Topsy turvy conditions at the Ciudad de Santander Trophy were the flavour of the day in Santander, Spain as the test event for the Santander 2014 ISAF Worlds hit the second day of racing.
The opening day saw just the Men's and Women's 470 and Finn take to the water and they were joined by the Nacra 17, 49er, 49erFX and the Men's and Women's RS:X on day two as a rain filled day failed to dampen their spirits.
After the wind filled in from a north easterly direction the race courses and possible Race Committee that will be used for the ISAF Worlds in a year's time were put to the test as the conditions not only challenged the sailor but the hard working Race Committee.
The combined 49er and 49erFX fleet got racing underway with America's Frederick Strammer and Zachary Brown taking the 49er race win. The unopposed 49erFX duo from Japan, Chika Hatae and Noriko Okuma got acclimatised to the race course one year in advance of their challenge to qualify Japan to the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition.
The stakes at Santander 2014 will be high and the Japanese team were rewarded funding to prepare for the event and have 13 representatives across seven of the classes. On their participation Japanese team leader Aiko Saito said, "We have to take the opportunity when it's there. We can't get funding for a training camp and then during the season regattas are away from Santander but we've had the funding so we're here in Santander."
The 49erFX pair have 470 experience but have converted to the women's skiff for a Rio 2016 campaign, Saito added, "We did the 470 and 49erFX trial last December and because the sailors enjoyed the boat they teamed up with Kenji Nakamura coaching them back in the Japan. We're still working, working and working.
"Today was the first time they went to the race course. This event is good for them because they can prepare and learn the procedures and then go to Marseille [for the 49erFX World Championships] with more boats and crowded conditions.
"Kenji knows how to sail the skiffs so some of the training has been basic with stopping on the water, going backwards and forwards, circling around. Now they are a bit more confident in the waves and they can manage. I don't know if they're fast but they can manage. The target isn't to reach the top level this year."
French sailors enjoyed their day in the Men's and Women's RS:X as Louis Giard and Charline Picon took the race wins in the Men's and Women's fleet.
After racing Giard said, "I am here to find out about a new place because there is a lot of current and a different wind and we need to focus and find out about the conditions to win the Championship next year. Rio 2016 is my goal but first goal is to be World Champion at Santander 2014 during the campaign so I'm working on it."
On the racing throughout the day team mate Picon added, "It was crazy today because before the race there was no wind before the race. We waited and then it came with the rain and it was quite heavy because the fleet were planning. I am here to look at the waves, wind, current and learn how to be good in this wind in preparation for Santander 2014. We will have some more training here in May and June next year as it's the first time I've been here."
Great Britain's Ben Saxton and Hannah Diamond took the sole Nacra 17 race victory as racing came to an early close due to the wind dying.
The Men's and Women's 470 and Finn class were unable to complete racing as a result. All fleets will return to action at 13:00 on Wednesday 11 September aiming to learn and continue to hone in their skills on the challenging Santander race track.
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Santander 2014 Website