Perfect sailing conditions greeted the 37 crews competing for the event in Santander, Spain. With a light 5-8 knot NW breeze blowing under clear blue skies, the Race Committee took the opportunity to catch up from the previous day.
Race two saw a depleted fleet of 30 boats get cleanly away first time. The remaining seven crews having been black-flagged on day one and therefore still ineligible to race in today's race.
It was the Australian girls of Nicky BETHWAITE, Kristen KOSMALA and Karyn GOSNIC who showed everyone a clean pair of heels to lead the fleet round every mark and win the race. However, they were pushed all the way by Kristin WAGNER (GER) who finished only a boat length behind. These two finished comfortably ahead of the rest of the fleet which was headed by Annalies THIES (NED), Dorte Jensen (DEN) and Cristiana MONINA (ITA).
Race three saw the British crew of Shirley ROBERTSON, Sarah AYTON and Sarah WEBB get the best start and led the fleet up the first beat. After the first day's tactical nightmare, yesterday's conditions saw a much more stable wind, which gave the fleet more options on the beats and the runs.
The Swedish crew of Lena CARLSSON, Sonia SVENSSON and Ingrid SODERST (SWE) were the only boat to be judged OCS at the start but didn't return. At the top mark it was ROBERTSON rounding just ahead of Trine PALLUDAN (DEN) closely followed by Janneke HIN (NED). On the run, many places were exchanged and it was the American team of Sally BARKOW, Carrie HAWE and Debbie CAPOZZI (USA) who benefited the most to round in second place, just behind HIN. ROBERTSON, finding less wind on the far right of the run lost out to round in fourth place.
Positions continued to change during the next beat and run but it was the HIN who managed to hold on for the race win with BARKOW in third and ROBERTSON in third having made up a place.
Race four started in 7-9 knots with the crews of Carol CRONIN (USA) and Dorte JENSEN (DEN) being judged OCS. Ekaterina SKUDINA (RUS) got the best start and headed to the right hand side of the beat. However it was the left that paid the most on the first leg with the unknown crews of Yumiko SHIGE (JPN) and Loreana JACOB (COL) who came charging in from the left hand side of the course to round in eighth and fifth respectively. However it was the Australian crew of Nicky BETHWAITE who had again shown good upwind speed to round first ahead of the Canadian crew of Felicity CLARLCE, Martha HENDERSON and Kari MacKAY. These were followed by the two Dutch boats of HIN (NED) and THIES (NED).
The run again saw positions changing and this time it was the Greek crew who moved from tenth to fourth with CLARLCE (CAN) dropping down to seventh. This left the BETHWAITE to round first but being closely followed by the Dutch boats.
The second beat saw most of the fleet head to the right of the course with all of the top boats staying close to each other, neither one wanting to let the others out of sight. Again it was BETHWAITE who rounded first ahead of the two ever-chasing Dutch crews. On the final run, it was HIN who split from the fleet and headed to the far right of the course and found an extra bit of wind, propelling the boat into the lead and to take their second win of the day. BETHWAITE had a struggle with THEIS all the way down the run and in the end lost out with THEIS taking second place and HIN third.
For those nations trying to qualify for the Athens, it is looking very good for the Dutch with two boats in the top four. The next nation is New Zealand, sixth with Sharon FERRIS, winner of the first day's race. The next three nations are all very close with Canada 20, Norway 21 and Columbia 24.
This is the first time that Columbia have been represented in the Yngling and for the crew of Loreana JACOB, Jessica JACOB and Paula DOUAT this is also the first time ever sailing in the Yngling.
All three girls currently study and live in France and have rented an Yngling with the hope to qualify for the Olympics this year. "Sailing in Columbia is very popular but we have never managed to qualify for any sailing event ever. We want to change this and to show the people of Columbia that there is another sport out there to go and try",
said Loreana, the skipper of the boat.
The girls aim is to qualify and carry on sailing at SPA and then the Yngling Europeans but this is mostly dependant on sponsorship. "We have got a sponsor in VISA but that is only for this regatta."
explained Paula ROUDAUT, "As this is the first time sailing the Yngling, on a borrowed boat with old sails, we hope to get much better as the week goes on!"
They are supported by their father who has coached them from Optimists at the age of seven and also Jessica's boyfriend who is a Mini sailor from France. Together they have been able to tune the rig and alter the sails a little to suit their weight. The girls are very determined to do well and qualify for Athens and their results reflect this determination.
Today sees two more races with the same light winds and sunshine forecast. Full results are available on the event website at the address below.
Top ten after four races
||Janneke HIN/Klaartje ZUIDERBAAN/Hanne BUIS
||Trine PALLUDAN/Christina OTZEN/Ida HARTVIG
||Ulrike SCHUEMANN/Wibke BUELLE/Winnie LIPPERT
||Annalies THIES/Annemieke BES/Petronella De JONG
||Kristin WAGNER/Anna HOLL/Veronika LOCHBRUNNER
||Sharon FERRIS/Joanna WHITE/Kylie JAMESON
||Ekaterina SKUDINA/Tatiana LARTSEVA/Diana KRUTSKIKH
||Anna BALSAKINA/Galina LUKASHOVA/Vladislava UKRAINTSEVA
||Nicola BETHWAITE/Kristen KOSMALA/Karyn GOSNICH
||Cristiana MONINA/Francesca RUGGIERO/Francesca SCOGNAMILLO