Mundial de 29er Hong Kong, día 6. Dominio kiwi.

Fuente info Hartas Production

New Zealand takes top places for Zhik 29er Worlds

New Zealand’s Francesco KAYROUZ and Jackson KEON (NZL12) took the title of the 2018 Zhik 29er World Champions today with top 4 results in all races and a 9 point cushion separating them from their closest competition. New Zealand got the edge in the last two races today with an early gybe allowing them to take advantage of a big right-hand shift. KAYROUZ and KEON commented on their win on the race course “How did we do it? Consistency; making sure we sail to our best and to our full potential, sailing every leg like a new race and keeping your head out of the boat. Bow down and send it!

On winning the title, Kayrouz said: “Well it sounds kind of cheesy but it hasn’t sunk in yet, but it feels good. The event’s been good; it’s been challenging and a bit nerve-racking at times, but it’s been a good send.”

2nd Overall went to Australia’s Lachie BREWER and Max PAUL (AUS6) on 20 points. France’s Benjamin JAFFREZIC and Leo CHAUVEL (FRA2) followed in third on 25points with fellow countrymen Theo REVIL and Gautier GUEVEL also on 25 points in fourth.

New Zealanders Crystal SUN and Olivia HOBBS (NZL2394) took the title as top female team in the Zhik 29er World Championship as well as 21st Overall. SUN and HOBBS were interviewed after their win “We feel pretty good, pretty excited, such a good feeling! We have been very excited the last few days to be the only girls to make the cut into the gold fleet. It feels good to know that all our training and hard work has paid off. The event was pretty tricky with the wind and all that, but it was really a great, fun event. The racing was pretty hectic, we had all sorts of competition but it was really fun and really enjoyable to race against other people in these tricky conditions.”

Today racers were met with no breeze and a heavy fog as they descended on the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club Middle Island Clubhouse. Racers were initially held onshore with Race Officer Charlie Manzoni commented “We couldn’t launch you into nowhere with no wind and no visibility.”

However, by around 1130hrs, a cold northerly had started to fill in and steadily built, compressing the fog into a more wet but transparent light drizzle. The gold fleet was sent to their race course in Stanley Bay where four races were sailed. The breeze for the beginning of the first two races race was at the top of the 29er wind limit however changing gears was critical as the breeze tapered off in the second lap of both the first two races. The breeze moderated for the remaining two races of the day and crossing the line first in the final race of the championship was the first Hong Kong team and winners of the 2017 Hong Kong Open Calum GREGOR and Jon CRAWFORD (HKG2532) who took 6th overall with 26 points. The results from the Silver fleet remain the same from yesterday as the race committee decided to hold them onshore due to the breeze being in the upper class limit.

After racing competitors made a beeline back to shore to pack up their gear in time for the 2018 Zhik 29er World Championship prize giving which will be held tonight at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club’s Kellett Island location in Causeway Bay.

Full provisional results at http://www.rhkyc.org.hk/upload/Sailing/Race-and-Regattas/29erWorlds/WorldsResultsFinal.htm

Mundial de 29er Hong Kong, día 3.

Fuente info Hartas Productions

Top four countries going into the Gold Fleet HKG – NZL – FRA – AUS

The final four races of the qualifying series for the 2018 Zhik 29er World Championship were held today off the Po Toi Islands in Hong Kong.

With consistent top five finishes, Hong Kong’s Calum GREGOR and Jon CRAWFORD HKG 2532 are headed to the Gold Fleet with 18 points. Hot on their heels and only three points behind are New Zealand’s Francesco KAYROUZ and Jackson KEON NZL 12. France’s Theo REVIL and Gautier GUEVEL FRA 3 are on 23 point and the traditional rivalry between New Zealand and Australia is as present as ever with Aussie’s Lachie BREWER and Max PAUL AUS 6 not far behind the Kiwi’s on 25 points.

To the relief of the sailors, the breeze dropped from the previous two days to a 10kt North Easterly. The breeze was fluky making a difficult race track that was heavily favoured toward the left.

Out of the 58 teams on the water there are five all-female and eight mixed teams. Sailing is one of the few sports where females and males compete against each other on a level playing field. Gaining control in the first race and remaining comfortably ahead, extending on each leg to secure a much needed 1st place, was Australia’s Annabelle DAVIES and Madison WOODWARD AUS18.

After a less than stellar first day on the water, they picked up today and scored top 5 placings in three out of four races. The girls have been a bit unlucky with two races yesterday not completed due to a broken trapeze wire and, with only one drop, they have to carry a result of full points on their scorecard. This meant that despite sailing brilliantly today in the challenging conditions, they just missed out on gold fleet by a mere three points.

New Zealand’s Crystal SUN and Olivia HOBBS NZL 2394 are headed to the gold fleet despite struggling in today’s conditions. With forecast predicting heavier breeze tomorrow though, they may be in contention to climb back up the fleet. They have consistently been in the top 10 against their male contenders in the monstrous breeze yesterday, earning respect from the whole fleet and showing that the girls have been training hard in the windy conditions that are renowned in New Zealand.

The final series kicks off tomorrow with 10 races being sailed over three days from which the 2018 World Champion will be crowned.

Resultados parciales click acá

RC44, calendario 2018 con comienzo en Lanzarote.

Fuente info RC44

2018 RC44 Championship schedule announced

For their twelfth season, the RC44s will visit the four corners of Europe in 2018, including a return to Portorož in Slovenia for the first time in nine years.

With Igor Lah’s Team CEEREF claiming the RC44 Championship for a second consecutive year in 2017, it was appropriate that for the new season the circuit for the high performance Russell Coutts-inspired one design monohulls should include the winner’s home port.

Lah explained: “Hosting such a world renowned class is important for any city and for Portorož it will be even more special. The RC44 has been connected with Slovenia from the very beginning: The boat was designed by Slovene naval architect, Andrej Justin, together with Russell Coutts and there were two events held in the early years of the class in Portorož. I am really happy that the fleet will return to Slovenia again.”

Another crew looking forward to being back in Portorož is Team Nika as this was the place where owner Vladimir Prosikhin’s love affair with the RC44 started back in 2009. Since then his team, including local Slovenian sailors Tomaz Copi, Mitja Margon and Iztok Knafelc, has gone from strength to strength having twice been crowned World Champions and claiming the RC44 Tour title in 2015.

The five event 2018 RC44 Championship begins where it left off in 2017 – in the Calero family’s Marina Lanzarote, in Arrecife in the Canary Islands. The RC44 Calero Marinas Cup will take place over 28 February until 4 March. The prevailing winds in early March are 15-25 knots from the northeast, offering owners and crews the prospect of a lively start to the new season. With a winter break of just three months since they last competed there, the teams should start the new season reasonably race fit.

The RC44s then move on to Portorož. Slovenia’s 40km long sliver of coastline lies immediately south of Trieste on the Adriatic Sea. The RC44 Portorož Cup will take place over 9-13 May, immediately before Internautica (17-18 May), the largest international boat show on the Adriatic. The RC44 fleet will be berthed in Marina Portorož, with racing taking place on the Gulf of Piran.

For event three, the fleet heads north to Marstrand on the west coast of Sweden where racing will take place from 27th June until 1st July. This event provides the opportunity for the two Swedish teams, Torbjörn Törnqvist’s Artemis Racing and Artemis Racing Youth, to compete on home waters. The picturesque island of Marstrand, with its New England-style architecture, has been a regular host of the RC44s which have visited annually since 2011, with the exception of 2016. In 2017 it was the venue for the RC44 World Championship, when the title was won by Vladimir Prosikhin and Team Nika.

For 2018 the World Championship will be held at the fourth event of the season, in Cascais over 26th to 30th September. Located on the mouth of the River Tagus leading up to Lisbon, Cascais is open to the Atlantic and comes with all the potential for big winds and large oceanic swell. It is for this reason, combined with excellent hospitality provided by the Clube Naval de Cascais, that the Portugese stopover is another regular on the RC44 circuit, having featured every year since 2012. It last hosted the World Championship in 2015, which was won by Team Nika.

The 2018 RC44 Championship will conclude in Malta over 14th to 18th November. The RC44 Valletta Cup opened the RC44 season in 2015 and closed it in 2016. Liking the potential for mixed conditions, as well as the ancient magnificence of Valletta and the giant fortified walls of the Grand and Marsamxett Harbours, the RC44 owners have decided to round off the 2018 season racing off the Maltese capital.

Bertrand Favre, RC44 Class Manager, said: “It is a great pleasure to be visiting so many of the top sailing venues once again in 2018. I’m especially pleased to be returning to Portorož in Slovenia after such a long absence. We look forward to another season of some of the most highly competitive yet cost-effective one design racing available to owner-drivers.”

RC44 Championship Tour 2018 events schedule

28 February-4 March – RC44 Calero Marinas Cup 2018 – Arrecife, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain

9 – 13 May – RC44 Portorož Cup – Portorož, Slovenia

27 June – 1 July – RC44 Marstrand Cup – Marstrand, Sweden

26 – 30 September – RC44 Cascais World Championship – Cascais, Portugal

14 – 18 November – RC44 Valletta Cup – Valletta, Malta

Mundial de 420 Australia, triunfo todo español.


© CRISTINA BALCELLS PHOTO SAIL

Fuente info RFEV

Los hermanos Luján, campeones del Mundo de 420
Viernes 15 de diciembre de 2017

Dos oros, una plata y un bronce confirman a España como la mejor potencia del mundo en 420 con un podio 100% español en categoría Open y victoria en Sub 17 para Martín Wizner y Pedro Ameneiro

España ha sido la gran protagonista del Campeonato del Mundo de 420 disputado en el Fremantle Sailing Club, Australia, copando el podio en categoría absoluta y ganando en Sub 17. Los oros han sido para Enrique y Pablo Luján en 420 Open y para Martín Wizner y Pedro Ameneiro en Sub 17. Por su parte, los equipos Torres/Mulet y Balaguer/Massanet se han alzado con la plata y el bronce respectivamente en categoría Open.

La última jornada del Mundial de la clase de desarrollo olímpico 420 ha sido de infarto para las tripulaciones españolas en categoría Open. El día empezó con Carlos Balaguer y Antoni Massanet liderando con firmeza la clasificación seguidos de Albert Torres y Xesc Mulet y con los hermanos Enrique y Pablo Luján en una tercera posición muy disputada.

La primera regata se ha antojó difícil para las tripulaciones que partían como favoritas con un 10 para Torres/Mulet y un 13 para Balaguer/Massanet mientras que los Luján han sumaban un tercero a su casillero. Con el podio de color español, la última manga parecía destinada a confirmar las posiciones aunque éstas finalmente dieron un vuelto inesperado.

Un fuera de línea en la última salida del campeonato ha privado a Balaguer y Massanet de ser campeones del mundo y les ha hecho descender hasta la tercera posición. En cambio, los hermanos Enrique y Pablo Luján han completado un día épico pasando de luchar por mantener el bronce a conseguir el oro. Mientras tanto, Albert Torres y Xesc Mulet han afianzado la plata. Con podio español en la clase 420 Open, la guinda la han puesto Eduardo Ferrer/Carlos de Maqua y Elías Aretz/Pablo Garcia, novenos y décimos, completando el top 10 mundial.

“Ha sido muy bonito pero al mismo tiempo muy triste para mi. En el último través creíamos que éramos campeones del Mundo. Entrábamos terceros y ya me veía levantando la copa”, ha relatado Antoni Massanet, tripulante de Carlos Balaguer. En ese momento no eran conscientes de que habían sido penalizados con un fuera de línea. Su regata no valía y por consiguiente perdían el oro. “Es difícil asumirlo, es un momento muy duro. Me hubiese molado más pasar de quinto a tercero que de primero a tercero, pero la vela es así”, ha reconocido Massanet quien ha dicho sentirse “orgulloso de ser parte del equipo Español” y de poder subir al podio con sus compañeros. “Podríamos haber ganado cualquiera de los tres y estoy muy contento de que el podio sea íntegramente español; nos vamos de aquí con la cabeza bien alta”, ha aseverado.

En categoría Sub 17, Martín Wizner y Pedro Ameneiro han conseguido el oro tras un campeonato en el que han demostrado una gran entereza física y mental. Lastrados por un fuera de línea y una penalización en la tercera y cuarta manga del mundial, Wizner y Ameneiro se han visto obligados a luchar a contracorriente durante los seis días de competición en que han sumado cuatro primeros, tres segundos y un tercero en doce pruebas.

La otra cara de la moneda en esta categoría la protagonizan los hermanos Pol y Alex Marsans que empezaron el día en segunda posición, por delante de Wizner/Ameneiro, y han terminado el mundial en el cuarto puesto de la general. Con el podio a su alcance, la última regata no les ha sido favorable y han sumado su peor resultado en todo el campeonato, un 16 que les ha impedido volver a casa con una medalla.

En categoría femenina, María y Pilar Caba se despiden de Australia en la séptima posición mundial. Las hermanas canarias ayer eran terceras y un fuera de línea en la primera de las dos pruebas celebradas hoy les ha privado de terminar el Campeonato del Mundo de 420 subidas al podio como habían hecho durante toda la regata.

El entrenador nacional de 420, Pedro Marí, ha asegurado estar “muy contentos con cómo ha ido todo el campeonato” y en especial se ha mostrado “muy orgulloso del triplete español” en categoría Open. “Tenemos que agradecer a la federación, a los clubes y también a los padres el esfuerzo que hacen para que estos chicos puedan cumplir sus sueños”, ha añadido Marí.

Premios Olimpia 2017 a mejor deportista del año. En Vela, distinción máxima para Javier Conte, Julio Alsogaray y Paula Salerno.


Julio Alsogaray, Javier Conte y Paula Salerno.

Javier Conte, Julio Alsogaray y Paula Salerno (platense como Vicky Travascio) fueron para el círculo de Periodistas Deportivos de la Argentina los mejores representantes en Vela en este 2017 que termina. Sus logros en la clase Lightning con el campeonato sudamericano, norteamericano y mundial, fueron suficientes para derrotar en la terna a la dupla de 49er de Vicky Travascio y Sol Branz (ganadoras de la World Sailing Cup de Japón) y a Facundo Olezza (3ro. en el mundial under 23 de clase Finn).
Mis felicitaciones a los tres ganadores, ¡y en especial a Paula que es de mi ciudad!.

Juanpa

2017 Youth Sailing World Championships Sanya, día 3. En Laser Radial, la argentina Luciana Cardozo es tercera.


Dolores Moreira, la uruguaya es segunda en Laser Radial.

Fuente info World Sailing

For immediate release: Wednesday 13 December 2017
Issued on behalf of World Sailing
Blows traded on a tense third day in Sanya

Leading competitors in the nine fleets at the 2017 Youth Sailing World Championships were trading blows in a tense third day of racing in Sanya, China.

Those in contention for medals were fighting for every inch across the four course areas to put themselves in a good position ahead of the penultimate day.

In another variable 6-14 knot breeze from the east, Charlotte Rose (USA) and Dolores Moreira Fraschini (URU) went toe to toe in the Girl’s Laser Radial and Israel’s Yoav Cohen had a back and forth battle with China’s Hao Chen in the Boy’s RS:X.

After another two Girl’s Laser Radial races, Rose and Fraschini have opened a 20-point advantage over Luciana Cardozo (ARG) at the front of the pack.

Summarising the day Fraschini said, “Today I had a first and a fourth and she [Rose] had a fourth and a first so the level is good and the competition is super high.

“We are doing our best and now we are first and second and we have to try and keep our performance consistent for the coming races.”

Fraschini knows what it takes to perform on the major international stage having won the 2016 Youth Worlds, competed at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and claimed a silver at the 2015 Pan American Games.

Rose sits on eight points with Fraschini following on 12 with three races to go and the Uruguayan feels confident that she can overhaul the American, “I have a better discard than her so maybe I can play with that in the next races.

“I have more Championships than Charlotte and I think that helps but once you are on the water, anything can happen. It all depends on who has the better strategy.”

The Uruguayan currently discards a ninth and the American, a 17th. If it’s close after Thursday’s racing it could all come down to the final race and potentially, some match racing but Fraschini is playing her cards close to her chest, “The plan right now is to keep sailing as I am doing and keeping calm because if I get nervous I start to think about the points and it won’t help. I am trying to enjoy it and then we’ll see what happens.”

Russia’s Daniil Krutskikh is sailing consistently at the front of the Boy’s Laser Radial fleet and as a result has moved into the overall lead. A fourth and an 11th was enough to remove Guido Gallinaro (ITA) from top spot. The Russian is two points clear of the Italian.

It was another mixed day for New Zealand’s Josh Armit. After a 1-14 on day one, another 1-14 on day two, he picked up a fourth and a 20th. Despite an inconsistent scoreline he moves into third overall, two points clear of South Africa’s Calvin Gibbs.

Between Israel’s Cohen and China’s Chen, they have won all but one Boy’s RS:X race. Cohen managed to secure two out of three wins on Wednesday and dislodged Chen at the front of the pack to lead by two points.

Despite a language barrier between Cohen and Chen, there is a mutual respect between the pair and the Israeli is loving the competition, “I have never raced with Hao Chen before. We have a respectful relationship on the water, although there is a big language barrier.

“The Chinese are really good and with light winds they can perform well which means every minute I have try my best to win. The Chinese RS:X sailors come to events once a year and it’s always a surprise to see someone good.

“It’s pretty close racing but it’s good because it’s making it harder for me and I learn a lot from that.”

Sil Hoekstra (NED) removed Spain’s Fernando Gonzalez de la Madrid Trueba from third spot after a strong day of the racing. The day’s remaining race win went to Italy’s Luca Di Tomassi.

In the Girl’s RS:X, 2016 champion Emma Wilson (GBR) put the pressure on overnight leader Giorgia Speciale (ITA) by beating her in every race. Wilson’s 2-2-1 was enough to see her one place ahead of Speciale in each race and the pair are now locked on 16 points. The Italian leads thanks to her three race wins but the pressure is on for the front runners.

China’s Ting Yu is five points off in third.

Lucas Claeyssens and Anne Vandenberghe (BEL) thrived in the lighter breeze on the first two days but as the stronger breeze came in, they were unable to replicate their early form.

A 12th, second and discarded 15th saw them drop to second. By their own admission, the Belgians are light wind specialists and recognise the strength of their rivals in stronger breeze.

Switzerland’s Max Wallenberg and Amanda Bjork-Anastassov capitalised and put three good results together to grab the lead by a single point over the Belgian team.

Slovenia’s Rok Verderber and Klemen Semelbauer moved from fourth to first in the Boy’s 29er. The Slovenians remained consistent recording a 7-1-7 and lead Finland’s Ville Korhonen and Robin Berner by a single point. Théo Revil and Gautier Guevel (FRA) remaining in contention in third.

New Zealand’s Seb Lardies and Scott Mckenzie won two of the day’s races but they sandwiched a 17th putting them in sixth overall.

Italy’s Margherita Porro and Sofia Leoni extended their lead by a significant margin in the Girl’s 29er. A 3-5-2 gives them a 26-point advantage over Ismene Usman and Svea Karsenbarg (NED). With three races on Thursday, the Italians could seal gold with a day to spare.

Meanwhile there is a tight battle going on for silver and bronze with ten points splitting teams from second to tenth.

Otto Henry and Rome Featherstone (AUS) surrendered their Boy’s 420 lead after a contrasting day to their previous two. They started the week well, recording a 4-2-2-1 scoreline but in Wednesday’s racing, a discarded 15th and a 13th saw them slip.

Israel’s Ido Bikik and Noam Homri pounced, winning the first race of the day and taking a third in the next. They now have a six point advantage over the Australians. America’s Thomas Rice and Trevor Bornarth (USA) are tied on 22 points with Henry and Featherstone.

American twin sisters Carmen and Emma Cowles were in fine form once again in the Girl’s 420 and added a pair of seconds to hold on to their overnight lead.

They are now 12 points ahead of France’s Violette Dorange and Camille Orion who claimed a race win and 16 points ahead of Italy’s Arianna Passamonti and Giulia Fava who took the day’s other victory.

Racing resumes on Thursday at 11:00 local time. A full day of racing will be held for all classes ahead of a single race on Friday that will close the event.

By Daniel Smith – World Sailing

Resultados parciales click acá

La clase IMOCA confirma el calendario 2018-2020 y anuncia un circuito global.


copyright IMOCA

Fuente info IMOCA Class

Press release
Wednesday, 13rd december 2017

The IMOCA General Meeting has determined the direction the class will be going in until 2020

The IMOCA General Meeting was held last week in Paris in the framework of the Paris Boat Show (the Nautic). The 2018-2020 calendar was confirmed and a Global Series created. Antoine Mermod, the President of the class looks back at the major decisions taken at this General Meeting.

Did the IMOCA General Meeting have the full support of the members of the class?

Antoine Mermod : “Yes, it clearly did. All of the projects that are currently up and running were represented by the skippers, team managers or sponsors. In all, there were around 65 people. All of the members feel concerned by what is going on in the class. For us, it was interesting to organise a General Meeting in December, as that enables us to look back at the season that has just ended and to look forward to next year.”

The post of president and the board of the IMOCA class were decided at the previous General Meeting on 26th April. What have been the major changes in the way the class has been run since then?

“The main change is to try to get more people involved in thinking things over and taking decisions. The IMOCA is an association, so the goal is to bring everyone together. We set up a race committee bringing together skippers and race directors. The aim of this committee is to settle purely race matters concerning the qualifying rules for races, for example. It is important to discuss these matters beforehand. That relieves the board, who can instead work on other subjects.”

Création of the Globe Series

There was a lot of talk about the calendar during the last General Meeting. What are the main features going to be?

“We fully understand that the Vendée Globe is our most popular event for the public and media. To mark a certain continuity, we need to create more links between races to build things up as we move towards the pinnacle event. That is why we have decided to reorganise out championship, which will be renamed the Globe Series, with a system of points and weightings over a four-year period. Details will follow. The idea is to organise two big events each year bringing together large fleets, along with other events, called exhibition races. In 2018, the two big events will include a new race organised in Monaco in early June (the name of which will be revealed early next year), then there will be the Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe in November. In 2019, there will be the Barcelona World Race and the Transat Jacques Vabre. Then in 2020, a Vendée Globe year, the skippers in the class will take part in The Transat and the New York-Vendée. It is not impossible that other races will be added to this calendar. But we have already put in place a solid backbone, as it is vital to come up with a top class calendar to attract sailors and sponsors.”

You mentioned the brand new event to be organised in Monaco. More generally, the Mediterranean will have a place of honour in the spring of 2018…

“Seeing we are talking about taking an IMOCA fleet down to the Mediterranean, we wanted to come up with a complete programme. After the Guyader Grand Prix in Douarnenez, we will be organising a solo race to Cascais (Portugal), which will be a qualifier for the Route du Rhum. After the event in Monaco where we are expecting between ten and fifteen boats, we will be proposing that the organisers of the Giraglia (between Saint Tropez and Genoa) allow the IMOCA class to register. In our opinion, it is vital to throw the spotlight on the Mediterranean coast, as it offers exceptional sailing conditions in the spring. On top of that, the Mediterranean is an interesting market for the IMOCA class and race projects are being set up there.”

How are things looking for the next Barcelona World Race, which will start on 12th January 2019?

“A press conference is taking place in Barcelona today to present the outline of the next race. The political situation is complicated in Barcelona and it is a huge challenge for the FNOB to organise such a race. But the latest news is looking good. Some teams are really interested and we hope that ten or so IMOCAs will be lining up together.”

SSL Finals 2017, día 2. Paul Cayard con Phil Trinter en un día casi perfecto.


copyright SSL

Fuente info SSL

SSL Finals 2017
December 4th – 9th
Nassau, Bahamas

Cayard goes turbo

A lighter, longer, hotter second day of racing at the Star Sailors League Finals in Nassau, was one of mixed fortunes for the 25 crews competing for the US$ 200,000 prize purse in this international ‘Champion of Champions’ contest.

Italy’s two time World Championship runners-up Diego Negri/Sergio Lambertenghi were the lowest scorers today, while Star newbies, German Laser sailor Philipp Buhl and British Nacra 17 World Champion Ben Saxton, put in stand-out performances with their respective crews, towering Markus Koy and former Star World Champion Steve Mitchell. US veterans Paul Cayard/Phil Trinter scored two bullets in the first and last races. Yet after this generally high scoring day, Brazilian Olympic legend Robert Scheidt and Henry Boening showed ultra-resilience retaining their lead, two points ahead of Mark Mendelblatt/Brian Fatih.

While two races were held yesterday, today there were four, the start time coming forward to 1100. The easterly started off lighter at nine knots, dropping to seven for the final race by which time an evil grey rain cloud was veering the wind.

Cayard was pleased with his and Phil Trinter’s two bullets, but less so about his race three 20th. “We had some kelp round the keel right off the start and weren’t fast, which was strange because we are very fast. Then I made a bad tactical choice to go to the layline on starboard instead of tacking early.”

The Volvo Ocean Race/Louis Vuitton Cup winner was particularly pleased by how their pace downwind has improved. “On Saturday we were getting our butts kicked. Now we are holding our own. If you can get to the weather mark in good shape and hold your own downwind, you are going to sail good races.”

In the fourth Cayard/Trinter, one of the most experienced crews competing, led at the first top mark rounding only to be rolled downwind by Ben Saxton/Steve Mitchell. The Brits led through the leeward gate only to be overhauled by the Americans on the second beat but still managed to hold second at the finish.

“We were struggling with speed downwind, but today we held our own, which meant we could put a race together,” explained Saxton. He added they were almost more pleased with today’s second and third races when they successfully fought back from deep starts. After this they finally got a good start, up by the committee boat. “We punched forwards off the line and then just led the bunch back from the left and tacked in and got a good lane,” said Saxton of the final race.

As to how it feels to be in the Star Sailors League finalists, Saxton adds: “It is an honour to line up against them. I am here because I can raise my game. It is wicked to see how these people put beats together. You can always learn off them.”

While Saxton came close to winning race four, another 27-year-old Rio 2016 Olympian, Philipp Buhl had successfully claimed the race before. The German crew had been third around the top mark behind behind two Italian boats – Negri/Lambertenghi and America’s Cup tactician Francesco Bruni/Nando Colaninno. Buhl/Koy had pulled into the lead ahead of Negri/Lambertenghi at the second top mark rounding and held on to the finish.

“I thought I would struggle a bit more, but I’ve been sailing with confidence, maybe because we are sailing above my expectations,”said Buhl. “I regard it as a super privilege to be invited to race against all these legends. When we won race three I realised we could sail on the same level as Robert Scheidt. That’s something we can be proud of because he’s had two Olympic Star boat campaigns…” His towering crew, Markus Koy observed that having an ex-Olympic Laser sailor as a Star helm is a bonus. “They do more course changes and use every wave.”

Italy’s Diego Negri/Sergio Lambertenghi have yet to win a race but today’s two seconds (in races one and three) enabled them be the lowest scoring crew today. “It was very positive for us and it gives us a bit confidence to do well in the next few days,” said Negri, a two time Star European Champion. “Tomorrow and Friday conditions will be similar to today’s and then very breezy on the final day, Saturday. This will make it more important to win the Qualification and get a bye straight to the Final – as we did last year. In windy conditions you can get tired and the boat can be damaged easier.”

With five races left to go in the Qualification series, tomorrow three races are scheduled with a start at 1100.

Full coverage of all five days of action will be streamed live on the internet with expert commentary from special studio guests, including America’s Cup four time winner Dennis Conner and double Olympic champion Shirley Robertson. On the water, the latest in hi-tech camera technology, as well as Virtual Eye 3D Graphics, will provide thrilling viewing.

Resultados parciales click acá