Santos fourth.
Julien Bontemps (FRA) Photo: Jesús Renedo/Sofia Mapfre
In the women’s fleet ISAF Sailing World Cup winner Maayan Davidovich (ISR) conserved her lead over Flavia Tartaglini (ITA) and Bryony Shaw (GBR).
Flavia Tartaglini (ITA) Photo: Jesús Renedo/Sofia Mapfre
The finals will start tomorrow in all classes except of the 2.4MR who have a new leader tonight in Sailing World Cup Miami winner Megan Pascoe (GBR) whose worst result has been a second a fleet of 23 boats.

44th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mapfre Media

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