Clouds, rain, and strong winds promised another challenging day in the Delta Lloyd regatta.
The fourth racing day started early for the Women Match racers who had to complete their qualification stage.
The Group B saw some very disputed matches and tight racing. It came down to the last match to break the ties between several teams. In the end, the teams of Groeneveld (NED), Wang (CHN) and Lehtinen (FIN) are joining the top three of Group A: Echegoyen (ESP), Tunnicliffe (USA) and Roca (ESP), in the Gold group.
The RS:X men were first on and out of the water after two races sailed in 25 knots of gusty breeze and rain. Taehoon Lee (KOR) is increasing his lead on the fleet after a win and a second place. Second place overall goes to Zachary Plavsic (CAN) who takes his first victory on the last race.
The departure of Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED) and JP Tobin (NZL) from the event is creating more opportunities to sailors to access the podium. “My Olympic selection programme does not include the Delta Lloyd Regatta” explained the Dutch, “We decided with my coach that I would come for three days to have time to rest before going to Weymouth for Sail for Gold. It is not an easy decision but the best compromise.”
Three Olympic Gold medallists claim the podium in the Star. Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada (BRA) conserve the lead from Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson (GBR). The two Polish teams enjoyed the day’s windy conditions with a race win each. Kusznierewicz/Zycki pass the German in third position and Grabowski/Lesinki (POL) are now in sixth.
“We had a nice start and good speed so could hold our position on the fleet.” explains Dominik Zycki on their first race. “We were fourth at the top mark but took the lead on the second beat and increased it to the finish. We could see today the potential of our new boat and we are satisfied.” About the conditions today, Zycki adds: “It wasn’t an easy race though. We had lots of different pressure on the course with the big clouds.”
Thierry Schmitter (NED) remains undefeated in the 2.4 with five wins. Megan Pascoe missed on a second place in the last race, passed by Andre Rademaker (NED). With the heavy conditions some boats had to retire, and with three black flag disqualifications, less than half of the fleet finished the last race.
Marit Bouwmeester (NED) has taken the lead in the Laser Radial with near perfect results in the windy races. The Dutch who is discarding a 39th place has sailed conservatively. “With two starts under Black flag I had to be careful and not take too much risks; I know I have good speed in the breeze.” Unfortunately the black flags were costly for early leader Annalise Murphy (IRL) who collects two penalties and fall to the 19th position, and Gintare Scheidt (LTU) now in 14th place.
Tina Mihelic (CRO) sailed conservatively in today’s windy races posting a 9th and a 4th to hang narrowly into second position, one point from Xu Lijia (CHN) third.
Tom Slingsby (AUS) keeps the lead in the Laser.
“I am very happy, in the first race I had a good start and a good lead. In the second race there was a big cloud but I didn’t go far enough so I could have gained more. It is very windy and tricky, you had to go for the clouds. It is nice to be in the lead, but I have lots of guys right on my heel. Tomorrow, I have to keep my head on and have a good day.”
Bruno Fontes (BRA) conserving his second position. A 49th collected in the last day send Milan Vujasinovic (CRO) to fourth. Roelof Bouwmeester (NED) takes third place.
The Heiner’s father and son are competing in the Delta Lloyd regatta. While Finn Bronze medallist Roy is competing in the Star class, his son Nicholas, ranked 113th in the Laser, is progressing with a 5th position in the regatta. “My objective was to qualify for the Gold fleet and fifth Dutch to get a ticket for the World’s in Perth. I am very happy with the way I go here, this is my best results ever!”
In the Women’s 470 Lisa Westerhof and Lobke Berkhout (NED) have taken the lead after double bullets today.
The Dutch girls, on seven points, leapfrog day two leaders Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Luiza Barbachan (BRA) who struggled in today’s blustery conditions. Their 7-10 has seen them slip to third overall on 19 points. Ai Kondo and Wakako Tabata (JPN) finished 2-2 today, and with 16 points they are second.
Meanwhile in the Men’s 470 Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page, who are currently second in the Men’s 470 ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings, enjoyed a good day with a 3-1 and end day four on 11 points.
“We had a solid day. It is good to race in the Gold fleet against all our opponents and see how we come up. We have a big day tomorrow with more races and the medal race in the evening so we will need to keep some energy. The conditions are supposed to be windier so it should be entertaining!” explain the Australians.
The World #1 Australian pair lead early 470 leaders Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic (CRO). Day four proved to be the Croats worst day of the Delta Lloyd Regatta so far. They finished 7-4 to trail the Australians by four points. In third place on 16 points is Panagiotis Kampouridis and Papadopoulos Stathis (GRE).
Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS) have closed the gap on 49er leaders Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes (GBR) to just eight points. The Australians finished 1-3-1 today compared to the Brits 3-2-3.
The British duo top the leader board on 27 points with Outteridge and Jensen in second on 35 points. Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) have moved into third place at the expense of Peter Kruger Andersen and Nicolai Thorsell (DEN) who slip from second to fourth place at the close of day four.
After six races in the Women’s RS:X, Mayaan Davidovich (ISR) has a two point lead over China’s Li Ling. Davidovich, ranked #18 in the world, has 13 points after finishing 2-4 today. Ling faired better with 1-3, but it was not enough to overhaul the Israeli. However she stole second place off Jessica Crisp (AUS) whose 3-7 this afternoon gives her 17 points overall and the third podium place.
The Finn were the last fleet of the water after six hours out. Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) takes the lead in the Finn after winning the first race and placing third in the second.
“I sailed well, and I am pleased, the conditions were demanding with strong wind and unstable. The Race committee kept us waiting a long time, we are all feeling tired and freezing so it is making it harder!”
The World #1 is only three points in front of World champion, Ed Wright (GBR). A second and a third brings Brendan Casey (AUS) to third overall. Despite collecting two black flags this week, Dan Slater (NZL) adds a victory to his good score. “ It was a very positive day, there was lots of different pressure but I managed to get in phased with the shifts. I took the lead on the reach and extended it on the run.”
The women match racers sailed the repechage to select the last two teams for the Gold group.
Abrahamsen (DEN) selected for the 7th place and Skudina (RUS) for the last spot after a resail involving Spithill (AUS) and Tulloch (USA).
Seedings for the Gold group: Tunnicliffe (USA), Lehtinen (FIN), Wang (CHN), Echegoyen (ESP), Goreneveld (NED), Roca (ESP), Abrahamsen (DEN) and Skudina (RUS).
The last two races (three for the 49er) will be sailed tomorrow in all classes. The medal races for the 470 men and women and Star will start from 6PM Saturday with the other classes and the Women Match racing finals on Sunday.
photo: Sander van der Borch