Rita Goncalves (POR) and Henrique Haddad (BRA) moved into the ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final Semi Finals after coming through on top during the repechage in Sheboygan, USA.
The skippers and their crews join three other teams in each division that advanced to the Semi Finals on Thursday. Haddad joins Mads Ebler (DEN), Lucy Macgregor (GBR) and Laurie Jury in the open division and Goncalves accompanies Claire Leroy (FRA), Mandy Mulder (NED) and Olivia Price in the women's division.
Friday's conditions, a light south easterly breeze that forced race officials to delay the first start until 13:00 local time, were a marked change from the previous two days of racing that featured moderate to heavy winds and choppy seas.
In the open division, the Semi Final berth came down to the wire in a race between Haddad and Shawn Bennett (USA), who went into the final match tied with two wins each. Przemek Tarnacki (POL) finished with one win and Peter Wickwire (CAN) was winless in the round.
Goncalves went 3-0 in the women's division repechage Round Robin. Genny Tulloch (USA) won two races, Juliana Senfft (BRA) won one race and Ru Wang (CHN) was winless in the round.
Following the repechage, sail-offs to determine placing from fifth down were held, and the most exciting race of the day was held during this round when Bennett and Tarnacki battled it out. Bennett drew a foul in the prestart and managed to pass Tarnacki going upwind. At the top mark, the teams went into a dial-up that carried them well past the mark. Bennett was able to break free and lead for the rest of the race, but still had to complete his penalty turn. His team was managed to get the turn in right at the line and cross just feet in front of Tarnacki for the win.
Jason Bemis, President of Sail Sheboygan, which is hosting the event at its facility optimized for match racing, said the competition has been even better than anticipated.
"We've had spectacular weather all week that has made for some great competition,"
Bemis said. "Today we had a little bit of a slow start but the breeze finally switched to the southeast and built for some great afternoon racing. Tomorrow's forecast looks good and we expect a large spectator fleet to be on hand for some fierce competition in the Semi Finals and Finals."
Placements for those not moving onto the Semi Finals are:
Open Division (sailed in Sonars):
5. Shawn Bennett (USA)
6. Przemek Tarnacki (POL)
7. Stratis Andreadis (GRE)
8. Peter Wickwire (CAN)
9. Yasar Celal Tumse (TUR)
Women's Division (sailed in Elliott 6m's):
5. Genny Tulloch (USA)
6. Juliana Senftt (BRA)
7. Ru Wang (CHN)
8. Sharon Ferris-Choat (CAN)
9. Katarzyna Pic (POL)
10. Dominique Provoyeur (RSA)
Racing continues Saturday with the start of the Semi Finals.
Full results can be viewed here.
ISAF YouTube Channel will show footage from the event.
View images from the regatta here.
ISAF Nations Cup Microsite
ISAF Nations Cup Website
ISAF Nations Cup
Following on from earlier editions in 1991, 1993 and 1995, the ISAF Nations Cup was successfully re-launched in 2006. The latst edition took place in 2009 with the Grand Final hosted by Porto Alegre in Brazil. In total 60 teams representing 39 MNAs participated in the 2009 ISAF Nations Cup. Eight Regional Finals decided the line up for the Grand Final at the Veleiros do Sul sailing club in Porto Alegre where France repeated their double victory from 2007 to retain the open title skippered by Damien Iehl and the women's title skippered again by Claire Leroy.
The 2011 ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final takes place from 13-18 September and will be hosted by Sheboygan, USA. Sheboygan, situated on the western shoreline of Lake Michigan, 150 mile north of Chicago, is the second US venue to host the ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final, following on from San Francisco in 1995.